If you’re a parent to a toddler, you’ll know all too well that these bundles of energy are tricky customers when it comes to keeping them entertained. They’re at the age when they are just starting to gain autonomy and control over their little bodies, putting everything within arm’s reach into their mouth and exploring every nook and cranny of your home.
They want to be a part of the action, even when you’re playing real money online pokies, but have a tough time understanding direction and an even harder time paying attention for longer than a few minutes.
The Developmental Importance of Play
Active and creative play is essential for your little one as it exposes them to learning opportunities that not only bring a smile to their face but also encourage the mastery of fine motor skills, problem solving and understanding the world around them. Engaging your toddler in play will also encourage the development of various social, emotional and intellectual skills, as well as boosting their confidence and creativity.
Now you might be thinking that you need to invest in a slew of educational toys specifically designed with developmental outcomes in mind. This however does not need to be the case. While useful, these kinds of toys can cost a pretty penny and your toddler will soon outgrow them.
Often times, the simplest activities are the ones that toddlers take a fancy to the most. When it comes to toddlers’ simple is best and you can usually find everything you need for a fun activity right at home!
Below you’ll find a list of cheap and cheerful activities you can do with your toddler:
- Magic Bottles: Have your toddler fill empty transparent bottles or jars with beads, shells, glitter or coloured sand. Make sure the bottom third of the bottle is filled with the item of their choice before covering the rest with water. You can help them add a few drops of food colouring to each bottle and have them watch as the water changes colour. Tightly fasten the bottle or jar and make sure that it is secure. Teach your little one how to shake the bottle and watch as the beads and glitter swirl around like colourful magic. This activity is excellent for sensory stimulation.
- Sensory Treasure Box: Use a large plastic container and fill ¾ of the way full of rice. Add small toys, ribbon, balls, pom-poms into the container and make sure they are covered completely by the rice. Have your toddler dig their hands through the rice to find the hidden treasures and pull them out one buy one.
- Egg Carton Train: You’ll need a shoelace, ribbon or long piece of string as well as an egg carton that has been cut up into individual cups. Poke or punch a hole into each side of the individual cups and have your toddler string them together with the shoelace to form a long chain. This is an excellent activity for your toddler to practice their fine motor skills.