I’ve got a special guest post today for you from my friend Jen over at Mama.Papa.Bubba. blog! Jen was my ambassador for the Top 30 Mom Bloggers event that I attended last summer, which basically means she had to be nice and walk me through the evening 😉
She is a total sweetheart and I love chatting with her about the world of blogging, education and travel! Enjoy these tips and be sure to check out her page!
Hello Moments in Mommyland readers! My name is Jen and I blog over at Mama.Papa.Bubba. I’m a primary teacher turned stay-at-home mama to a very busy 3 year old little lady. I’m passionate about play, healthful cooking, natural living, and travel – all of which are regularly seen on my blog. I’m thrilled to be guest posting here on Moments in Mommyland, so thanks so much for having me, Carolyn!
As a kindergarten teacher and lover of all things creative and play related, one of the questions I get asked most often is, what kinds of activities can I do with my toddler? Admittedly, it can be kind of tricky. Besides being busy and fabulous at making messes, many toddlers are still in that stage where everything they touch seems to land in their mouths. So what can you do that will be engaging, safe, and simple enough to set-up? Well, lots of things! But first, a few tips that will ensure that the activities are fun and stress-free for both you and your little one…
- Step back and allow your child to explore the materials you’ve put out for them. The materials themselves are often very interesting, so let them investigate before jumping into the activity.
- Try to keep activities open-ended. Going into an activity with an intentional plan or outcome can lead to frustration if the munchkin has something different in mind.
- Leave activities out. Instead of packing everything up as soon as your child moves on to something else, simply tidy up the activity and leave it out for him or her to explore later. Undoubtedly, they’ll be back, even if they weren’t overly interested the first time around.
- Be prepared for a mess. A giant mess when you work so hard to keep your house tidy can be stressful and can put a damper on the activity. Instead, be ready with ‘tools’ to contain the mess. Dollar store shower curtains make for great drop cloths and under-the-bed storage bins are perfect for keeping messes in a designated area.
- If your child is a mouther, stick to edible materials for now. There are so many great play recipes and sensory materials that are edible and 100% baby safe, plus they save you from having to redirect or correct again and again.
1. Homemade play dough. Easy, inexpensive, and lasts for months! Play with it on its own, or pair it with cookie cutters, popsicle sticks, or rubber stamps.
2. Sink play. Water often equals happiness when it comes to toddlers. Fill a small sink halfway, plop a few toys in, and let the play begin!
3. Rice sensory bin. Rice, coloured or not, is fun to run your hands through. Add some scoops and containers and place on a big drop cloth or blanket for easy clean-up.
4. Strainer & pipe cleaners. Though an unlikely pair, this combination is super engaging and great for developing fine motor skills.
5. Household objects puzzle. A cinch to pull together and great for developing problem solving skills. If you name the objects as your little one touches them, you’ll be teaching vocabulary too.
6. Foamy bathtub paint. Two household ingredients and a ton of fun! Use during bath time or simply use the tub and tiled wall as a canvas whenever you please. The best part? The mess just rinses down the drain when done!
7. Painter’s tape roadway. An easy and inexpensive way to stretch play for little car lovers. Plus it takes up no space and can be left out for days!
8. Straw necklaces. Hang onto those thick bubble tea and Slurpee straws, give them a wash, and chop them up to use as beads.
9. Moon painting. Part science, part art, and very neat. Plus all that’s required is 3 basic kitchen ingredients and an old medicine dropper.
10. Water pouring station. Costs almost nothing and develops hand-eye coordination while teaching about colour mixing. This one is great done in a large but shallow bin or basin.
Alright! So that covers ten of our favourites! Which do you think would be the biggest hit with your munchkin? Thanks so much for reading and thanks again, Carolyn, for having me today. For more fun activity ideas, you can always pop on over to my blog, my Facebook page, or my Pinterest page to see more of how we play and create in our house.