Stay-At-Home Activities

Since we've been in quarantine, we've been getting creative with our stay-at-home activities. I know some of my readers have little ones as well, so wanted to share what we've been doing to keep Ella busy. She is nearly 18 months old and loves a variety of fun throughout the day. We do a combination of activities that work on both sensory and motor skills. Fyi, THESE ACTIVITIES DO INVOLVE SMALL OBJECTS THAT ARE CHOKING HAZARDS. Always watch your little one when they are playing and please be safe. Happy playing :)

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Ella absolutely loves playing with playdough (I mean, what kid doesn't?) But Moms on the other hand, aren't such fans, am I right? It's just a mess. It ends up stuck to every surface of her high chair, in her fingernails and all over the place. I found a cleaner way for Ella to play with her playdough and my Momma heart is happy!

I lay down one of these disposable placemats on top of her high chair tray. They work great for messy play at home, and we keep several in our diaper bag for eating out at restaurants. The best part is that I can usually get multiple uses out of the placemats that I use for play time. The placemat makes clean up so much easier! We keep hand and face wipes nearby for easy finger clean up as well.


We use buttons, pompoms, coins and other little knick-knacks for her to press into the dough. Her favorite thing to use with her playdough are her new child safety scissors. The use of scissors at this age is crucial. It helps build the muscles in their palm, and enhances hand-eye coordination!


I am always looking for new fun activities that will help Ella strengthen her hand-eye coordination, motor skills and help her master a skill (like learning colors.) She is still quite young, so she may not master her colors just yet, but it's fun to practice!

This activity can be done in so many ways! Use what you have!!! We used an ice cream scoop, balls from Ella's pound-a-ball toy and an ice cube tray with colored disks inside. I just used markers and paper to make the colored disks and the tray is from Ikea (I think???) A muffin tin would work great for this, but we didn't have an extra one on hand.

Ella loved this activity. She had a hard time scooping the balls, so I would show her how to do it first, then guide her hand and help her. Eventually she would just pick up the balls, place it in the scoop and then try placing it on the tray. As you can see, she didn't get a 100% on her color matching, but she had fun!


I have seen this activity done so many different ways. Placing pins on a box or a bucket. Again, use what you have!!! This is a great activity for working on those "pinch" finger skills. This activity excites and frustrates Ella all at the same time, which is good, I want her to work hard!!! 

We bought clothespins in bulk here. We use them for activities like this and keep a container in the kitchen for chip-clips. 


These squish blocks were such a great investment, and are in the same condition they were when I first bought them months ago. Ella absolutely adored these blocks, both as a baby and now as a toddler. We like stacking them together, and she LOVES knocking them down.

Not only are they great for building and destroying towers, you can see that each block is printed on all sides with different images. Now Ella loves pointing to the sides of each block, asking what the images are. She has mastered most of her animals by doing this!!! I highly recommend these blocks for babies and toddlers.

This is Ella with her blocks many months ago...

She loved them then, and loves them now!

Balloon Pass

This one is pretty self explanatory. Ella is obsessed with passing balloons back and forth.

We found a pack of 100 balloons on Amazon... should last us a while!!! I might attempt my first balloon arch soon.

Popsicle Sticks in an Egg Carton 

I always hold onto recyclables that look like they could become an activity... This one is super easy! We poked a bunch of holes in an egg carton using scissors, and Ella places a popsicle stick in each hole. We had craft sticks on hand but you could even use real leftover popsicle sticks if you have them! 


This is another great opportunity to practice colors with your little one.

Kinetic Sand Bin

We randomly bought kinetic sand at CVS for $5, and it was the best 5$ I ever spent. I had NEVER played with kinetic sand before, but how awesome?!?

I used a plastic container to contain the sand, and threw in some knick-knacks and voila. This is a great little sensory bin to have in storage and bust out on a rainy day.

I will say, this activity is MESSY! We always lay down our folding play mat before we bring out the sand. It's so easy to clean and waterproof too!

Unwrapping Toys

How much does your child love unwrapping things?! Well mine LOVES LOVES LOVES this activity. It's so easy to do... We wrap up some of her smaller toys with aluminum foil and let her go to town. I don't like to wrap them too tight, because I want to encourage her to unwrap it gently, rather than ripping it into little pieces. (This way I can save the aluminum and re-use it for this activity later.) 

On this day, I wrapped up some of her little animal toys. That way she is not only working on her motor skills, but we can also work on animal identification. 

Sticky Wall

This is the easiest activity ever! We buy the supplies at The Dollar Tree. I grab a few rolls of contact paper, some buttons, foam shapes, pom poms and popcicle sticks.

You tape a piece of the paper to the wall (sticky side UP) and leave a small bowl of objects for your child to explore and 'stick' to the wall. Ella loves this activity. I attempted to draw The Easter Bunny on the paper for her to decorate. You can do themed sticky walls for different holidays or seasons, and it's super fun. We did a sticky wall for Valentine's Day.

Buttons In & Out

Using one of the munchkin food containers and an ice cube tray from Ikea, we created a fun activity for Ella to do during her independent play time. (We always watch her during independent play time, but we do not play 'with her' if that makes sense.) This may not be a good activity for your LO if they have a tendency to put things in their mouth. 

Sensory Bin with Couscous

A simple sensory bin using dried couscous and random objects, scoops and spoons.

Ella loves sensory bins, but they make me cringe because UGH MESS!!! I know the importance of sensory play, so I keep these in rotation. They are great for a rainy day!


So much fun, and you can do so many different variations of this. Many people use rice or beans as the base. Use what you have :)

"Clean Up"

"Cleaning" is one of Ella's favorite things to do. She loves using a paper towel or a wet wipe and wiping things down. I use one of our empty spray bottles and a microfiber cloth and let her spray and clean pretty much wherever she would like. She hasn't gotten the hang of the spray bottle yet, but I help her. Eventually she'll figure it out!

We keep ALL of our unsafe chemicals and cleaning bottles out of her reach, so I don't worry about her finding them and 'playing' with them... but know that this could be a safety concern. Make sure all household chemicals are out of you little one's reach.

Pom Pom Container

Pom poms are one of those 'must have' craft items! They are versatile and Ella loves playing with them. For this activity I simply cut a large hole in the top of one of our unused food storage containers and Ella pushes the pom poms through the opening. She then opens the container, empties the poms and repeats.

She has been playing with this since she woke up from her nap today.

Other favorite activities...


Thank you so much for checking out today's post. I hope you and your family are healthy, happy and safe. We continue to pray for those that are in health care and other essential workers at this time. I appreciate you taking time to read our blog! 

-Ashley & Ella 

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