As a disclaimer: I don’t have any children. This is another scenario like the triathlon post. I know very little of the day to day life of raising small children. However, I know many of you do have little ones and you’re looking for ways to keep those little people engaged and entertained, and I want to help. So I got advice from an expert.
My sister has the sweetest little two year old girl. She’s smart, full of personality and very active. It’s exhausting keeping pace with her all day long, believe me. It’s lucky she’s so darn cute, because if she’s bored for even a second she’ll be in the pantry or the bathroom or into some other thing she shouldn’t be getting into faster than you can blink.
So, my sister and I sat down and brainstormed some ideas that will help other parents teach their toddlers important skills, keep them from getting into all the things they shouldn’t be getting into, and doesn’t include electronic devices of any kind.
Its important to add that all children learn at different paces and in different ways, and at the toddler age, it doesn’t matter when they learn their ABC’s or how to count. What’s important is that we’re giving our children opportunities to learn through play.
So here are six activities for you to do with your busy little person:
- Sing Songs
Songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes are great for toddlers because not only is it improving their verbal skills, but it’s also helping them learn body parts and it gets them moving and burning off that excess energy. Sometimes your little one is going to take a shine to a certain song and you’ll find yourself singing it more times than you’d care to, but it won’t last as long as you think it does. Your little one also doesn’t care whether you can actually sing or not, take this opportunity to sing loud and joyfully, without worrying how it sounds. You’ll have fun, I promise!
If you don’t feel like singing any more, why not turn on some upbeat music and dance around with your toddler? Music gets everyone moving, lifts moods, and it’s teaching your little person important gross motor skills!
- Water Play
In hot weather, my sister will just fill up a bunch of buckets with water and put them on the back deck, pop her daughter into a swim suit and let her go wild. Now, we can’t do this outside for six months out of the year, because we live in the Frozen North. If you’re like us and you’re subject to the whims of the weather, a bathtub works just as well on chilly days. Water play helps with fine motor skills, teaches your child about buoyancy and other science related things (like water is wet), and being outside helps them to get extra Vitamin D.
- Story Time
Read your kids books! Tell your own stories! Draw pictures and tell stories as you draw! They don’t have to be bestseller stories. Reading and telling stories to your kids will help them with verbal skills, and help them develop an imagination that will be helpful to them throughout their lives!
- Imaginative Play
Playing dress up, playing with dolls and other toys, building forts and so forth help your toddler to develop that imagination we were talking about, along with gross motor and verbal skills.
- Go For Walks
Go to the local playground, or go for a nature walk. Get outside and explore! Sometimes when you’re having a tough day and no one’s happy, you just need to get outside and breathe some fresh air. Don’t go stir crazy. Climb in a jungle gym or walk in a shady walking path. It’ll be just the reset you need!
So if you’re running out of ideas on how to keep your little person occupied and out of trouble, try one of these six ideas before resorting to Netflix. Get those little ones moving! Before you know it, it’ll be nap time and they’ll be all tuckered out and ready to snooze.
Happy Parenting, friends.