I'm always searching for a good idea of an activity to do with my two year old. Sometimes she loves the activities I come up with, and sometimes they bomb horribly! Now, I will share with you here the top toddler activities so that you can try them at home with your little ones.
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Draw shapes on the ground with sidewalk chalk (or, as an indoor activity, outline them on the ground with masking tape) and call out a shape for your child to jump on.
Montessori-Inspired Pouring, and Spoon and Tong Transfer Activities:
I've been reading up on the Montessori educational method, and it's emphasis on teaching independence. Using everyday household objects like pitchers, spoons, and tongs to manipulate and move small objects will help your child learn everyday skills as well as develop find motor skills. The materials I use here are just an example. You can use whatever you have on hand! Also, you can start out with easier to manipulate objects and move to harder to manipulate objects as your child's skill level increases. For example, you could start out spooning cotton balls or craft pompoms (shown below) from one container to another, then use beans, and eventually progress to spooning smaller objects, such as rice.
Montessori-Inspired Popsicle Stick and Felt Color Matching Activity:
This was really easy to set up. You could buy colored popsicle sticks. Or, if you can't find any (I couldn't), just use permanent marker to color the ends of the popsicle sticks. Then, fold a piece of felt in half and cut around the popsicle stick in the desired shape then sew or hot glue together. My daughter spent so much time playing with these and matching them up!
For more Montessori activity ideas, this book is a great resource:
This is another super easy activity. Just give your kiddo some water and some brushes and/or sponges to use to "paint" with water, and let them have fun decorating the patio, sidewalk, or driveway!
Watering the Alphabet Letters:
Here is another self cleaning activity! Following the Montessori method, I color coded the letters (vowels are red; consonants blue), but you can do it however you like! Just use sidewalk chalk to draw some letters on the ground. Then, give your child a watering can and call out a letter for them to "water." If you are interested in learning more about the Montessori method and how it can be applied to learning the alphabet, I highly recommend visiting the website called Living Montessori Now.
Toddlers love to use their whole body to explore the world, and sometimes that means getting their hands dirty! Don't be afraid to let them explore. I often use food items (such as jello or yogurt) for sensory play, because I don't have to worry about my daughter eating it. Although, I think her favorite sensory activity is to play with wet sand! Another favorite is to let her play with baking soda and vinegar- this allows you to incorporate some science into your sensory play!
Reusable Stickers (window clings):
My daughter has spent hours and hours playing with these! They also helped her learn vocab (especially with the "habitats" set- she learned the names of many animals). They come with laminated backgrounds you can use, but they also work just as well on windows and mirrors. They come in great for days when you are stuck at home when the weather is bad or the kiddo is sick.
These are the ones we have:
Fun with Balloons:
There is so much fun to be had with a $1 pack of balloons! I like to buy the 12 inch party balloons. You could:
- Blow up a balloon, without tying it, hand it to your child to let the air blow in their face (which you could turn into a science lesson!), or let the balloon go to watch it fly around the room as it deflates
- Throw the balloons, punch them, kick them, tie them from a string and pretend you are boxing- all these activities help your child develop develop motor skills and coordination!
- Play catch.
- Play the "don't let the balloon touch the ground" game.
- Rub a balloon in your hair and use the static to stick the balloon to the wall.
- Draw silly faces on deflated balloons, then watch the faces stretch out as you blow up the balloons.
- Take a balloon outside on a windy day and see what happens when you throw it up in the air.
(Just a reminder: balloons are a potential choking hazard, so make sure you supervise closely!)