Being stuck at home with a toddler can be challenging and dare I say it destructive. When I had toddlers at home it often felt like I was living with a tornado that would sweep through all the hard work that I had just done. Thus I learned to grow strawberries but that will be for another post! The following will hopefully give you some ideas on how to keep little hands occupied.
Toddlers love toys that move.
Nearly every toddler I have known has always enjoyed pushing around a doll stroller. Some times they like other push toys like a lawnmower or a block trolley but the strollers seem to win hands down. Some children will put a doll or teddy in the stroller but don’t be surprised if you see the occupant dumped out on the floor and the child continues on their way without much concern! Ok, you will get some empathetic toddlers who care dearly for their passengers.
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Ways to help toddlers develop coordination
Toddlers love to stack up blocks and knock them down again! This is a great activity for hand-eye coordination and can eventually be extended to teach them to count as you stack each block. Playing with a ball is also good for coordination. Toddlers often find it hard to throw and kick a ball due to their legs and arms being so small in proportion to their torso but they will begin to try these activities. Rolling the ball is a great activity to start with and they love to just carry a ball while they are walking.
Toddlers like to imitate adults
This age is a good time to get them involved in household chores as you attempt to get the housework done! You will just have to let go of your visions of a perfect house for a while. Don’t worry they are not toddlers forever. It is just as well they are cute, isn’t it! At 18 months my kids would help unstack the dishwasher. Their job was to unpack the plastic cups that I had lined up on one side of the top draw of the dishwasher. They could take the cups out and put them in the cupboard which was right next to the dishwasher. By the time they put away the six cups, I was able to unstack the rest of the dishwasher and make sure they stuck to their task and did not decide to try and pack away knives or glasses.
Some quieter activities for Toddlers
Toddlers love to post things. They love toys that they can post shapes or other objects into. They will even sit and post things like pegs through a lid into a container. You could make a toy like this by cutting a hole in the lid of an icecream container (just make sure the hole is not sharp). A favourite type of toy is one where they can push buttons and then an animal or character will pop up. Once something has fascinated them they can spend quite a few minutes playing with the same toy. A child’s attention span is often only their age plus 3 minutes so if your toddler is engaged in an activity for 5-10 minutes they are using a lot of brainpower to concentrate for that long.
Toddlers don’t know the difference between games and chores.
So make packing up a fun game. Sing a song while you pack up the toys or make it a race to see who can put the toys in the box. If you have a routine with picking up toys and they have a place to belong you will find many toddlers will begin to follow the routine and know where the toys go. They are so proud of themselves for helping you! A great way to finish these activities is with a story. You and your child will cherish storytime together.
Working when you have a toddler.
Trying to work when you have a toddler can be challenging. They may need to go to daycare or be looked after by a relative. They often get sick when they are in daycare and that means that you need to take time off work to look after them. Many parents are starting their own home-based business so that their work is flexible around their children and they are available when their children need them. Toddlerhood is a very important time for bonding with your child and believe be it goes quite quickly. I have a free course available if you are interested in setting up your own online business. No prior skills are required and the group that offers this has further education which will help you set up everything you need to start your own flexible business.
Please enjoy the free course with Stuart Ross
Naomi (see more about me)