Outside Activities for Two Year Olds

The great outdoors can be the best classroom of all.  

Are you looking fun activities to do with your two-year-old at home? Our team of early childhood curriculum experts thoughtfully curated these activities from our proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum to help your family Learn On® at home. Whether it’s during mealtime, playtime, clean up time, bath time or bedtime – our at-home curriculum is built so you can easily integrate learning opportunities in seamless, easy and fun ways.

Water Music

Level of instruction: Detailed

When: Mealtime, Outdoors, Playtime

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

Participants: One-on-one

Learning Domain: Cognitive Development

Learning Standards: Introduction to Physical Science, Encourages exploration and discovery, Develops thinking and reasoning skills

Materials: Four glasses, water, food coloring, spoons

Instructions

Pour water in each glass at a different level. Add a few drops of food coloring in each glass and stir. Invite your child to identify what color the water is. Encourage your child to discover that the water levels are different in each glass. Use the spoon to gently hit each glass side and invite your child to listen to the sounds each glass makes. Explain to your child that each glass makes a different sound. The glass with more water makes a lower sound, and the glass with a little water makes a higher sound. Invite your child to use the spoon to make music, play different beats, tempos, and rhythms.

Observe your child exploring the glasses filled with water. Does your child recognize the different sounds each glass makes?


Sticky Spider Web


Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Outdoor, Playtime

Time recommendation: 30 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Child-led, Siblings

Learning Domain: Creative Arts

Learning Standards:
Thinking and reasoning skills, Gross and fine motor development

Materials: Packaging or duct tape, tissue paper

Instructions

Place tape in a web-shaped pattern in a large area of your home or outdoors. Keep the adhesive side facing toward where the activity will take place. Invite your child to help crumple tissue paper into several small ball shapes. Invite him or her to feel the “sticky web” gently. Give your child a tissue ball and invite him or her to throw it on the web.

Observe to see if your child uses his or her sense of touch to explore the “sticky web.” Does your child throw the tissue ball on the web? Does your child describe how it feels?


Cloud Dough


Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Outdoor, Mealtime

Time recommendation: 20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Cognitive Development

Learning Standards:
Physical science, Fine motor development

Materials: Flour, oil, mixing bowl, spoon measuring cups

Instructions

Invite your child to help make cloud dough. You may need to adjust the amounts to get the right consistency. Blend eight parts flour to one part oil (i.e., 8 cups flour to 1 cup oil, or 4 cups flour to 1/2 cup oil). Encourage your child to feel and describe the dry ingredient (flour) and the wet ingredient (oil) before you mix the two. Allow your child to help knead the dough with his or her hands. Discuss how the resulting mixture might feel like a cloud, and encourage your child to play with and manipulate the dough.

Observe your child mixing the ingredients and following 1-2 step directions.


Chalk People

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Outdoor, Playtime

Time recommendation: 20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Child-led, Siblings

Learning Domain: Creative Arts

Learning Standards:
Body awareness, Fine motor development

Materials: Sidewalk chalk

Instructions

Invite your child to lay on a concrete area while you trace the outline of his or her body with sidewalk chalk. Encourage your child to use chalk to draw his or her features, such as eyes, ears, mouth, nose, clothes, etc. Invite your family members to join in on the fun!

Does your child draw two eyes, a mouth, and a nose? Does your child recognize and identify different body parts?


Texture Building


Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Outdoor

Time recommendation: 20 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Child-led

Learning Domain: STEM

Learning Standards: Physical science, Thinking and reasoning skills

Materials:

Instructions

A variety of materials with different textures, glue or tape

Invite your child to explore the materials collected. Ask him or her how the items feel. Encourage your child to build a structure of his or her choice using all of the materials. Take pictures of your child and his or her completed structures to share with your classroom teacher.

Observe your child using textured materials to build a structure. Does your child use some or all of the materials when making his or her structure?

Looking for more activities for you and your two-year-old?

  • Playtime: Make sure your child’s time spent playing is filled with opportunities to learn.
  • Quiet time: Encouraging low-key activities during quiet time helps children develop independent play skills.
  • Bath and Bedtime: End your child’s day by integrating learning into their bedtime routine.

Or return to the Life Essentials® At Home page to find activities to explore with other age groups.