20+ fun five-minute activities for toddlers

Playing dress-up is always popular with my little one

When you’re a parent every minute is precious and so the very last thing we want to be doing is wasting any of our time.

Of all the things that can potentially drain away our valuable time, is there anything more annoying and downright deplorable than people reaching out to try and hook us into a scam?

It might be a phone call, a text, an email or letter. There’s a whole range of ways that fraudsters try to pull the wool over our eyes.
However they try to scam you, it all boils down to one thing. Your money.

So how can you protect it? I love the simple but effective message from Take Five – a national campaign offering consumers advice on how to avoid fraud.

Their advice is that when you think something might be dodgy, stop Take Five to think about it and remember My Money? My Info? I don’t think so! rather than be pressured into handing over your personal or financial information.

By taking that bit of extra time, we can save ourselves a lot of heartache and trouble in the long run. We can also take back the time the fraudsters want to steal from us, and use it doing stuff we love instead.

So with that message in mind, I thought I would share with you my ideas for cheap and fun activities with my toddler that can be done in just five minutes! There’s some extra advice on beating fraud at the end of this post.


1. Have a race

Go outside into the garden or park and challenge your child to a race to the nearest tree and back again.

2. Play hide-and-seek

All children love this classic!

3. Have a dance party

Turn on your favourite tunes and bounce around the living room to the music. It’s great exercise too!

4. Sing nursery rhymes

Grab some torches and turn out the lights then wave them about in time to the music to make this sing-along extra fun.

5. Read a book

Our favourites for a quick read are Mog, The Gruffalo and Elmer.

6. Bang out a rhythm

Get out some saucepans and wooden spoons then start your very own band.

7. Have a Lego or blocks challenge

See who can build the tallest tower of Lego bricks or wooden blocks in just five minutes.

8. Play I Spy

You can do this one outdoors or indoors. Use your imagination. It’s a brilliant game for teaching toddlers new vocabulary as well.

9. Get creative with rubbish

Gather old toilet rolls and cereal boxes, then stick them together to create a telescope or a robot, or whatever your toddler can think up.

10. Make simple pizzas

Get some ciabatta bread, slice it in half and let your child top it with whatever range of toppings they fancy. Try ham, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, peppers and mushrooms.

Then pop it under the grill and it’s cooked in just eight minutes.

11. Play a game of find and point

Name things in the room and get your child to find and touch them. It could be the front door, fridge freezer, door handle or flowers.

This should get them racing around the room.

12. Draw self-portraits

Get out some pens and paper then do a quick drawing of each other.

13. Build a den

Get some pillows and a throw and create a cosy hideaway behind the sofa.

14. Play tag

This is best played outdoors with lots of space for running!

15. Go on a bug hunt

Take your child outside into the garden and lift up a rock or a brick. Let them see the creepy crawlies that are living underneath.

16. Blow bubbles

Children love to watch and give it a try themselves. Challenge your child to count the bubbles and to see how many they can pop before they hit the ground.

17. Pasta play

Get a piece of string or ribbon and help your child to thread bits of penne pasta onto it. Extend the game by encouraging them to paint the pasta as well.

18. Sock puppets

Hold an impromptu puppet show with your socks.

19. Noisy game

Call out animal names and encourage your child to make the noise of that animal in return.

20. Make a play dough man

Get some play dough and create a quick sculpture.

21. Dress up

Get your child’s favourite costume and play pretend. My daughter loves her Chase from Paw Patrol outfit!

So next time you’re asked for personal information, take five and remember the following advice from Take Five:
1 Requests to move money: A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
2 Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
3 Personal information: Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

For more practical advice about handling fraudulent approaches, check out this post.

Have you been a victim of fraud or experienced a fraudulent approach? How did you handle it?  Plus I would love to hear what you love to do when you have a spare five minutes, either on your own or with your kids. Please tell me about your experiences either in the comments below or by tweeting me! Use  #TakeFiveTuesday to join in the conversation. 





