Toddlers love spending time with Mom and Dad. They enjoy activities that engage all their senses as well as their bodies. If they can explore, wiggle, jump or do something that makes them curious, they love it. Keep in mind when planning play time and activities with your toddler, that attention spans are short. But there are things that toddlers and preschoolers will do for a very long time if you let them. Here are five fun ways to play with your toddler.
Toddlers are fascinated by bubbles. You can blow them by the hour, and they will squeal with delight. Talk about colors and size when you blow bubbles. Big bubble, small bubble. Count the bubbles. Turn playtime into learning fun whenever you can. You can buy bubbles cheap at your local dollar store, or make your own at home. Creative Kids at Home (creativekidsathome.com) offers this recipe: mix two tablespoons of dish soap with one cup of water.
Blocks are another classic toy that young kids love. Whether you have stackable wooden blocks or large interlocking plastic blocks, they all stack up to fun. Make a castle or a tunnel for cars to go through. Build a house or a fort. One thing you can do that your toddler will love is to build a tower and let him knock it over. Tots love doing this.
If you think toddlers are too young to help in the kitchen, thnk again. Toddlers love doing anything Mommy and Daddy or grandparents do, and that includes cooking. They can stir pudding or cake mix, sprinkle chocolate chips into cookie dough or put baby carrots on a dish. Let them spread their own jam on toast with a plastic butter knife.
Board books are great for little ones. They won’t sit still for long, but reading to your toddler is a wonderful way to nurture a love for books — and it's great bonding time! This is the age you teach them to treasure books and not tear them or write in them. Don’t worry if they don’t listen to the whole story. Simply point out various things to them in the books and talk about them. Say things like, “See the cow? What does the cow say?”
Kids of all ages love to play in the water. You can entertain a toddler for hours by giving them a dishpan full of water and small plastic kitchen items like measuring spoons or plastic toys. Throw in a small cloth and they are all set. If the weather is too cold to allow for outside play. then use a plastic tub — always with you present. Set it right in the kitchen.
These are just a few things you and your toddler can do together. It’s about quality time. They simply want to be with you no matter what you are doing.