Guest post by Emma of Adventures of Adam
With the time pressures of modern living it’s not always possible to have time to prepare toddler play activities. Sometimes you just need to be able to grab something from the cupboard in order to entertain your little one. Here are 16 instant toddler activities that promise to deliver.
These activities are perfect if you are cooking tea, feeding a baby, feeling ill yourself or simply want to dry your hair without having a toddler attached to you. The activities are low mess, quick to set up whilst promoting independent play.
Items found around the house
Many everyday household items can be used in a variety of ways. They can help develop fine and gross motor skills, enhance your toddlers thinking skills and thought processes and help build your child’s self esteem as they accomplish new tasks. Do you have lots of old scratched CD’s and DVD’s? See if your toddler can stack them onto the spindle of the container. The CD’s and DVD’s can also be used to catch sunlight reflections and view rainbows. Plastic coins make a great noise when they are posted through a metal money box. If your little one finds it too difficult just take the lid off. My toddler loves to hook old shower curtain hooks on to a broom handle. This is a great activity for hand-eye coordination. Whenever I need an emergency play activity I bring out the clothes pegs. My son really enjoys transferring them from one container to another or simply throwing them into a laundry basket.
Items from the kitchen cupboard
Although you wouldn’t necessarily think of a kitchen cupboard as a toddler resource area, there are some great items inside that can be used to entertain a little one. Plastic cups are great for stacking. How many different ways can your toddler find to stack the cups? They can also be used for filling, aiding your child’s concept of volume. Grab a variety of kitchen cupboard items, preferably with holes in, and a packet of straws and see what activities your little one makes up. Spice containers are a perfect size for little hands. They can be stacked, shaken and placed in a line. Plastic spice containers are safest to use. Pushing pipe cleaners through the holes of a colander is super activity for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Raid the recycling bin to see what items can be reused for a play activity. Dig out those cardboard tubes. These are great for giant threading on to a broom handle. Post pipe cleaners into a recycled plastic bottle. Can your little one manage to get them out again? Free play with loose parts is a great way to develop toddlers’ fine motor skills. Simply give them some cardboard tubes and a variety of small craft items and watch them experiment with the items. Cut slits into the plastic lid of an old container and give your toddler some lollipop sticks. They will love posting them through the holes. Once they have all been posted simply open up the lid, tip the sticks out and start again.
We would be lost without pom poms in our house. As they come in all sizes and colours, the pom poms come out in any emergency play situation. Placing a mirror on the floor is enough to distract any toddler. Give them some pom poms and a few cardboard tubes and they will be occupied for ages. Using a recycled wipe bin you can create a fantastic monster who simply loves to feed on pom poms. Placing tiny pom poms on top of sticker bath toys is a great activity for pincer practise. A recycled chocolate box tray makes a great container for pom poms. See if your toddler can sort the pom poms by colour or size.
About: During a difficult pregnancy suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Emma vowed to make every day an adventure once she had recovered. Adventures of Adam is the outcome of completing a 100 day play challenge with her toddler as part of that promise. Emma has a section dedicated to HG friendly play activities so that women can entertain their children whilst they are ill.