Active Toddler Activity Ideas


My 3-year-old son has a great deal of energy to burn (as most do). We knew very quickly we would need to have physical activities with other kids lined up (as he is very social as well). Through our city’s website, there are seasonal offerings to get involved in. It’s a huge bonus that our neighborhood is connected to the park where a lot of the activities are held!  

Thus far, we have tried soccer, t-ball and music class. 

We get a city discount for being residents as most do I believe. We have also tried swimming lessons from our local YMCA and gymnastics from a local gymnastics facility.  

Of course, every kid is different every day (moment by moment, as we moms know, too), but as far as the frequency of the classes went, the once-a-week was better for his attention span vs. the daily for a week. Not every kid will react that way but mine was very bored with the everyday, same-time opportunities. 

We have also tried swimming lessons daily for a week and weekly for a 6-week period. He seemed to do better with the weekly here as well. There are companies that have you on a monthly payment system with swimming lessons (I didn’t think this was necessary), you can take them at any local facilities or our city pool offers them via sign-up a few weeks prior during the typical summer months. I found these kids to be the most prepared and effective with teaching. Ours does private lessons or group lessons, whichever you can get into. Pricing is obviously different as well as frequency.    

A few other free and great activity options we have found include searching for local church activities. 

Whether it’s the one you attend or one you don’t, sometimes they have activities open to non-members that are free or inexpensive and family-friendly. They should have a calendar of events on their website so check those out!  

Our local library system has some wonderful programs as well. Of course, the free book rentals, but storytimes, seasonal activities and even outside playing areas are great there.  Our local libraries will also have passes to give out for different museums in the area, which is great if you want to check them out for free but don’t want to pay or commit to a membership.  

Playgrounds and/or park systems are always wonderful if the weather cooperates to burn some energy of course. When COVID was first moving through our area, I had a map of our county parks and tried to check off all that we visited trying to hit them all if interested. It was a fantastic idea during that time let me tell you!

My final idea is to check out the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. If your county is participating (I think most are), children birth to 5 years old can be signed up and mailed a free monthly book to be sent to them that is age appropriate. Just visit the website and enroll your child. It’s a wonderful program and it has been so fun to watch my son grow and get excited about receiving the book monthly now. There have been some great ones I would’ve purchased, so it’s a great selection!  

I wish you the best of luck in your exploring endeavors!  


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