Toddler activities

The weekend is here and you have an active toddler

Have you noticed how toddlers LOVE big work!

The bigger and heavier the better, the greater the stretch, the steeper the slope the greater the attraction. Small children love testing their strength.

The weekend is here and you have an active toddler

I remembered reading, ages ago, about ways for toddlers to use their developing bodies and abundant energy, so decided to write a short list to get you started.

Ways toddlers can exert maximum effort 

Here are a few to begin with:

  1. Carrying round a large bag or backpack

  2. Using large foam blocks (the Melbourne Museum Children's Gallery has fantastic large blocks)

  3. Carrying wood

  4. Walking over pillows

  5. Move a bucket or watering can of water

  6. Pushing or carrying a loaded laundry basket

  7. Lift a large(ish) suitcase with some weight in it

  8. Move a piece of furniture

  9. Taking the largest steps possible (stepping stones)

  10. Carrying a large box

  11. Digging and filling a bucket with sand then moving that to a new location .....

I hope you find several ideas which help to make the weekend even more enjoyable for you and your toddler.

Iā€™d love to see your ideas and photos, inspire others by posting them on my Facebook page

Kids love pouring, it helps their concentration - simple ways to help them

This week's suggestions follow on from last week's post about spooning beans.  

There's a wide range of activities which can be made progressively more interesting and more challenging as the child masters each level.

Any new activity should provide enough of a challenge that the child is aware they're attempting something new while at the same time it important for the child to experience a degree of success.  

So to paraphrase Goldilocks, not too easy, not too hard, just right.

Setting up these activities is great fun and an outlet for your creativity to devise a variety of new challenges as your child develops.

You'll have almost everything you need and if not Op shops are a rich source of suitable objects and cheap trays are often available at many budget outlets such as $2 shops and the Reject shop.

Here are a few  practical suggestions for steps:

  • The objects to be transferred become smaller e.g. large beads or shells or pom poms to large beans to small beans to lentils 
  • Introduce a spoon
  • The objects, the bowl and the spoon all become gradually smaller
  • Introduce things like tongs, tweezers and chopsticks and follow the same progression
  • Transfer liquid using ladles, spoons and pipettes of varying sizes. When introducing liquid if you place a small sponge on the tray  the child can then wipe up any spills.

Toddler activity of the week- spooning beans

A satisfying toddler activity

Transferring objects from one place to another is a favourite activity of most young children. 

It seems like they're just moving things about but, like much of what children do, it is so much more than it appears.

The child is:

  • perfecting their grip
  • exploring textures
  • gaining an understanding of weight and distance
  • developing their fine motor skills and their hand eye coordination
  • adding strength and flexibility to their wrist and arm movements
  • while at the same time learning a skill useful in their quest for independence. 

Setting up a spooning activity, is is easy and practical as you probably already have everything you need in your cupboards.

To start you need:

  • A tray 
  • two bowls of equal size
  • beans or similar objects to be transferred
  • a child's height place to work

Setting up the activity on a tray makes it more practical as any objects which are spilt fall onto the tray and are more easily retrieved.

When introducing any new activity to your toddler first show it to them while sitting beside them so they can clearly see the actions required and then, if practical, store the tray on a shelf where it is possible for the child to choose and use independently.

If your child is not yet ready for using a spoon the activity can be set up in the same way with things like pom poms or shells which the child transfers from bowl to bowl by hand.

There are many ways this activity can be developed and refined as your child develops.