7 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler at Home (That Don’t Involve TV)
If you’re struggling to keep bored littles entertained during the day, you’re not alone, and keeping them from television and iPads can be a challenge. Arm yourself with a vault of creative activities to keep your babes stimulated and engaged in the present moment.
Fill a bin with dried beans or uncooked rice and hide a few toys and trinkets inside. Let them use their hands, a spoon, or chopsticks to uncover what’s buried. Your babe will love sinking their hands into different textures and imagining themselves a little explorer.
Find and Draw
Go on an adventure in the form of a short walk around the block with a notebook and pencil. Have your little one draw what they see. When you get home, ask them to recreate the drawing with colored pencils. Hang the final products around a room like a gallery. Not only does drawing inspire their imagination, but taking time to pause in nature teaches them to slow down and observe. Creating a gallery of their work can help them feel appreciated and seen.
Hide and Seek ABCs
Write the ABCs on post-it notes and hide them around the room. Then, have your kids search for the letters and work together to put them in order. Of course, this teaches the ABCs and encourages quick thinking and problem-solving abilities, but making it a race will also help littles burn off some of that energy.
Build A Fort
Fill the fort with positive energy. Read stories, turn off the lights, and play with a flashlight. Eat snacks. Play like this encourages creativity and helps support social and emotional development as children interact closely with others and work as a team. More importantly, these are the memories they’ll cherish forever.
Play Clean Up
Time to get out all of your kid’s favorite toys. Pull out your vacuum, broom, or a mop if you’re feeling fancy, and let your babes go to town. Play like this allows them to experience all the fun things mamas (and dadas) get to do daily while also enhancing their physical development and motor skills.
… what we will remember are these small adventures, the time spent as a family, and the closeness we create. Let’s take full advantage.
Put On A Play
Rather than watch a movie, act it out. Pick a favorite scene and let them play, taking all of the creative liberties they desire. Performing not only improves language and communication skills, but also boosts confidence and helps your child find their voice.
Bonus: Try Meditating
Meditating, even in young children, has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and help teach important skills on emotional regulation. Start by setting the scene. Together with your child, clear the space, set the stage, and create a cozy atmosphere. Turn on tranquil music and talk up the idea of tuning in. Then, play follow the leader: sit down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths, encouraging your mini to follow suit. Don’t worry about how long it lasts. A few moments go a long way.
It’s not always easy to remember in the moment, but these weeks spent at home will be times you and your kids will reminisce over at Thanksgivings to come. In twenty years, we won’t remember the stress and uncertainty (though it’ll be hard to forget the great TP shortage), or about the work that didn’t get done. But what we will remember are these small adventures, the time spent as a family, and the closeness we create. Let’s take full advantage.