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21 Best Activities For 23-Month-Olds At Home (2023)

Kingsley and Aurora playing

We understand as full-time parents ourselves that it’s not easy finding engaging activities for our twenty-three-month-olds when we’re continually trying to balance checking email, answering phone calls, and keeping our kiddos happy! This age can be especially tricky to keep occupied. They are just discovering the world around them and want to touch and explore EVERYTHING.
What you need are mess-free and affordable activities that will keep your toddler engaged in safe play, even when you have to step away for a few moments.

Be sure to also review our free activities for 23-month-olds near the end of our article.

aurora on a balance bike
Our toddler, Aurora, practicing on her balance bike.

21 Engaging Activities For 23-Month-Olds

  • 1. Explore Imaginative Play with a Tunnel & Ball Pit

    This is an excellent way to release all the pent up energy your littles are feeling stuck inside all day. The brightly colored 5 in 1 play center is relatively inexpensive for what it is and includes dozens of interchangeable combinations. This makes it a fun and engaging new toy every time your child plays. They’ll learn to crawl through tunnels, play in the ball pit, throw a basketball into the net, or use their imagination in their very own playhouse.

  • 2. Sensory Skill Play with a Bead Maze

    Perfect to help improve your twenty-three-month-olds fine motor skills as they practice pushing the beads from one end of the maze to the other. They’ll discover new shapes and bright colors as they explore this delightful toy. With two different mazes your littles senses will be delighted as they play.

  • 3. Learn the Beat with Musical Instruments

    Introduce your littles to the world of music with this engaging percussion set. Perfect for small hands learning to drum or shake a tambourine while discovering the different types of sounds and rhythms each instrument makes. It’s a great alternative to your tot’s regular music classes that have been canceled until further notice.

  • 4. Counting & Sorting Made Fun

    Your 23-month-old will explore a new world of counting, shapes, colors, and new words. With over 60 activities, they’ll happily play with the delightful farm-themed set. It includes everything from matching games, problem-solving, matching, and sorting their animal friends by color. Great to help them learn while having fun at the same time.

  • 5. Mess Free Water Play

    We know first hand that many water play activities can be very messy. With the Discovery Waterfall, it’s simple for your child to pour water from the top and watch it stream down the wall through spinners, funnels, and buckets. This will make for an exciting day of play with minimal cleanup efforts. With a doubled sided waterfall feature, it’s perfect for playing with siblings.

  • 6. Educational Sports Center for a Rainy Day

    Do your littles quickly get stir crazy being stuck inside all day? We understand how you feel! Try this not-crazy-expensive way to get their wiggles out while you get some work done. It comes with a miniature basketball hoop, soccer net, and bowling arena. The interactive basketball hoop will even teach your child letters, numbers, and shapes as they play. This will help keep them entertained until they’re able to finally venture outside.

  • 7. Counting Made Easy With Legos

    Spark your child’s imagination with their first Lego Duplo set (or add to your collection). They’ll learn to count and recognize their numbers for the first time with their very own train-themed lego blocks. Building the train will keep them occupied as they practice their fine motor skills as they practice stacking the blocks and pulling them apart with their hands.

  • 8. Discover New Words with an Activity Cube

    With five sides of play to capture their attention, this is a no brainer. It comes with 75+ songs, sounds, phrases, and piano keys. Your 23-month old will be introduced to numbers, colors, and animals. They’ll use their fine motor skills to turn the page, twist the spinner, and use hand-eye-coordination as they try to fit each colorful block into the shape sorter. It’s a great screen-free entertainment option when you need to sneak away for a conference call.

  • 9. Meet New Nature Friends With a Flap Book

    My favorite part of the day is snuggling up with my little ones to read a book before nap time. This adorable collection of four flap books will introduce your child to peekaboo and refine their motor skills as they turn each page. They’ll be introduced to their new animal friends on the farm, pond, and garden and be encouraged to learn their names.

  • 10. Take a Spin Indoors

    If you’re looking for a lightweight toy that can be used both indoors and outdoors, this is a great option. Your toddler can use it at any time of the year, making it easy to get your money’s worth. It’s a great way to help them practice balance and coordination, and they can control how fast they twirl around in circles. A perfect form of entertainment to keep them occupied when they’re stuck inside all day.

  • 11. Screen-Free Time With Building Blocks

    This is an exciting way for your child to use their imagination. They’ll learn to stack the soft blocks on top of each other while playing. Each one has pictures of animals, numbers, and other objects to teach your toddler new words while they’re having fun. The blocks are easy to grasp and are made for tiny hands to pick up and move from place to place. A screen-free activity that will keep them entertained and having fun.

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  • 12. Enjoy Playtime with Non-Toxic Car Ramp

    This toy is BPA free and stained with non-toxic paint. The cars are easy to pick up and place on top of the track. Your kiddos will giggle and laugh as they watch each car weave back and forth until it hits the ground. They’ll do it over and over again, keeping them happy for an extended amount of time.

  • 13. Practice Fine-Motor Skills with a Montessori Busy Board

    This is one of our family’s favorite screen-free activities. The sensory board is filled with activities to improve your twenty-three-month-old’s fine-motor-skills and overall development. They will learn how to zip, snap, tie, spin, and switch the button on and off. It’s an inexpensive educational toy that is easily transportable. Perfect for entertaining your tot in the car.

