For children, playing is just as important as structured learning. There are so many lessons children learn from spending time laughing and enjoying themselves. In my home the day starts with a little fun and a little structure, but I try to incorporate a little fun in everything that we do. Here are my 10 ideas that you and your toddlers can try:
1. Music time. My girls love music and they each have their own favorite songs. We put on a CD and we sing and dance along. It is also good exercise for me as well. Music is a fundamental part of my kids lives. We sing songs while bathing and I also sing while they are brushing their teeth.
2. Jam time. Michaels has really great inexpensive instruments (guitars, maracas, tambourines, recorders etc.). My kids enjoy jamming along with their music or creating some music of their own.
3. Picture time. I have not met a kid yet that didn’t like scribbling on paper to create their own masterpieces. I grab crayons, markers, and chalk. I let them choose whether they want to draw on paper or write on their chalk board on our driveway. The driveway usually wins and is also a great way for the kids to get some fresh air as well. Painting or making a crafts. These activities require adult supervision, but are really enjoyable for toddlers. Michaels, Walmart, and other craft stores often have crafts that are really simple and fun on clearance.
4. Serve Creative Food. I recently purchased some animal shaped cookie-cutters. I use them to make their food into animals. Elephant waffles and rabbit sandwiches are some of their favorite.
5. Getting fresh air and exercising. There are many outdoor activities that get my children excited such as taking a walk, riding their bikes, going to the park, etc. My girls also love going outside with their play shovels and rakes.
6. Outdoor games. Even toddlers can enjoy traditional outdoor games like hop-scotch, kick ball, and soccer. When we play these games I do not focus on the rules and structure but I try to teach them their numbers as they play. In hop-scotch I ask them to jump on a particular number, in kick ball I ask them to kick the ball around to each other and count each kick. With soccer I just want them to learn coordination and enjoy taking control of the ball.
7. Puzzle Time. I found a great deal on some spelling puzzles that are for toddlers and my children really like them. They call it building words. If you are interested in finding exciting cheap toys that your children will love try discount stores like Ross, T.J. Max, and Marshalls.
8. Reading picture books. Surprisingly my children came up with this fun idea on their own. One day, I did not hear any noise in the house and looked to see what they were doing. When I found them they were laying on their beds looking at their picture books. Since then I have kept picture books at their reach and give them the time they need to enjoy themselves.
9. Enjoying play-dates. Social interaction is always important for children to learn how to interact with their peers. It also gives you a chance to see what other families do with their children for fun.
10. Fun adventures. There are many places that offer toddlers and other children fun adventures like the library, zoo, museums, Chuck E Cheese, Little gym etc. Also, going on nature walks is a big hit in my family. I loved it as a child and my children do as well. To make the walk more interesting ask your child to identify things that he or she sees. If your child is old enough you can play “I spy with my little eye.”
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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