Playing is a wonderful way to engage your little one’s mind, stimulate creativity, and foster overall development. Here are some fun and educational skills-based activities you can enjoy with toddlers:
Puzzles: Introduce age-appropriate puzzles with large pieces to help toddlers develop their problemsolving skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. Start with simple puzzles featuring animals, vehicles, or familiar objects.
Sensory Play: Sensory activities stimulate a toddler’s senses and provide valuable learning experiences. Set up a sensory bin with materials like rice, sand, or water and add objects with different textures, colours, or shapes for them to explore. Simply adding food colouring and glitter to water play makes it so much more exciting! Jelly play is also guaranteed to bring lots of giggles! Shaving foam is another firm favourite with our little ones. Go Foam is easier to clean up than the classic shaving foam and smells better too!
Arts and Crafts: Engage toddlers in simple art projects like finger painting, colouring or tearing and pasting paper and making collages. These activities promote creativity, fine motor skills, and handeye coordination. They are also important to teach as activities that the child can eventually learn to do independently as leisure skills.
Music and Movement: Encourage toddlers to dance, clap, or stomp along to their favourite songs. Sing nursery rhymes together, play musical instruments, and explore different rhythms and sounds. Songs are also a great way to encourage imitation skills which are an essential skills for learning.
Role Play: Set up a pretend play area with toy kitchen sets, dolls, or toy tools. Encourage toddlers to engage in imaginative play, allowing them to develop their social skills, language abilities, and problem-solving skills. Firm favourites here are the kitchen, ice cream stand, dolls house and car garages. Rotate what is available so that the toys remain interesting.
Gross Motor Games: Engage toddlers in games that promote physical activity and gross motor skills. Examples include playing catch with a soft ball, hopping like a bunny, or setting up an obstacle course for them to navigate. Balance beams, tunnels and stepping blocks are easily available on amazon, first cry and in all major toy shops.
Language Development: Read books aloud, point out objects, and engage in conversations with toddlers to boost their vocabulary and language skills. Encourage them to repeat words and ask questions to enhance their comprehension. Add props to make it more interesting! You could also create a puppet show to tell the story and keep it creative!
Outdoor Exploration: Take toddlers outside to explore nature. Let them touch leaves, look for bugs, and observe their surroundings. Talk about the different colours, textures, and sounds they encounter. This is difficult here in the summer, but you could create your own nature walk, use pine cones, make some leaves or collect them from outside and put animals around, ducks floating in the bath etc. Be creative!
Building Blocks: Building blocks are excellent for developing fine motor skills, creativity, and spatial awareness. Encourage toddlers to stack and create structures, teaching them about balance, stability, and different shapes. You can increase how complex the structures are and then build up to turn taking and playing Jenga! Stickle bricks are also lovely to use to build and magnetic tiles.
Follow your child’s lead, do not place many demands on your little one, provide gentle guidance, becreative, go with the flow and most importantly, have fun together!