Toddler Activities, Best Activities For Toddlers
Ten Fun Activities For Toddlers That Are Easy To Do
The activities in this article are aimed at children between the ages of 1 to 3 years old. It is often very difficult to keep toddlers amused, and thinking up new fun activities for kids can be a nightmare, especially when your toddlers are running around doing all of the things that they shouldn’t be doing!
We believe that the things to do with toddlers in this article will not only keep your kids amused but will have some learning value as well. When your children participate in these activities they will be exploring their world and learning more about it a piece at a time. Some of these kids’ indoor activities have a strong learning foundation.
Safety Of Your Child
Toddlers naturally want to put things in their mouths, and there is always a danger that with some toddler activities they could harm themselves if they are unsupervised. We know that you want to get them out of your hair, but please ensure that you do not leave your kids unsupervised unless the activity is 100% safe (does this even exist?).
Toddlers Can Be Rebellious
A lot of toddlers just don’t want to be told what to do. They want to just run around causing mayhem. You need to persevere with these indoor kids activities as most toddlers will find that they are really fun once they start to do them.
You also need to bear in mind that when kids are this young their attention spans are not great so you should mix it up a bit. Introduce a small number of new activities each time. If they have a favorite then use that regularly.
Introducing New Activities To Toddlers
Your expectations are very important here. When you give a toddler something new to do then let them explore this for a while so that they can work out what it means. Show them what to do and laugh as you do it. They will be eager to follow your lead.
Try not to introduce a new activity with a specific learning plan attached to it. With kids this young it will never pan out the way that you want it to. Most toddlers will be interested in new things, and if they don’t jump on to something straight away there is no need to worry. Just make it available to them again at another time.
Be prepared for a mess! A lot of the fun activities for toddlers that we have included in this article will result in a big mess. Toddlers like to make a mess, and no matter how difficult you find this you need to just let them do it. It is all part of the fun and you just have to accept it.
The Grocery Store
This is one of the best games for toddlers and most kids love this one. You can play with toy money to make it even more fun. You can either use play groceries that you can buy from toy stores, or you can use empty boxes and food containers that your toddler can use for their store.
The store will be complete with some paper bags that they can put the goods into once they are sold. If your toddler is a little older, you can ask them to tell you how much the items cost. If they tell you that a box of cereal costs $100 then don’t correct them. Let them enjoy their store.
Get them to organise the store so that it is easy for shoppers (you) to find whatever they want to buy. This will help develop important skills. You can change places where you become the store owner and they are the customer.
When you are preparing empty boxes for this it is a good idea to seal them up with tape. You can use all sorts of things here such as empty vitamin bottles, yogurt pots that you have washed out and any other plastic container. This is a really fun activity that your toddler will want to play again and again.
Soap And Bubbles Fun
This is a sensory activity, where your toddler will shake jars with different color water and soap in them to make bubbles and then watch them settle. This will keep them amused for a long time. All you need for this are some empty plastic jars (you know those used for peanut butter), and you just fill them up halfway with water and then add some soap that you use to wash the dishes.
To add some variety you can add some food coloring to each jar to make different colors. If you really want to add sparkle, then put some glitter in the mixture. It is a good idea to seal the jars with glue before you let your toddler play with the jars, as they are bound to get thrown around and you don’t want colored water all over the place. You don’t want your toddler to drink the mixture either!
When you first present the jars to your child, show your toddler that shaking them up is what it is all about. They will quickly learn that shaking the jars makes bubbles, and they will think that this is great fun. They will also enjoy watching the bubbles disappear.
Learning To Read
If your toddler is two years or older and they are able to speak, then you can teach them how to read in a really fun way. Children of this age have brains like a sponge, and you will be amazed at how quickly they will start learning. It is a good idea to start by teaching them the sounds of the alphabet (these are called phonics) and then progress to whole words.
Get some illustrated children’s books from the store or the library, and read to your toddler every day. You will find that they will enjoy certain stories, such as those that include young children and dogs and cats. Don’t be surprised if they demand that you read them the same stories over and over.
There are videos that you can watch online that teach each letter of the alphabet. We have created a series of alphabet teaching articles and you can start with letter A here. Once they learn the sounds that the letters make, you can move on to worksheets and other fun activities.
Jim Yang, the creator of the very popular Children Learning Reading program, taught his toddlers to read when they were 2 years old. Other people have gone on to do the same with their toddlers. To find out how you can do this too, check out the Children Learning Reading Program for yourself.
Fun With Body Parts
Here is a fun game that you can play that will teach your child about their body parts as well. You can play each game for around 10 minutes and then change roles. Have some yellow sticky notes available so that you can put them on your child and they can put them on you.
A little preparation works well here. Think about the various body parts such as head, nose, ears, mouth, eyes, neck, chest, stomach, back, shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, thumb and fingers, butt, thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes.
You can start off by using a doll and call out a random body part. Ask your toddler to point out where it is on the doll. If they need help then you show them. Once you have found the right body part you can stick a yellow note on it. After you have practiced with the doll you can do this to each other.
