If you have a young toddler in your life, you know how important it is to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep them occupied while you are busy around the house: cooking, cleaning or giving other children attention! And you know how short their attention span is, so the more tricks you have for a certain time, the better!
I’ll share with you ten activities that I did with my toddler, from around age 12 to 18 months. These activities require almost no preparation time AND are more or less mess free! (As with all activities for a young toddler, I do recommend you have your toddler in the same room as you so that you can keep an eye on him/her doing these activities.)
1) Large Foam Shape Sticking
Provide large craft foam shapes or pictures that are a little wet. These stick easily to a glass shower door or window. My son loved to stick it and then pull it off again over and over again!
2) Sock Holder Organizing
Throwing out the socks and putting them back into the holder seems to be fun! If you don’t have a sock organizer like this, any box with compartments will work.
3) Sponge Stacking
Stacking different colours(you can use different shapes too) of sponges have educational value, bumping it over: just plain fun!
4) Lids or Bottle Cap Fun
Frugal and fun! Provide a few different size and colour caps, and see how your toddler plays. My son liked putting a small one inside a big one, he tried to stack them too, and liked the sound it made when it was thrown onto the floor!
5) Craft Stick Posting
A few craft sticks(plain or coloured) and a container with slits in the lid for posting, is one of my toddler’s favourites, and even my 4 year old loves this activity!
An old favourite: they hide and you “find” them. This activity will take your attention away from what you are doing for a few seconds, but while busy, say making the bed, let the blanket drop over your toddler and ask: ” where are you?”, lift the blanket and be surprised!
My daughter loves books, so we have books all over the house. Time and again when it was just to quiet, suspecting the worse, I will find him quietly reading a book he found!
8) Water Play
Whilst sitting in the high chair, provide a easy-to-squeeze bottle and a plastic bowl or glass. Show him how to squeeze the bottle for the water to come out and into the bowl/glass. Great activity for fine motor muscles to develop and demonstrating reaction–upon-action concept!
9) Straws and Basket with holes
I pulled out this basket with holes from the pantry one day, added some straws, and let him figure it out by himself! He was, to say the least, very fascinated! And another activity that is great for developing those fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination!
10) Chalk Drawing Outside
While busy in the garden, provide thick chalk for your toddler(and older kids) to draw on the paving. Afterwards they could clean up their writing with water and paint brushes, making it two fun activities in one!
TEN Impromptu activities for toddlers, perfect for when you just need a few minutes to get something done!
Do check out this Farm themed busy box idea, perfect for spelling, matching and fine motor skills!
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