This post might run the risk of seeming too obvious. I want to celebrate the fact that toddlers (mine at least) are generally happy doing the simplest of things. Even just laughing at themselves in the mirror (yes, we spend a good amount of time doing this when he first wakes up!).
My list of simple things toddlers enjoy:
Reading. What toddler does not love a good book? You can never read too much to them.
Walking. In the stroller, carrier, or if they can walk a distance on their own feet.
Helping. Give directions to pick up various items and bring it to you
Mimicking. Play with sounds, actions, words. Toddlers love to copycat.
Finding. Ask them to locate simple objects around the house or outdoors. This builds vocabulary and their attention as they seek for the object.
Throwing. Give them some stale bread chunks at a pond, or loose pebbles, small sticks. Toddlers will throw things forever it seems.
Banging . If the noise is too much for you (it can be for me) use softer objects, like plastic spoons instead of metal. Or those silicone measuring cups to bang together instead of metal (these are ear-savers!).
Touching. Great for when they are waiting for dinner. Give your child items of different textures. A washcloth, Ziploc bag, wax paper, tin foil. Let them play with and feel the various textures.
Cuddling. Make it a game by “swaddling” them in a large blanket. Tickle them through the blanket or rock them like baby and remind them of their teenier days. (If you can avoid tearing up on this one).
Cleaning. It’s amazing – every time I get the sweeper out, my son wants to use it. If he sees it leaning by the wall, he tries to clean. Sometimes I unscrew the parts and let him sweep with just the bottom third – it’s more his size. He also love to “wash” things with a dry washcloth or towel.
Building. Take some of your larger sturdy board books, and show your toddler how to open them to “build” a little house, maze, or other structure. Kind of like Baby’s First House of Cards.
What simple activities does your toddler stay busy doing?
I hope you have enjoyed my series of 101 Toddler Activities. I had fun finding things to do, and now I have a big list I can go to when I am out of ideas!