Keeping a toddler entertained can challenge even the most energetic, creative and imaginative of us.
With short attention spans and games often lasting no more than 5 minutes at a time, you might be at a loss of what to do next especially if you’re a stay at home mum.
If you feel you’ve run out of ideas to keep your little one stimulated, read on for some toddler activities that will help keep your little ones busy!
Encouragment is Key
- Playing With Play-Dough – Encourage your toddler to get creative by making shapes (you can make the dough yourself from store cupboard ingredients).
- Drawing and Painting – These are really enjoyable ways to stimulate your toddler whilst fine-tuning motor skills (washable paints and crayons are recommended, unless you want your toddler to redecorate your home).
- Making Pictures - Present your toddler with brightly coloured paper, non-toxic glue, glitter and pictures cut from magazines, and they’ll love making pictures for Daddy, Granny, Aunty Sue etc. Displaying these around the house will also give your toddler an ego-boost.
- Rocking Out – Encourage your toddler’s inner rock star by dancing around the lounge together to your favourite music, or doing the actions to nursery rhymes; your child will love you joining in.
- If your toddler seems to bit bored of their toys, rather than constantly buying new toys, which can be unsustainably expensive, find out where your local toy library is.
- Many libraries and children’s centres have a toy library facility, but if you can’t find one, why not arrange a toy swap with a group of friends or other mothers you’ve met at playgroups?
What Do They Love?
- Water – Children love playing with water so I bought my daughter some pouring cups. She loves pouring the water from cup to cup, meaning I can go and make myself a cup of tea whilst she improves her hand to eye coordination.
- Problem Solving – Toys and games that involve problem solving are a sure way to get your toddler engaged, as your little Einstein will want to rise to the challenge a particular toy presents. Jigsaws and shape sorters are perfect for this.
- Images – Your toddler will enjoy you showing them picture cards with images on (you can make your own by cutting pictures from magazines or printing images off the computer).
- Books and Libraries – Children love books so point out the dog, sky, flowers etc., and what’s happening in the story. You don’t have to go out and buy lots of books, visit your local library and let your child pick out which books they want.
- Creativity – Children have wonderful imaginations so let them be creative by giving them the opportunity to do creative play. Toy teacups and plastic food give them the opportunity to host tea parties with their teddies/dolls. Give them clothes for their soft toys and let them play dress up with them.
- 7 Boxes - A great tip passed on by a friend is to put all your toddler’s toys in seven different boxes, and let them play with one box of toys each day. By rotating your toddler’s toys, they remain fresh and exciting to your kiddo. If a toddler is surrounded by all their toys everyday, they will lose their appeal.
Outside of the Home
- Mornings and Afternoons – Getting out and about is a great way to keep your toddler busy and happy. Try to plan one morning or afternoon activity every day, as children (and adults!) get cabin fever if they stay indoors all day. Going out of the house will give you both something to look forward to and help break up your day.
- Visits – Activities outside the house toddlers love include going to the park, visiting a zoo or museum, going on playdates with other children, swimming, going to soft play areas, and local playgroups at children’s centres (visit your local council’s website to find your nearest children’s centre).
- Libraries – Libraries often host regular playgroups and singing sessions so check out what’s on at your local library.
These toddler activities will help ensure optimum entertainment for the little ones and less stress for moms.
Do you have any more ideas you want to share? Contribute by leaving a comment below!
Alice, who is based in the UK, loves talking about toddlers and helping people understand their pregnancy week by week!