As our kids grow up, they will desire to be entertained or occupied with activities. They would be scrambling for toys, climbing onto your furniture and screaming for your attention! And if there isn’t an activity for your active toddler, there will soon be a meltdown, by both of you! Parents often wondered if there are any fuss-free home activities that will be meaningful for their toddlers. Thankfully there are tons of fun-filled activities you can do with the items you have in your home! And here are some!
1. Colouring time
Bring out all your non-toxic crayons (you can buy them from Toyrus) and let your toddler go wild colouring the paper on the floor! You can join them by adding in a sun, a tree and flowers to educate them about the nature too! There’s no right or wrong, no colouring within the lines, just pure wild colouring! It will be fun! If you would like to make it educational, you could draw shapes and get them to learn them as he colours them inside and outside of the shapes. Sam is always thrilled whenever he gets the opportunity to colour freely and we will always cheer and clap after he is done!
2. Music time with dance ribbons and homemade maracas!
Make dance ribbons from colourful ribbons tied around half of the shower curtain rings. Put on some of their favourite music and allow them to go crazy! Dance, sway, twirl and let them watch as their dance ribbon follows them. They can also learn colours from the ribbons and go wild just dancing to the music.
Turn empty yogurt bottles or vitagen bottles into homemade maracas. Add rice or any kind of beans into the bottles and have the opening sealed up! Your little toddler is going to make tons of sounds and screams regardless, so you might as well make it a musical one!
3. Reading time
Allocate a time where your toddler can pick and choose his or her own books to read! You could read with them and animate sounds from the animals you see in the books, ask your toddler if he or she could point out the respective animals you call out and see if he can find them! It will be educational and fun! If your child doesn’t stay still from the first page to the last of the book, please know that it is NORMAL! I would always improvise and summarize the story when I notice he is impatient to get to the end of the book, or try to persuade him to finish it with me. If it is a challenge to keep him still (which is highly likely), let loose and it is alright to let him pick another book to read.
4. Playmat time
An experienced mother of three teenagers taught me the following: To set a time limit with your timer and let your toddler play within the playmat with all his toys for that length of time! The goal is to give them some independent playtime, so that they will also learn to be meaningfully occupied on their own. They may not be used to playing within the mat on their own, so you can start with a 5 mins playmat time, and remind them to stay within the mat. Then 10 mins the next day and 15 mins eventually. While they are at their own playtime, do keep yourself away from them but still within your sight!
5. Make a woolly Lamb Collage
Dig through your medicine cabinet for cotton wool or cotton balls that your toddler can use to create a lamb collage. If you are concerned with your drawing, you can print out photos of lambs onto A4 size papers and let your toddler go wild gluing the cotton balls onto the lamb to make the lamb fuzzy-wuzzy! Then, have your kid “sheer” the lamb by pulling all the wool off! He will probably have more fun destroying the collage than he had making it!
6. Make paper plate fishes
What you need:
1. Start with a colourful paper plate
2. Cut a small triangle from the plate
3. Tape the triangle to the back of the plate as the tail
4. Draw an eye (and decorate, if you’d like)
5. Mix it up with bows, flowers, hair, a sailor hat, glitter, and whatever we could find. The possibilities are endless!
7. Finger painting
Whip out your finger paint (you can get them from Toyrus, or make your own milk paint with condensed milk and food colouring!) then bring your kids to the toilet or anywhere in your house with a glass door, or stick your walls with several massive white majong paper and allow them to go wild on the paper/glass!
8. Water play in the bathroom
Set a tub of water and some toys thrown into the tub, add some cups, a bowl, some scoops and a mini pail for your toddler to scoop and transfer water into the bowls and cups! Let him enjoy free play with the water for a good 15-30 mins!
9. Pretend Cooking time
Instead of chasing your toddler away while you have to prepare for dinner, get them next to you as if they are also preparing a soup for the dinner! Let them stir and mix, add the ingredients by measuring the pom pom balls with the measuring cups and pouring them into the soup pot. When he’s done mixing, you could get him to scoop out the pom pom balls with the spoons and have them be served into small plastic bowls and dishing them out onto the dining table. It will be lots of fun and laughter!
What you need:
• A soup pot – Any pot or pan will work
• Small plastic bowls
• Utensils – A wooden spoon, a ladle, a whisk and measuring cups
• Soup fixins’ – A jumbo pack of multisized pom-pom balls
10. Pizza making time
Involve your toddler as you make lunch for him/her! Get any pre-mix dough for the pizza, or make your own dough and get your toddler to press on the dough to get it ready! Have him/her involved by adding any ingredients he/she would like such as cut up pineapples, apples, cheese, tomatoes, ham or sausages! Then with your help, your toddler can bring the pre-cooked pizza into the oven and watch it bake to be ready for lunch!
By Yvonne Chee