  • 14. Non-Toxic Matching Game Play

    An excellent activity to help your toddler practice using their fine motor skills as they pick up each bee with tweezers and match it to the same colored hive. They will learn their colors as they play. A great introduction to matching that will spark their interest and curiosity. They are made with non-toxic and eco-friendly wood giving you peace of mind as your child plays.

  • 15. Practice ABC’s by Playing I Spy

    This is an excellent game to keep your kiddo entertained while learning their ABC’s. They’ll be encouraged to spot a variety of items, including food, furniture, animals, and objects. As they play, they’ll learn new words along the way. With 18 puzzles, your child will be memorized with their new toy.

  • 16. Interactive Reading with LeapFrog

    If you don’t want your children to use electronics at a young age, you’re not alone. My husband and I have found this Leapfrog storybook to be a great compromise. Each page of the book has a variety of objects that, when touched, an interactive voice says the name of each one and plays songs too. It makes it simple for your kiddos to learn new words. As a bonus, there is a setting for Spanish words, so it’s easy to introduce a second language when you’re busy multitasking with work.

  • 17. Play with a Bright Light Bowling Set

    This miniature-sized game is a fun way to keep your 23-month-old entertained while playing indoors. The bowling ball is lightweight and easy to grip. When rolling down the lane, it lights up with bright, vibrant colors to keep your tot wanting to play again and again. Plus, they’ll learn to stay balanced and as they roll the ball down their makeshift lane.

  • 18. Bath Time Fun with Toys

    Does bath time ever feel like a struggle at your house? We’re here to help! These adorable bath toys will keep your tots entertained in the tub as they learn to scoop and pour water from the cups. They’ll use their imagination to play with the character shaped squirt toys. Your kiddos will be begging for bath time once they start playing with these adorable bath toys.

  • 19. Play Pretend with a Tool Set

    Mamas, if you’re struggling to find time to get any work done, this is a great way to keep your littles entertained. They’ll love to play with their new workbench and tools. With a variety of activities, they’ll happily play on their own as they learn to put shapes into the matching holes and sing along as they learn numbers one-five.

  • 20. Spark the Imagination with a Picnic

    This inexpensive playset will keep your child engaged as they busily play with their new pretend picnic basket. It’s perfect for teaching them the names of common foods they eat and learn to say please and thank you. Try bringing it along to the kitchen when you’re preparing dinner to keep them distracted and to feel like they’re working right alongside you.

  • 21. Learn to Match With Puzzles

    It can be a challenge finding engaging educational toys for your toddler. These two-piece puzzles are a great way for them to enjoy learning and having fun. With a variety of different categories to choose from you can pick one you know your child will love. They are a budget-friendly way to keep your kiddos happy while learning indoors.

7 Free Activities for Twenty-Three-Month-Olds

  • 1. Play Hide-and-Seek With Toys

    This is an excellent way to capture your 23-month-olds attention. Start by helping them to hide a toy, and then you try and find it, showing them how the game is played. Switch up the roles by having them try and find a toy that you hide. Guide your kiddo in their search by using words like “warmer” or “colder” that encourage them along on their search.

  • 2. Work Together to Roll a Ball

    Help your child improve their motor skills by learning to roll a ball back and forth to each other. Try increasing the distance between you once they’ve got the hang of it. They’ll be learning something new while having fun. This is an excellent activity for your children to play together when you need to step away for a few minutes.

  • 3. Pretend Play with Dress Up

    A great activity to spark your child’s imagination and learn the art of play pretend. Use old clothes or Halloween costumes and make it an activity other siblings can join in on. Your littles will be delighted to have someone to play with and learn how to share in the process.

  • 4. Counting with Bubbles

    If you have a bottle of bubbles lying around the house, this is a great activity to entertain your littles. Encourage them to pop each bubble as it falls to the floor. Have them count each one that they pop for a learning opportunity while they have fun. It’s a fun and engaging indoor activity when going outside isn’t an option.

  • 5. Learn Colors by Sorting Toys

    This is a great way to get double use out of your toddler’s toys. Teach them to sort each one, including wooden blocks, cars, and balls by color. Start with two or three objects in each pile to help them understand what each color looks like and encourage them along as they sort.

  • 6. Get Wiggles Out with a Dance Party

    Help your twenty-three-month-old let out all their wiggles and have fun dancing to their favorite songs. At first, they may keep their movements small, but as they go along, they’ll gain the confidence to jump, twirl and spin as they listen to “Baby Shark,” “Old Mcdonald,” or another one of their favorite children’s songs.

  • 7. Play Pretend in the Kitchen

    Spark your child’s interest by letting them be a part of meal prep. Let them observe as you stir with a spoon, pour the contents of a box into a bowl, or heat something in the microwave. This will help ignite their imagination as they use their own creativity to play pretend.


It can be overwhelming to find fun, engaging activities to keep your littles entertained while you try to find a balance between work and family. With inspiration from this wide array of activities, you’ll be able to teach your child to learn and grow while being able to step away for a conference call or send a quick email while they play.