a baby and a toddler playing together on a toki mats play mat

Sibling Activities for Babies and Toddlers to Do Together

March 27, 2023

The introduction of a second child into your family is a big change for everyone, but especially for your firstborn. Up until now, they’ve been the center of your universe without having to share your attention with anyone else. A new sibling not only turns their world upside down, it also means that playtime with Mom isn’t as readily available as it used to be. This sudden change is hard on everyone, but the good news is that as your younger child grows and becomes more independent, they become a forever playmate for your little one. Although it’s important to try and find quality time for each of your children, letting them do activities together is a great way to fill their cup and bond with each other. Here are 7 sibling activities that your baby and toddler can do together both indoors and outdoors:

Do finger painting

Finger painting is one of those activities that everyone, both young and old, can find joy in. Not only is it a satisfying sensory experience to feel paint sliding on paper beneath your fingertips, it’s a great creative outlet for all ages. While your toddler can do just fine with washable finger paint, you might feel more comfortable just using all-natural, taste-safe finger paint. Babies love to mouth everything because that’s how they take in information and learn about sensory qualities. To be on the safe side, buy a food-safe finger paint mix or make your own with corn starch, water, and liquid food coloring. Using a finger painting paper pad allows the perfect amount of slip for little fingers to paint easily, while a waterproof mat underneath makes cleanup a breeze.

a baby and a toddler playing together on a toki mats play mat

Make play dough

Whether you’re stuck at home on a rainy day or just looking for an activity to involve both your kids, making play dough is one of the easiest, most entertaining activities from beginning to end. Chances are, the ingredients to make taste-safe playdough are right in your own kitchen pantry! Have your toddler help you make a mixture of all-purpose flour, water, cream of tartar, salt, vegetable oil, and food coloring, and knead the batches of dough until it comes together. Then, your baby can join in the fun when it’s time to play with the playdough creations! For easy cleanup, have your little ones play at the table in their high chair and booster seat, or on their vegan leather Toki mat.

At-home storytime

If your local library offers storytime for kids, this is a fun way to get them interested in reading, and also a way to teach them how to utilize community resources. However, if you’re a working parent, making library storytime hours isn’t always feasible. Instead, you can recreate the experience right at home with a selection of age-appropriate books and a soft, comfortable  surface on the floor, like a Toki mat, for everyone to sit on. You can also let your toddler lead storytime with their favorite board books that they know cover to cover, and have them “read” the books to the baby.

Explore sensory play

When it comes to sensory play, the options are endless. In hot weather, an outside water table can provide endless hours of fun for your children. You can also put ice cubes with a little bit of water inside a plastic container and let both your baby and toddler explore with supervision. Add in a few other household items, like a ladle or cup, and the activity becomes even more fun! For an extra engaging activity, place some of your toddler’s plastic figurines in water, freeze the whole thing, then give your kids a squirt bottle to melt the ice and “rescue” the toys!

Blow bubbles

It is a fact that children of all ages love bubbles (actually, so do adults), and a bubble toy is something both your baby and toddler can easily enjoy together. If you don’t want the sticky residue getting on your floor or furniture, you can head outside with your portable Toki mat and let both kids play with the bubbles! If your toddler knows how to use the bubble wand, have them blow bubbles for their younger sibling to catch. The play mat provides a safe, comfortable surface for your baby to sit or crawl, and is also easy to clean when you’re done playing!

Create an obstacle course

If your baby is a little older and mobile, setting up an obstacle course for your baby and toddler is a fun, easy way to get both kids moving and playing. Use indoor items like your Toki mat, play tunnel, Nugget, Pikler Triangle, Toki play cubes, or slide to configure a course in your living room or playroom that your little ones can crawl through and climb over. Encourage your toddler to help their sibling through the course so they can do it together, and offer fun incentives at the finish line, like snacks or small toys.

toddler playing with toki mats play mat and play cubes

Picnic at the park

When in doubt, head outside. The outdoors are always a great way for your toddler to burn off energy and for your baby to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the world. Being outside is a great learning experience for kids of all ages, and helps everyone—including you—get a mood boost! If your local park has a grassy area, pack plenty of snacks and a spacious picnic blanket (ours is made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and has a water-repellent coating to protect you from damp ground), and head over for a family picnic.

Sibling Activities for Babies and Toddlers to Do Together

About the Author: Alice

Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV.

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