Toddlers are bundles of pure energy, and keeping them happy and occupied is a full-time job! Dr Pixie McKenna has released two sets of activity cards packed with ideas for activities to enjoy with your baby and toddler – as a taster, here are five of her ideas for keeping toddlers busy on those loooong afternoons…
Go on a nature walk
Indoor play is fun, but it’s great to get out and explore and a wonderful way to tap into the senses! Toddlers can become observers of nature and love to interact with their surroundings. They can collect daisies, leaves, feathers or any other treasures they can find. Sometimes I hode a chocolate coin in the grass and the excitement when they discover it is incredible! Make sure they don’t touch or eat anything dangerous and wash hands thoroughly on your return.
Top tip: Make a collage with the treasures found!
Bake a cake!
If cooking skills are limited, choose something you have mastered before like a basic sponge. Get your little chef to break the eggs, cut the butter (with a butter knofe) or soft the flour. They’ll use numerical skills for ingredients and fine motor skills for moxing and pouring. Working through a recipes together shows them where food begins. They’ll learn the concept of concentration, time and patience. Lastly, let them lick the bowl!
Top tip: Safety is key. Set up ‘no-go zones’ eg hot oven, sharp knives.
Here’s a good way of putting stray buttons to use! Start with two different colour options for your toddler to sort into different colour groups, sizes and patterns. Children soon realise that things can be both alike and different. Once they have mastered two colours, add a third. Incorporate counting – the first stepping stone towards maths – foster active learning! Supervise it to avoid things going in their mouths!
Top tip: Egg boxes are great places to stash the buttons.
Shhh… it’s the library
A visit to the library is not lazy parenting, but hugely beneficial! Explain to your toddler what they should expect before you visit. As well as the fun things, they have to respect the rules of speaking quietly, walking (not running) and being patient. Listening to stories helps speech and language development and use of phonics. A toddlers will begin to understand letters even if they’re unable to read or write. Plus, the exposure to lots of different books is invaluable.
Top tip: The presence of other children helps with socialisation and play.
Tidy up time
This doesn’t sound like much fun, but it can be! It’s educational and encourages toddlers to sort things and place them in order. Communicate what needs to be done in words and actions and don’t aim for perfection. Give them a few minutes’ warning so they know to expect it and work together. Cleanign up teaches them problem-solving skills and a sense of responsibility. If a child is old enough to get a toy out, he is old enough to put it back.
Top tip: Use a timer to make it more competitive: on your marks, get set, tidy!
Dr Pixie’s Activities Your Toddler Will Love & Dr Pixie’s Activities Your Baby Will Love each contain 40 flashcards for on-the-go inspiration. Published by Igloo Books (www.igloobooks.com)
Originally posted 2017-02-22 12:19:46.