Call out a body part and ask your toddler to point to it on their body. Once they get it right stick a yellow note on the body part. Soon they will be covered in yellow notes! Now it is their turn. They call out a body part and you have to point to where it is on your body. Make a couple of deliberate mistakes to make it even more fun!
Whip Up A Sensory Frenzy!
This is a very popular activity that your toddler will love. What you will do is whip up some soap or whipping cream in a food processor and let them play with it. If you use cream be prepared for an almighty sticky mess. With soap it will be easier to clean up afterwards.
The reason some parents may prefer to use cream is if they have a toddler that likes to eat everything. They certainly won’t like the taste of the whipped soap! Once you have your whip ready, you can ask your toddler to draw things with it using a safe spatula.
Use trays to add the whip to, and just let your toddler play. If they use soap they will enjoy scrunching it in their hands, and if it is thick they can try and make something out of it. You can even add some food coloring and use different colors for different batches of the whip. Your toddler can then add the colors together to see what happens. They will learn about textures here and it is a chance to show their creativity.
Safe Paint With Fingers
What you will need to do here is create some edible paint so that your toddler can use their fingers to produce a masterpiece. How do you make the paint? Well it is a simple combination of water, flour and food coloring.
You will need to heat up a cup of water and a cup of flour mixture in a pan and then add another 3 cups of hot water over a period of time. Add some cream of tartar to prevent the mixture going mouldy too quickly. Stir this up and wait for it to boil.
Once boiled let it cool down, and then divide it up into different bowls (these will be the individual paint colors). Add a different food color to each bowl and your paint is ready. This is totally safe if your toddler puts it in their mouth. If you are going to store this for later use then use airtight containers.
It is best if your toddler wears some form of protective clothing with this activity as the food coloring can stain. Give them some paper and let them rip! Show them that they can mix colors to form different colors. This is one of the most fun things for kids to do and they will paint for ages.
Fun With Cardboard Boxes
Did you know that a simple cardboard box can turn into one of the most fun kid’s activities? Well it can, so be sure to save your large and small cardboard boxes for your toddler to play with. Before you let your toddler play with any boxes, make sure that there are no sharp pieces and fix any broken bits with strong tape.
If you have a particularly large box then you can get creative with this. Carefully cut out a section of the front and a section of each side. Make a door that opens near the front. Add a toy steering wheel and now your toddler is the bus driver! They can let passengers on and off by opening the door and they can see out of the windows that you made for them.
Be sure to protect any cut outs with strong tape to make sure there is no chance of your toddler cutting themselves. Some other great cardboard box ideas are using the box as a table, pretend that the box is a room like a kitchen, another type of vehicle such as a boat or truck or simply make it a magic or treasure box where great things are found! You can add smaller strong boxes into the large box as seats for the kids.
Play Dough Matching Game
Here is a great way to teach your young toddler how to match shapes. You can make your own dough at home or you can use the commercial stuff from the store. You will want to roll out the dough to make a fairly large circle. It needs to be about 0.25 inches thick. The advantage of using homemade dough is that it will harden after a while, and of course it is safe if any ends up in your toddler’s mouth.
Before you dough sets, use cookie cutters to cut out specific shapes like a butterfly, a heart and so on. You will want to save these and let them go hard to play the game. Tell your toddler that the round dough with the shape holes in it is a puzzle, and they have to place the pieces into the right holes to complete the puzzle. This is a great way for them to learn about shapes.
Fun With Marshmallows
When it comes to indoor activities for kids, gluing marshmallows to different color pieces of paper is something that they will love to do. You will need some small marshmallows, some glue made from flour and water, a saucer and some different color paper (dark is best).
Put some of the glue in the saucer and then dip one of the marshmallows into the glue and stick it to the paper. Ask your child to do the same and then you can encourage them to form lines or even use the marshmallows as building blocks. You can help your child by taking turns to glue the marshmallows to the paper.
Candy Treasure Hunt
You can use healthy options for this as well if you don’t want your toddler to eat too much sugar. The idea with this is that you will hide pieces of candy (or whatever) in places where your toddler will find them. You want to hide a specific number, as this will help with their numeracy skills.
Let’s say that you have decided on 20 pieces. Don’t make it too tough for your toddler to find the pieces, as they will lose interest very quickly. Put them on top of their toys, on the sofa, on their teddy bear, on their bed and so on. Tell them that they have to find all 20 pieces and put them in a box before they can eat them. This will encourage them to count the number of pieces.
If they are finding it difficult to find some of the pieces then help them. You want them to finish the task and be rewarded by eating the treats. This is a simple game that will help your child to learn how to count and increase their observation powers.
It is hoped that you will have fun with these 10 things to do with kids. These are great indoor activities for toddlers that are inexpensive and a lot of fun. You will be helping them learn at the same time.
Don’t forget to have a look at the Children Learning Reading program from Jim Yang. It is a great reading program that is inexpensive and very effective. Give your toddler the best chance in life by teaching them how to read early.