Playful Toddler
Try these simple activities for the first time or revisit an old faithful that is sure to delight and entertain. Tried and tested many times on my little girls!
Basket – Go for a walk to ‘find treasures’ for your basket.  Treasures may include interesting leaves, feathers, rocks, flowers and other such things.  Enjoy the ramble as your toddler learns to look for wonders. You can go through them again when you get home and make a collage on paper or a little garden by sticking them into play dough or sand.
Pegs – There are so many uses for a peg in play. Try making a ‘fishing rod.’  Tie a short piece of wool/string with a peg on one end to a stick.  Finding the perfect stick is a feature step in this activity! Peg on whatever you wish to catch. Aluminum foil fish were our fancy catch this week. Pegs are also perfect for treasure hunts.
Pillows – A game of musical cushions is brilliant fun for little ones. Spread cushions around the room.  Dance or march around in a circle and when the music stops quickly land on a cushion. You can include sharks/crocodiles/crabs that might nibble on any dangling toes if your kind appreciates a scary element!
(Non-wire) Coat hangers – Create a clothesline with a skipping rope between two dining chairs and invite your toddler to hang the coat hangers up for you. We have inherited a collection of frilly coat hangers perfect for this activity.  This is a challenge my girls have enjoyed many times over! Always monitor closely of course.
Nursery Rhyme Play – Choose a familiar nursery rhyme and find a couple of props to act it out with together. Rhymes like Little Miss Muffet, Humpty Dumpty, the Grand ole Duke of York and Miss Polly had a Dolly are good ones. Take it in turns to role-play characters such as the friendly spider or Miss Muffet with a bowl and spoon sitting on a cushion tuffet.
Old blanket or sheet – Throw down a blanket and convert lunch or morning tea into an indoor or outdoor picnic for a simple yet most exciting change.
Rice – This is a classic case of the process being as wondrous as the outcome. Make colored rice by adding 5 or so drops of food dye to a large handful of rice in a snap lock bag/well-sealed plastic bag. Your toddler will love watching the rice change color as they shake the bag. Adding a second color makes for fun too! Pour different colored rice into separate bowls and give your toddler a spoon and jar/glass to make rainbow layers.
The plastics cupboard – The old faithful. Take some different shaped containers outside with a bucket of water. This is a great activity for you to monitor while having that much needed cup of tea. Adding a few drops of food dye to a couple of containers of water adds another dimension of fun.
Body Cream – A cheap body cream has a lot of appeal to a little one in play.  It can be a healing doctor’s remedy, a fairy’s magic balm to make you fly, invisible or giggle! Yoghurt for baby dolls and just ‘very special cream.’
Pantry or Shoe Basket – Many times I have found myself pulling items out of the pantry or shoes out of the basket to make a shop. All that is needed is a basket or pram for the grocery store and something to measure with for the shoe shop and there is some serious fun to be had.
Em M