Toddlerhood is a lot of fun. They’re just beginning to establish their own independence, display their personality, and exhibit an endless curiosity about the world around them. Though they’re still too young for formal school, parents can feed their toddler’s intense desire to understand the world by using engaging games and activities to entertain their child and teach them at the same time.
Read on for several fun, educational activities you can do with your toddler.
1. Household Colour Match
Thanks to early childcare activities, many toddlers know their basic colours from the time they really start to build their vocabulary, but they may not always be able to identify different shades and hues right away. Build their math skills, colour recognition abilities, and motor coordination by sending them around the room to sort objects by each colour of the rainbow.
2. Counting With Manipulatives
Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination will come in handy for this next activity. Create little cards, boxes, or jars with numbered labels on them and ask your toddler to count out the number of small objects to be placed inside or set atop.
3. Finger Play Songs
Songs with gestures are not only fun ways to experience music, but they also strengthen your child’s understanding of rhyming language, verbal rhythm, and various motor skills. Sing a classic like Itsy Bitsy Spider or Wheels on the Bus together, teaching your child all the actions that go along with the song.
4. Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Your toddler may be able to recognise his or her letters, colours, and shapes when they’re in a book or on a paper, but he or she may enjoy the challenge of walking around the house to spot these elements in your own home. You can even carry a piece of paper with you to count how many of each item type you spot together.
5. Muffin Tin Snack
Whether you have a picky eater on your hands or not, this option is great for introducing new food choices to your toddler. Pick several different types of foods and snacks and put them in a muffin tin for your child to explore. The tins provide an opportunity for your child to build fine motor skills and experience food sorting, or even come up with a snack arrangement of his or her own.
6. Sink or Float
This simple activity only requires a tub of some kind filled part of the way with water and a host of objects. Your toddler can predict whether his or her favourite ball, a cotton swab, a marker, a spoon, or a rock will float on the water’s surface or sink to the bottom.
7. Felt Boards
Felt boards are a great way to turn reading, math, art, and science into a quiet time activity. Cover a piece of wood or cardboard with a piece of neutrally coloured felt, and cut out additional shapes with coloured pieces. Felt gently sticks to itself, so any designs placed on the surface will remain attached, but the pieces remain moveable so your toddler can create and recreate different combinations over and over again.
8. DIY Instruments
All you need to form a band together is a few recycled objects and some basic household materials. Make a drum from an empty nut can, a shaker from a water bottle filled with dried beans, a guitar with a tissue box and rubber bands, or a horn from a cardboard paper towel roll. The two of you can even decorate your new instruments before you write your first big hit.
9. Object Sorting
Classification is an important skill for toddlers to develop, and it’s easy to set up an opportunity for object sorting right in their own bedroom. Dump out their toys and sort their belongings by different characteristics, from size, weight, colour, name, or type. Try to find ways that the same objects can be reclassified for an additional challenge.
10. Sensory Art
From shaving cream infused with food colouring to multicoloured modelling clay, art can be both a creative endeavour and a sensory experience. Get your hands a little dirty together and finger paint something new for the fridge or add fun, shaped pasta to play dough creations. Art with a toddler is best when child-led, so hand your child what he or she needs to get creative and see where he or she goes.