COVID 19 has been keeping everyone at home more, and trying to come up with ideas on what to do with your toddler is constant during this time.
The toddler years go by so quickly. The toddler years can seem like a blur when you are trying to keep up with them every day. Staying active and busy is what they do best.
Twin Cities Kids Club is here to help with a bucket list of ideas to do with your toddler to keep you inspired with activities to do with your toddler.
Play Games Together
These games can be as simple as making a different noise each time your toddler squeezes your nose. The more simple the game is, the easier it will be for them to understand and play along with you. Try to follow your child’s lead and interests; if they seem to be disinterested in an activity, try engaging them in a different one.
- Play a game of “I spy.” Easily enjoyed indoors, outdoors, or even in the car.
- Rolling and racing toy cars. You can take it a step further and make a track if you want to add more fun.
- Build towers and knock them down. Build castles and use them for some imaginative play.
- Dress up
- Pull out some beginner board games.
- Put on a puppet show.
- Try out some different movement games.
- Create an obstacle course
- Pretend to be different animals
- Create a pillow fort
- Play a game of hide-and-seek (even if they don’t fully understand the concept of staying hidden)
- Horsey rides down the hallway
- Teach them how to play patty cake.
- Play a matching or memory game
Exploring nature can be as simple as taking your kids around your neighborhood. There are many different ways to enjoy nature with your child. Toddlers have a huge fascination with being outside and collecting natural elements such as sticks, rocks, and leaves.
- Go for a walk. This can even be done if it’s raining.
- Splash in the puddles.
- Do some kite flying.
- Plant some flowers and watch them grow.
- Watch a caterpillar become a butterfly.
- Toss some leaves
- Collect different rocks.
- Go for a family hike. (Just make sure you’re prepared. Little legs tire easily.)
- Do a nature scavenger hunt. Find different animals and plants.
- Feed some ducks at a local park.
- Search for animal tracks.
- Catch some bugs and talk about them
- Find a nice shaded area to sit and watch the wildlife
- Go bird watching
Take a Trip
Soon everything will start to open back up, and we will all find some normalcy. Taking a trip is something that could be in your future and something for you to look forward to doing with your toddler.
- Plan a trip to the zoo with safety in mind.
- Keep an eye out for when the botanical gardens plan to open up.
- If it is safe for your family, go to visit close friends or grandparents.
- Go for a drive to get out of the house and have a change of scenery.
If it is not in your plans to start taking trips any time soon, there are many online resources and virtual tours for your child to enjoy.
All Things Sensory
Sensory play is any play that includes your child’s senses: touch, sight, smell, balance movement, and hearing. Engaging in sensory play helps a child to develop a child’s ability to complete more complicated learning tasks. Sensory play is a great boredom buster for your toddler and requires minimal setup.
- Play with playdoh
- Build castles or construction sites with kinetic sand
- Fill a tub with water beads
- Set up a bin with pantry staples (rice, beans, cornmeal, etc.)
- Play in the mud or make mud pies
- Fill up a container with water, or sink, water table. Add some food coloring for some fun.
- Squeeze wet sponges.
- Create some smelling jars
- Play with some instruments
- Or simply go outside and play in the grass.
- Blow and catch bubbles
- Push strollers and carts around.
- Play outside with trikes, bikes, or different ride-on toys.
- Play catch with different sizes of balls.
- Put together peg, 3D, or small puzzles.
- Practice tumbling.
- Have them help with age-appropriate household tasks.
Songs, Rhymes, and Books
Songs, books, and nursery rhymes are an excellent way to help your toddler develop their language skills and get them started on the right track for pre-reading and learning phonics. Great rhymers will become great readers.
- Read favorite books
- Explore touch and feel books together. Talk about the different textures.
- Sing songs with one another.
- Sing some interactive songs with movement like “wheels on the bus” or “itsy bitsy spider.”
- Have random dance parties to get the wiggles out.
- Read lift the flap books to help with word associations.
Cooking together is a wonderful way to bond with your child as well as help them to practice their practical life skills. When your child is encouraged to help cook, they’re more apt to try new foods. Resulting in fewer dinner table battles over picked over veggies.
- Stirring pancake batter
- Mashing potatoes or avocados
- Making and decorating sugar cookies together
- Cracking and stirring eggs
- Washing veggies
- Fetching ingredients from the fridge or pantry.
- Cut veggies with a nylon knife
- Make peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Bake banana nut bread
Arts and Crafts
Fostering your child’s love for arts and crafts will help them learn their colors and shades. It can also help them learn to analyze and problem solve. Learning to hold different mediums such as a paintbrush will improve their fine motor skills.
- Finger painting
- Painting with a variety of sizes of paintbrushes.
- Use make a dot paint dotters.
- Take your art outside with sidewalk chalk.
- Trace hands and stencils
- Color in coloring books
- Use stickers to help with fine motor skills.
- Stamp with letter stamps to help with letter recognition.
- Build a birdhouse with popsicle sticks.
- Make a batch of slime
Keeping your toddlers entertained is crucial to enjoying your time with them. However, it can be hard to continue to come up with ideas to keep them engaged.
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