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20 fun five-minute activities for toddlers

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  1. January 24, 2018 / 8:21 am

    These are some great activities listed her. I’ve done a blog post not so long ago about nurturing your child’s natural curiosity and some of these activities listed by you will definitely spark that. Thanks for sharing.#fortheloveofBLOG

    • January 25, 2018 / 10:23 am

      Thanks lovely, must check out your post- always looking for new ideas x

  2. January 24, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Ahh I love all of these ideas for fun things to do with a toddler. God knows my little man can only concentrate on one activity for a maximum of two minutes before he’s looking for something else to do!


    • January 25, 2018 / 10:24 am

      Haha, yes they do tend to lurch from one thing to the next don’t they! X

  3. January 24, 2018 / 11:18 am

    Fantastic list, great ideas! We love all sorts of pretend play, because my boy just reached the age (bit delayed) when he started to like it. # fortheloveofbog

  4. January 24, 2018 / 11:24 am

    So many great ideas. I like the simplicity of the take five campaign too. Hopefully it will help stop people becoming a victim. #fortheloveofblog

    • January 25, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Thanks, yes it’s such an important message x

  5. January 24, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    My daughter’s attention span often doesn’t last much longer than 5 minutes anyway, so these are great ideas! #fortheloveofblog

  6. January 24, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    These are some great ideas, some of them Ben already loves to do… he loves being chased and then decides to turn around and get me half way through me getting him and he giggles so much like he’s been super clever!!! His interest in books is also ridiculous… he even loves to read car brochures haha! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • January 25, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Aw that’s so sweet! Love that he’s into car brochures, that’s cute xx

  7. Jenny Curtis
    January 24, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    Great activity ideas for my daughter here! I’m always super suspicious of any kind of approach from companies and usually ignore everything- I check my bank balance regularly and know that the bank call if anything suspicious is flagged up. Some scams are pretty elaborate now though!

    • January 25, 2018 / 10:27 am

      Yes they really are! I’ve been shocked at some of the stories I’ve heard through the campaign. Sounds like you’re very vigilant. X

  8. January 24, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    So many great ideas here! Particularly love the bubbles idea! They always keep little ones happy don’t they? #fortheloveofblog

  9. January 24, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    I used to let my little “organize” the pan cabinet. It would most often turn into banging with spoons but it was fun! #fortheloveofBlog

    • January 25, 2018 / 10:29 am

      That’s brilliant, they do love pulling everything out onto the floor don’t they? Haha x

  10. January 24, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Some great ideas there 🙂 Watching them discover things for the first time is a wonderful thing 🙂 #fortheloveoftheblog

  11. January 24, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    There’s a lot you can do with a little in five minutes but also by taking five for yourself you can also keep yourself protected against fraud calamity too!

  12. January 24, 2018 / 8:43 pm

    I love this! My little one is about to hit 14 months and she gets bored with us pretty quickly so this is a great reminder of all we can do around the house. Thanks for sharing! #fortheloveofblog

  13. January 24, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Some great ideas here!
    I’ve had some shocking phishing emails over the years. The ones for bank accounts I definitely don’t have with weird looking send addresses for example! It’s disgraceful. #fortheloveofblog

  14. January 24, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    Some lovely ideas and good fraud advice #fortheloveofblog

  15. January 24, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Pasta play- I never thought of this. My little ones loves painting everything. We love messing with food colouring, flour and water too. Messy!! #fortheloveBLOG

  16. January 24, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    Some amazing ideas here Vicky, I am book marking these for days when I need inspiration! The message behind this post is so important, I am so busy I feel like it would be so easy for me to fall victim! x

  17. January 24, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    This is such an important campaign, I know I’m so guilty of just not thinking when I’m called out of the blue. Loving these ideas – Emma is a bit fan of drawing mummy and daddy’s portraits but we need to try a dance party soon! Xx

  18. January 24, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    Gah! Your pictures are stunning! I love the idea of taking five, I haven’t heard of that in this context. In safety we have a take five and we use it before doing any new task, it’s time that we can use to make sure we have the right training, personal protective equipment, and safety tools for the job. I have known so many people who have gotten scammed, and it always breaks my heart. #fortheloveofblogs

