The arrival of a newborn baby fills one's home with incredible happiness and excitement. Nothing seems to be more precious than caring and attending to the baby's needs. The first couple of weeks, the baby has no other activity, apart from being fed and sleeping upto 16 hours.
Gradually the sleeping hours diminishes and the baby has more time to explore and learn. You may notice the baby making non-crying noises such as cooing and gurgling while awake. After about 6 weeks, babies will be eager to lay hands and feel things that come their way.
Toddler activity phases
Moving from the infant stage to the toddler stage, the toddler responds and reacts to fun sounds, bright colors and amusing movements. It could be a cuddly doll, a bunch of colorful crayons or a special wagon - things that normally attract toddlers. Toys do bring a great deal of joy to toddlers and to all children in general.
Apart from toys, engaging the toddler in quality creative, fun activities helps in inculcating valuable skills, imparting education as well. The first two years of life contribute to laying a firm foundation in the growth and development of your child's brain. Especially after the completion of the first year, the baby is developing rapidly with the capability and curiosity to learn something new each day.
Toddler activity toy
But, many a parent is confronted with the problem of finding the right toys or games that match the interests of the toddler. Read further to find fun ideas for toddlers that are safe, creative ideas amusing for intelligent children. Find ways to maximize toddler's benefit by way of creative, playful toddler activities that also serve as excellent learning tools.
Toys: The moment toddlers look at toys they are curious, inquisitive to explore how the toys work. A very valuable possession, toddlers dislike sharing toys with others. Toys like curiosity cube, puzzles, building blocks, chatterbox telephone, roller coaster, spin and play center are hugely beneficial in developing fine motor skills and problem solving abilities.
Apart from appealing to the senses, these toys also serve as a medium of providing exercise for the toddler's hand-eye coordination. These toys encourage children to love learning while playing. Some of these toys with crinkling, rattling, squeaking sounds or sing-along songs help toddlers to enjoy sound and love rhythm.
Fun filled activities: Creative games and activities can satiate the curious toddler while offering definite amount of entertainment as well. You can select these activities based on the time of play, the mood, the weather conditions etc. Indoor play is most suitable during windy, cool weather conditions while opting to play outdoors during the evening on a hot, humid day can be a welcome relief for the child as well the parent.
Fun with edible clay: Clay molding with edible clay made at home can also become a great snack for the active toddler. Use a combination of ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup honey, ½ cup dry non-fat milk solids and 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs. Mix all the ingredients well and create animals, towns and villages or any creation that you think will amuse your toddler - ample opportunity to introuduce the toddler to variety of useful facst. You can weave a story and narrate the same centered around the item of creation so as to retain concentration and interest.
Rhymes and actions: Introduce the toddler to rhythmic rhymes. Mime actions that relate to the content of the rhyme and act them out. For example, select the rhyme- Walking through the jungle. Indoors or outdoors, pretend to walk very carefully as if it were a real jungle. Mime the actions of each animal as the name occurs. Your toddler is bound to be captivated with the action- filled activity. Using songs as a medium of teaching, you can introduce body parts, time, good habits, different themes, name of vegetables etc.
Water play: Even those toddlers who throw tantrums while taken for a wash, would be excited with an opportunity to have fun in water during bath time. To the toddler, bath time is just not about turning clean but its time for fun. Select bath toys and let them float in the bathtub. Provide containers in different shapes and colors. Instruct the toddler to fill and empty water.
Introduce a sieve and ask the toddler to repeat the activity. You can show the toddler how it stays in a container while it leaks through a sieve. Using bubbles, ice cubes to warm water, bathing baby dolls are examples of other water play that provide ample fun and kindle learning interest in the tiny minds of toddlers.
Getting responsible: You can select an activity; provide necessary items required for the activity followed by instructions to complete the activity. From merely being a spectator, encourage the child to imitate your actions. Use this method to teach how to comb hair, brush teeth, eat with spoons, wear shoes etc.
The budding artist: Art and craft projects are always a favorite with little ones; it allows them to make their own creations.
- Painting with shaving creams amuses them to the core.
- Introduce the little one to the world of drawing. Begin with a simple game such as Foot tracing. Trace the feet of the toddler as well as yours on a piece of paper using colorful crayons, markers or paints. Compare the sizes and teach the difference between big and small.
- If you have an empty wall in the basement or playroom, use this place and convert into a special drawing area. Take a large sheet of plain white paper or light colored paper and tape it to the wall. Hammer in a few nails at a height safe for the toddler to reach and pick up crayons. The toddler is free to scribble any time, ready to create a toddler mural.
The right match: Get all the unused containers and lids of varying size. Demonstrate how to match lids with the right container. The little one will enjoy finding the right match. Encourage him/her every time the right match is made with a hug and appreciative language. Make sure that you do not have small bottles with screw-type lids and do not move away while engaging the toddler in these types of activities.
Create a paper garden: Use colorful construction paper and draw flowers. Cut these flowers and then tape onto a drinking straw. Hand it over to the toddler, help set a bouquet. Decorate in vases around the house.
Make wind chimes: Collect string beads, bells and other noise-making objects in attractive colors and different shapes. Take a thin strand of yarn or fishing line. Tie the beads and bells with the strings spaced closely enough so that it makes music when the breeze blows. Engage your toddler and hang the chimes on the porch or in a tree. It is an activity that promotes perfect eye and hand co-ordination.
Toddler activity tips
- Do not give too many commands or instructions.
- Allow the toddler to think and explore with full freedom of thought
- Expect the toddler to get dirty. Avoid dressing in best clothes
- Don't limit the toddler while pursuing his/her interest. Encourage.
- Read a book after finishing a play. Relate to similar objects.
- Recall things the toddler played with during the day, clear doubts if any
- Allow him/her to handle toys the way toddler prefers. Encourage creativity.