At Home Play with a Toddler- Five Play Ideas for Lockdown 1

It’s officially one week into lockdown. That’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever say.

I’ve spent more hours with Ace this week than I have since my mat leave ended just under a year ago, and it’s the biggest positive I’m finding in this unique situation.

But my god, toddlers are tiring. Stay at home parents- you are absolute rockstars.

I’d originally planned for this post to be my future ideas for at home play, with lots of inspiration from friends, family and Instagram pals. But, work life obviously took priority and I’ve found myself turning my ideas into a diary.

Instead, each week I’ll share 5 activities that Ace and I have enjoyed. All simple, cheap and quick to set up. And have all helped us avoid just watching Peppa all day long (She’s still very much around for part of the day don’t you worry!)

So let’s start with this, week one! (Of how many…who knows?!)

 Painted rainbow


We’ve all spied the rainbows turning windows into art galleries, and we too tried to get on board (we failed- Ace hates getting messy so he watched me create ours with finger paints instead haha!) But, I’ve especially loved the printables Eleanor Bowmer has offered which feature her famous rainbow print and some special designs for this particular time.

Baby drawing picture in green

I’ve even given it a go too, and I’m thinking of framing them in the playroom to celebrate this time we’ve spent together.

Also, if you are Wirral based, check out Cub and Calf who are also offering printables, which they will display in their new parent hub. Simply print, colour and post back to them!


I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful for a bit of sunshine! The first few days of lockdown we spent in the garden, planting sunflowers to hopefully watch grow as we move out of isolation.

Baby boy planting seeds

We may have had seeds and soil, but planters and watering cans were thin on the ground. So may I introduce you to our Smirnoff Red Cup Corner! Ace loved using a spoon to fill them with soil, popping in the seed and the matching picture and using his sports bottle to water them!

Baby watering garden


A few weeks ago my Mum hunted down some flashcards, and boy am I glad she did. Ace loves working through them and attempting to sound out what we sees. It’s such a delight to hear him sounding out his first numbers and recognise how they appear written. If you don’t own flashcards you can print them out and there lots of ideas here.

Baby reading flash cards

I’m trying to make games with the flashcards to mix things up a bit, and this matching activity was a hit.

I organised a few recognisable items on his trays during nap time, and when he was awake and calm we spent time looking at the cards before he collected the matching items from the tray. A fun activity which led to a new word- carrot!

Flash card matching game

Tuff Tray

I’m still very new to tuff tray fun, and I’m really looking forward to exploring ideas as the weeks go on. Please send me in the direction of any in particular you guys rate!

Baby tuff tray farm

As I’ve now started our toy rotation, which you can read about here, I set up the Duplo farm, tractor and animals on his tray for some imaginative play. Yes, it only lasted 10 minutes but it was great to see him interact with the ‘characters’!

Racing Cars

Simple and effective! Ace loves his cars (and tractors, and trains, and trucks…..) so we decided to let some have a race!!! I quickly cut and taped some card together to make some lanes and we took it in turns to push a car to see who travelled the furthest. This activity turned into a great chance to practice his new colour matching and counting skills. 1,2,3 Blue Lane go!3 lane car game


And what about screen time?

I’m not going to pretend Ace doesn’t have screen time- as much as I thought 18 months ago he wouldn’t. We are only human and can only do so much, and sometimes I think he enjoys just chilling out, eating some crackers (cheddars!!) and catching up on Duggee.

There’s some great options with live classes out there too, we’ve tried a few unsuccessfully, but will try and try again!Mum and baby watching film

But, the one thing that’s helped ease my ‘too much screen time’ guilt, is watching the TV adaptations of some of his books on the kids channels. We read along with The Gruffalo’s Child today and he engaged throughout it all, and enjoyed the book even more at bedtime.


How are you coping at home full time? What ways do you like to play?

Stay safe,

Sian x


Baby boy playing in tuff tray


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