  19. January 25, 2018 / 12:20 am

    Wow! So many fantastic ideas! This is great! I will definitely put this list aside as I will probably need some inspiration when I ran out of ideas! I agree that this campaign is one to support! I hope we can get more people aware of the type of fraud that are happening at the moment so we can stop them! Love your photos btw, especially the one of you and your little one reading a book! 🙂 x

  20. January 25, 2018 / 3:13 am

    Great ideas. My kids love races. We usually do several every day. I figure it’s a good way for them to burn off excess energy before bedtime. 😀

  21. January 25, 2018 / 9:30 am

    A long list – useful as I find their attention span only lasts a few minutes hehe #fortheloveofBLOG

  22. January 25, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    Perfect timing! I’ve just started looking into activities to keep my daughter occupied. Some really great ides. #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. January 25, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    Great list!! I’ve got Chae at home too xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  24. January 25, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Loads of good ideas here – sometimes I get a bit stuck for what to do in that time after I get home and before the kids go up to get ready for bed – we do lots of dancing etc but I may get the bubbles out tonight. It certainly helps when the weather’s better and we can get out in the garden. xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. January 25, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Great ideas and advice! Bubbles are a massive hit in our house. #fortheloveofBLOG

  26. January 25, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    Wishing I had this list to hand when I had toddlers. Still very sad that with my younger two I was in a post-natal depression state which ruled out any joyful parenting or fun activities #fortheloveofblog

  27. January 25, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    These are fantastic ideas! #fortheloveofBLOG

  28. January 26, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    These are fab ideas! I love that Chase dress up! #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. January 26, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    My daughter is 8 months old and we already get out the pots, pans and wooden spoons! 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  30. January 26, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    These kids activities are a far better way in which to use our time instead of listening to the horrid fraudsters. #bigpinklink

  31. aliduke79hotmailcom
    January 27, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    It is scary how many scams there are to defraud you these days. Great ideas here, my daughter is 12 and I am sure I could adapt many of these to do things with her.

  32. January 28, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    Some fantastic ideas here. I di the bug hunt awhile ago and Fidget & Little Man ran a mile!
    Great post.

  33. January 28, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Great ideas! We love to go on a bug hunt, the kids love getting their magnifying glasses out and hunting out worms especially! Thank you for joining us at #bigpinklink

  34. January 28, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Some great ideas here! Mine love playing hide and seek! #ForTheLoveofBlog

  35. lukeosaurusandme
    January 30, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    So many great ideas here. We play I-Spy on the way to school…we’ve done it with “something the colour…green” and now that he is in Year R and starting to learn his words, we are doing “something beginning with c” and choosing simple words like ‘car’. It’s a fin way of getting that little bit of extra learning in 😉 #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  36. January 31, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    great ideas 🙂 we like making play-dough pizzas but i like the idea of actually making real ones haha 🙂 they are always fun! thanks for joining #KCACOLS – hope you can join again soon!

  37. January 31, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    Ah what fab ideas! Perfect things for me to do with my toddler. #KCACOLS

  38. February 1, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    These are great ideas! We love to play hide and seek or do a bit of junk modelling! Thanks so much for linking up to #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time 🙂

  39. February 1, 2018 / 3:35 pm

    No scammers will get info out of me by phone – I don’t even particularly like answering the phone! I can see how some fall into the trap of giving out information though, especially with dodgy emails. #KCACOLS

  40. February 1, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Glad to see some of these are inside activities. It may never stop raining. #kcacols

  41. February 2, 2018 / 7:54 am

    So many great ideas here! We particularly like the bubbles or reading a book. I need to try making an easy pizza, plus I can have some food afterwards! Win win situation here #KCACOLS

  42. February 2, 2018 / 9:26 am

    Thank you for sharing your lovely ideas on fun things we can do with our little’s in just 5 minutes. Bubbles and making play doh figures and playing outside is what Eco enjoys most. #KCACOLS

  43. February 2, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    So many great ideas here, and I love how some of them would be really easy to play if you need to keep a toddler entertained for a few minutes while out and about. Love the idea behind this campaign too, it’s so important to take a minute to think before handing over any personal details. x #KCACOLS

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