Wondering how to make the holidays and Christmas morning fun and special for your toddler? Or what holiday activities actually exist for 1 year olds? Or what Christmas crafts toddlers age 2-3 can actually do?
Today I'm sharing the best holiday ideas and activities you can do at home with a toddler. Themed winter themed activities have kept my almost 2 year old entertained indoors for hours. Even better? They all use supplies that cost $1 or less!
Yep, I'm combining 2 of my favorite things: toddler activities and Dollar Tree supplies!
Watch $1 Toddler Holiday Activity Ideas | Low Mess, Indoor, At Home, Dollar Tree Hacks Video
$1 Indoor Holiday Activities For Toddlers
Who doesn't love a good matching game? In the video above and in this post I share tips for creating this winter themed toddler activity that is actually a ton of fun for the whole family! Plus ways to adapt it for younger babies and older kids. Don't forget to download the printable Winter Memory Cards PDF here!
This is a fabulous fine motor activity for babies and toddlers! You can make it more challenging for older toddlers or preschoolers by having them not touch the pom poms with their hands, and instead only using tweezers! Either way, as you can see from the video above, my 2 year old had a BLAST doing this winter themed activity! Check out the full holiday fine motor activity for toddlers here!
Decorate the Gingerbread Man
At the Dollar Tree they have a felt Gingerbread Man cut out/craft with all the little felt pieces to decorate it.
I immediately added it to my cart as it reminded me of the Halloween Mummy Matching Body Parts Activity my toddler loved SO much during Halloween, but this was even less work! #winning!
And just like the mummy activity, my daughter LOVED sticking the felt pieces on and decorating the Gingerbread Man. She also loves walking around with these types of pieces and bringing the activity all over the house.
I just let her stick the felt pieces on; no gluing or sewing. This way we can constantly reset/move them.
Holiday Ornament Sorting
I take NO credit for this idea! My toddler actually came up with this little Christmas winter themed activity all on her own! When I was setting up the Montessori Fall Smelling Jars Activity, she took some of the empty Dixie Cups and wedged them into her Pikler Triangle then starting sorting a basket of jingle bells, mini ornaments, and felt balls we had in her playroom.
I was SO impressed. She literally played with this for DAYS until I put the cups away. The set up reminded me of a carnival ring toss game, so naturally I modeled tossing the ornaments into the cups for her. Which she played around with a bit too. But ultimately she was really just into sorting them. I'm a big fan of letting kids create their own games/experiences so I really just sat back and observed her, unless she handed me an ornament, in which case I'd toss it of course!
Holiday Themed Sensory Bin
You can honestly create a holiday themed sensory bin using whatever you have on hand.
Some ideas for the base: beans, rice, or other dried food products; OR some of the shredded red or green Christmas gift filling paper you can find at the Dollar tree; OR some of the faux snow from the Dollar Tree or sand.
Once you have a base, add in some other fun holiday themed goodies. I used jingle bells, mini ornaments, and bows since it's what I had on hand.
Give your toddler a couple more containers, scoopers, etc. and just let them explore.
Muffin Tin Sorting
I shared a non winter themed version of this activity for toddlers in my 7 At Home Toddler Activities With Household Items You Already Own post but thought it deserved a re-mention here as my daughter literally goes and pulls out the muffin tins from our cabinets and sets this up for herself ALL the time still.
If you couldn't tell by now, we kind of just had a couple of baskets full of ornaments, jingle bells, and bows in her playroom so she naturally took those and the muffin tin to play with scooping, sorting, arranging, etc.
I LOVE the independence these indoor activities for toddlers offer since they can literally set them up themselves – and they take under 5 minutes for parents to set up and are a very easy clean up.
Decorate Felt Tree With Bows
At the Dollar Tree, they also had a felt Christmas tree form in the holiday craft section. I decided to pick one up for my toddler. You can literally give this to your toddler as is, much like the Gingerbread Man activity. Or you can put a little spin on it and give them some mini bows with the sticker peeled off and let them decorate their tree using those. Either way, it was a total hit!
P.S. I plan to use this felt tree in a Dollar Tree Christmas DIY next year, so definitely pick a few of these up if you love easy holiday crafts and are subscribed to my channel!
Decorate Mini Table Top Tree
It's no secret I LOVE the Dollar Tree Mini Table Top Trees! I shared: Dollar Tree Mini Christmas Tree DIY: 3 Tabletop Tree Hacks You Need!
This was a great way to entertain my 2 year old indoors this Christmas too! I gave her one of the trees I made and some of the mini ornaments we've been using for these activities, and let her decorate her own tree. She absolutely LOVED this. And it works some great fine motor skills too!