We all know that there’s so much that a toddler can get their hands on these days. Some things you won’t want them grabbing like TV remotes and mobile phones. So what can you do to keep them entertained so that they don’t go looking for things that they shouldn’t?
Here are a few ideas that have kept my little one occupied. Granted not all of the time, the temptation to press buttons and change the channel can be a little bit much for them! But these may give you some ideas and also increase their learning too!
There’s nothing more fun than knocking down a huge tower of blocks that you may have just built for baby. I remember my son watching with eager eyes as I made an impressive wooden block structure in the centre of his play mats. Then I let him loose on it and it didn’t last long! You can teach motor skills and hand-eye coordination like picking up blocks and arranging them, as well as teaching the building aspect too during this fun activity. You should try and choose blocks with lots of colors to help with that as well.
There are countless sizes and shapes of toys out there but certain ones are more likely to grab your little one's attention. Sensory toys are the best for recognizing differences in textures and colors. Motor skills are being used while your little one may pass the object between their hands too. I bought my son a small ball; he loves the animal design on it. He crawls after it hitting it along the floor and following it. He also sits with the ball and throws it, or rolls it to and from me if I do the same.
Other shapes can include squares and circles with lumps and bumps like the moon with craters and the bubbly ball in this image to raise awareness of texture.
Don’t forget music can play a vital role in a child’s development. This can include all types and also means they listen to words and sounds within that music. You can also make your own using wooden spoons and an old saucepan for example. If you have an instrument for them, be it a proper one or a toy, then they may find this very stimulating and interesting.
Our son has wooden cars and also a train he loves to push and pull. All of these toys have rotating wheels and are designed for children so they are easy to grip and hold. Pushing a vehicle along the ground gets a child thinking about the round wheels carrying that vehicle. If they get some exercise chasing it on their knees or feet then that’s a bonus. This teaches the child about motion and movement such as backwards and forwards as well as gross motor skills. Always ensure they are for the correct age range when you buy toys and inspect them regularly for small parts that may come loose.
Nobody really wants to put their child in front of the television but sometimes it’s a good distraction while giving them food, medicine or for occupying them while you’re doing a chore they cannot help with.
My advice here would be to choose educational children’s TV with shows that teach children about morals, learning about what’s around them and how to best treat others. My son is not a fan of Peppa Pig and I’m quietly glad because neither am I! He does, however, love theme tunes so if a song has a catchy song he is already intrigued!
Here are some shows that my son loves and that I approve of; Floogals, Paw Patrol, Sunny Bunnies, The Little Princess, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, and Hey Duggee.
Other fun things you can do with a toddler include blowing bubbles, learning colors, learning shapes with shape sorters, reading and looking at books, singing and learning rhymes, sensory and touch toys, learning words, going out for nature walks and pointing out what you can see.
Communication is the key to learning. Wherever and whatever you’re doing, you are doing it together and that means more than the buying and supplying of toys. Remember you can always find things around your home to use; there is no need to spend money you don’t have.