5 Things To Do With a Toddler
These activities are aimed for around a 2 year old toddler, but you will find they are suitable for a wider age range than that, both younger and older depending on the child.
1. Take a Walk Outside
Go for a walk outside whatever the weather or season, dress appropriately and have no pressure of having to go anywhere for a certain time etc. You are just going to get some fresh air, explore and notice what's around you.
If its raining dress up in wellies, and one of those toddler all in one waterproof suits are fab if you have one, and see how many puddles you can find to splash in, getting wet is part of the fun !!
In the autumn crunching, scrunching and jumping through the leaves, finding autumn treasure of different coloured leaves, acorns, conkers, sycamore 'helicopters', blackberries etc..
Go on a hunt for beasties, see what you can see if you get low down and look, spiders, woodlice, beetles, ladybirds, snails, caterpillars to name a few.
If there is a building site near by, take a trip a safe distance away to spend time just watch all the diggers, and trucks at work
What else is near to you that you could visit, a park, ducks, the beach, shops, fire/ambulnce/police station to see the "neenaas", building site, train station, bus station or busy bus stop, field with horses, sheep or cows. Wherever you are living, country, city or town you can probably think of places you could go to, that you normally take for granted but a 2 year old would find very interesting. Take the time out to go and visit.
Find a big box and let them play with it, as easy as that. Either you can guide the play, pretend its something else like a bus, truck, boat, aeroplane etc. You can even decorate the box with drawn or stuck on wheels, or mast whatever is appropriate. You can do a sing along, for example pretend the box is a boat and sing row row row your boat, with extra verses that are always a favourite.
Row row row your boat,
Gently down the stream,
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to scream
Row row row your boat
Gently to the shore
If you see a lion there
Don't forget to roar
Rock rock rock your boat
gently to and fro
merrily merrily merrily merrily
Into the water we go
Or you can just encourage creative play by leaving the box with them and let them do whatever they want. You'll be surprised how many things you can do with a box. I've known it to be a hat, a den complete with cushions which then housed a tea party, a horse that got dragged round the room, and lots more as well. Just watch them play and enjoy.
3. Involve them in household activities
It does take longer than whizzing round and doing it yourself, but will be a lot more fun and rewarding if you sometimes do these things together.
If you are going to be doing the cleaning, you hoover while they get to dust.
Let them help with the washing, sorting things into piles, loading the washing machine, passing the clothes from the washing basket to peg up, if you have a line that goes down low enough, or a little step they can help peg things on and off
Helping with the washing up, obviously cooler water and non precious breakables, they will love playing with the water and bubbles.
Strip your child down to their nappy or cover them with one of those protective aprons, provide them with a paintbrush and a pot or two of different paints, some paper and let them loose to be creative !!! Prepare for it to get messy !!! At this age it normally involves hand or body painting at some point so be prepared for a bath after.
5. Dancing or moving around to music.
Try putting on different types of music and see how your child reacts. Try as much variety as possible to give them a wide experience, you could try different world music from different cultures to your own. Some children like something with a strong beat or drumming, some prefer classical music, or music that's just instrumental or a tune with vocals. You could try traditional children's music and rhymes too. There is so much choice.
With the dancing or moving around you can just leave them to let off steam and move around to the music however they choose, or you can encourage them to move their bodies in different ways to different music, stomping, marching, tip toeing, jumping, hopping, wiggle along like floor, crawling, turning in circles, using their hands and arms. Joining in with your child will help you let off steam too, and enable you to have fun together.