Toddlers are powerhouses of energy. That energy can be pretty hard to deal with when the rain is pelting down and you are forced to stay inside. What do you do, how do you harness it? You keep them busy inside instead. We have heaps of ideas for entertaining those busy little toddlers, which include some bonus learning opportunities.
There is a reason that your Nana will preach that ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!’ Throw on a raincoat and a pair of gumboots, and get jumping. Toddler love water, they love mud and they love mess. Here are some puddle fun ideas...
See how big of a splash your toddler can make
Make leaf boats and float them in the puddles
See what floats and what sinks in the puddles
Paint is so messy! And the mess increases tenfold, when a toddler has the brush in hand. Save your carpets and walls, by making a creation station in a bag. All you need is a plastic ziplock bag, some different coloured paints and heavy duty tape.
Squirt some blobs of paint into your ziplock bag. Seal it well! Tape your bag to a flat surface - a tabletop, a bench or a window. Let your toddler go crazy running their fingers across the bag, drawing patterns and mixing the colours. All the fun of painting, but none of the mess!
Yep, it is as simple as it sounds. Toddlers love putting things in lines. Whether it be toy cars, soft toys, boxes, pom poms, or anything really. Entertainment for at least an hour, and working on pattern recognition at the same time.
This one is really simple, but your toddler will love it. Save an empty paper towel roll and tape it to the wall. Then, give your toddler a collection of little pom poms to drop through the shoot. Not only is it endless fun for them to see the pom poms drop out the bottom, but it is a chance for learning. Holding the pom poms will require the pincer grip, so they are instantly working on their fine motor skills. They are also learning cause and effect. If they drop something, it will fall to the ground.
Grab an old tissue box and reinforce the opening with tape, or an empty plastic wipe container. Then get a collection of small items that will fit in the opening. Pom poms, little pieces of fabric, small toys, and other small soft items are perfect. Again, you will work on your toddler’s fine motor skills with this activity.
This is an activity that will require some help to start with. Grab a tray and add different coloured squares of paper onto it. Red, blue, yellow and green are good colours to start with. Then hunt around the house for small coloured objects that you can sort onto the coloured squares. This activity will help your toddler start to recognise and identify their colours.
Use tape to map out a race track on your floor. There can be roads, corners, car parks and even intersections. Let your toddler drive their toy cars around the tape roads until they grow tired of it. This will help with their spatial awareness skills as they try to keep the cars within the lines of tape.
If you can stand the noise, empty out the pot cupboard and the plastic container cupboard. Let your toddler make music to their heart’s content on the different kitchen objects. They will love the noise, and the clean up is super easy!
It will look like an abstract art sculpture when they are finished, but there is plenty of fun and learning along the way. Give your toddler a collection of pipe cleaners and your kitchen colander. Have them poke the ends of the pipe cleaners into the holes in the colander. This will really help them work on their concentration, and to hone those ever important fine motor skills.
This is a really good game to get them to sit and focus. A nice calming activity, with little preparation needed. All you need to have on hand is an ice cube tray and some cotton balls. Let your toddler separate all the cotton balls and put one in each compartment of the ice cube tray. Tip them out and let them do it again. A great activity to work on patience and perseverance.
Who doesn’t love playing in a fort? Drape some blankets over chairs, or the dining table. Play hide and seek in the fort, pretend it is a boat, or a plane, or have quiet time and read some books inside. Whatever you decide to do, it will work your toddler’s imagination and be a ton of fun.
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