It can be hard to think of things to do when you have very young children but it’s a good Idea to not constantly fall into the trap of flicking on cartoons and songs on the TV when your alone with baby. Instead, look out for fun opportunities to do something different, both inside and outside the home. From days out in the park (perfect for all this lovely summer’s weather we’ve been having) to fun-filled rainy days indoors, there’s plenty that you can do that will entertain, get the creative juices flowing and out big broad grins on all your faces.
Check out these great ideas for parents who want to try out some fun activities with their little ones:
Pack a Picnic
You must feed your child lunch everyday anyway, so why not turn this into an exciting activity by turning lunch into a picnic? It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy your picnic at the park, in the garden, or in the middle of your living room. The novelty of eating on the floor and away from the high chair or family table will make a picnic an exciting treat for your toddler – just be sure to have their favourite dribble bibs packed and at the ready! Why not invite their favourite dolly or teddy bear to turn the meal into a party? All toddlers love teddy bear picnics and eating with their fingers: just think carefully about the foods you choose and avoid anything too messy so that you don’t have to spend the hour after lunch time picking up the pieces! Finger sandwiches, chopped fingers of fruits and vegetables, and cubes of cheese are all great options. And don’t forget the baby wipes!
Most toddlers love to play with cars; after all, they’re fast and unpredictable, just like them! You can turn the simple act of playing cars into a fun and stimulating learning activity that will keep your toddler occupied for hours. Use tape to mask out a racing track or series of roads on the floor in your living room. This will work best in a room with a wooden floor but can also work if you have a low pile carpet. Sit with your child and ask them to get their cars from the start of the track to the end of the track without going outside of the pre-marked lines: if they veer of the track then they have to start from the beginning. This will improve their spacial awareness and will provide a new challenge that will hold their attention. If you want to play with or alongside your child here, you could introduce the concept of car races: either both race on the same track at the same time or, if there isn’t the room to do this, take it in turns to count as you race and compete against each other’s times.
Pipe Cleaner Modelling
Need something fast and easy to entertain your toddler whilst you’re cooking their lunch or taking care of other chores? Pop them in their high chair and ask them to create a pipe cleaner model for you. All you need to enjoy this activity is a packet of pipe cleaners and an upturned colander. The pipe cleaners will slot perfectly into the holes of the colander and they can insert and bend them to create a wide variety of different shapes and structures. Is it a robot or a flower? The only limit is their imagination! What makes this such a great activity is how simple it is, and how fast it is to set up. It’s the perfect idea to pull out of the bag whenever you need time to do something around the house without the ‘help’ of your toddler.
Have an Indoor Disco
Whilst learning activities are lots of fun, sometimes your toddler will simply need to burn off some energy. If this is the case then why not turn off the lights, turn on the stereo, and have an indoor disco? Toddlers love to dance and move their bodies, and this is especially fun if mum is joining in and dancing alongside them. You could break out the dressing up box and choose costumes to wear to make your dance party feel even more special. Will you be a princess or a pirate? If you have any torches laying around at home then these make great disco lights: remind your child to shine them upwards or towards the walls so that their don’t hurt anyone’s eyes and let the party begin!
From dancing to meals, racing about to model-making, there’s always something new to try out with your toddler – why not get started with a new activity today?