As a parent you may get feel somewhat pressurized to provide your toddler with fun, healthy and educational activities. The good news is that kids can have fun almost anywhere. All you need is a bit of creative thinking and a little bit of inspiration. Here are just a few ideas.
Summer is slowly waning and autumn is around the corner. So, make the most of the few summery days we have left and get your toddler outdoors with some fun, stimulating activities that will encourage the use them to use their senses and imaginations.
Treasure hunts, or depending on the age of your child, scavenger hunts, are both fun activities that will be enjoyed by your child and yourself. Hide toys, sweets or other items in the garden then hand your toddler a basket and arm them with the task of recovering these items. You can draw a map to aid them in their adventure. However, if this is too time consuming, you could opt for a simpler task of having your child find specific items in the gardens such as rocks, flowers etc.
Playing in the mud is another stimulating activity. You do not need a beach to build sandcastles when you can build an entire palace in your own back yard. Find a bare patch of sand, preferably in the shade. Add some water to the sand to make a mud mix and encourage your little one to mould and build shapes or castles. You can add toys, flowers and any other decoration to make this activity fun.
Drawing with chalk on a concrete floor is a fun and harmless activity and your child will gain hours of pleasure from this. Depending on the age of the child, you can turn this into an elaborate masterpiece, creating several scenes made up of chalk drawings. Ranging from a day at the zoo, to a day at the beach. And, while on the topic of chalk, hopscotch is another fun activity for slightly older children that will also provide them with a healthy dose of exercise.
Children love activities that allow them to play in the water. One fun activity idea is water balloon catch. Fill up balloons with water and play a game of catch. Alternatively, you can draw up targets on the ground or wall and get your toddler to aim and throw the water balloon at it.
Sprinklers are another item that can provide hours of endless fun when it comes to water fun for kids. Spark their creativity by teaching them -Singing in the Rain and get them to do a rendition under the sprinkler.
Or set up an obstacle course that requires the child to crawl, run and jump through the sprinkler. The possibilities are endless, so get creative.
Never underestimate the fun of drawing and painting. This is an age-old activity, and it is obvious why it is so popular. Children love to dabble with paints, crayons and pencils and there are endless possibilities from finger painting, to colouring in, to making posters with multimedia.
Pretend play can be a really great way to engage your toddler if you lead the way. Set up the scene for an airplane, bus or train with chairs and pretend to the pilot or driver. Pretend you are flying or driving to a destination and talk about the scenery and even the culture of the different places.
Or why not set up a shop in your kitchen or lounge. Collect empty jars, tins and food boxes and set them up in a shop display. Then give your child a bag and get them to fill it with groceries while you play shopkeeper.
If your toddler is getting restless, why not put on some uplifting music and jump around to it. See if, together, you can come up with a choreographed dance routine. Or have your own version of idols with nursery rhymes. Take turns singing and performing. If the thought of singing and dancing makes you blush, why not engage in a less daunting game of hide and seek with your toddler.
Building a fort is another great activity. Find two solid items of furniture (couches, chairs or tables) and drape a sheet over them. Stack pillows inside to form a cushioned playing area. Once inside the safe haven you can read to your toddler, tell stories or even play with toys. Children love having a safe and magical little cove to call their own and building a fort is the perfect opportunity to create this for them.
There are literally hundreds of other fun indoor and outdoor activities! It just requires a bit of thought. You can manipulate your environment and turn almost anything into a game. The key is to think outside the box and keep it light and fun.