With the recent changes in my area to screening policies at child care centres and schools, many of us are finding ourselves at home in isolation (one day soon guys… we’re almost there…) so here is how I spent the morning with my toddler keeping him busy!
3 ways to keep a toddler busy
Activity #1: Painting!
My toddler will be 4 in June, and since the day he could hold something I have been trying to do crafts with him. I absolutely LOVE doing crafts with my kids (Which is new… I didn’t always enjoy it… omg the glitter clean up) However, he has not shared my interest until just recently. So you can understand my excitement! With Easter just around the corner, I have soooo many ideas floating around in my head that I will share in a later post. For now, I wanted to share some interesting information about painting, and what we did on this particular morning.
“Children take in the world around them through their eyes, and bright colors are one of the first aspects of sight that help them distinguish form and categorize objects. These colors appeal to young children, as they are easier for them to see. At about 5-months old, children can see colors with their still-developing vision, though distinguishing bright colors comes easier to them. As children age, they continue to be drawn to brighter colors. Color has also been known to affect their moods and behavior.” Rachel Pancare, who holds a Master of Science in childhood education explains in this article; How Do Bright Colors Appeal to Kids?
Onto our activity! All you really need is some paper, a paintbrush, paint, and any random objects! We used a paper towel that I cut up, and a large plastic stamp. My toddler had a blast making different shapes. I added dots of paint onto the paper (Thanks to some inspiration from a Canadian artist. Find his work by clicking Lots Of Dots) gave him the objects and let him go to town! It’s amazing what they can create on their own. He really did surprise me.
Painting with your children provides the following benefits:
– Helps develop fine motor skills
– Boosts self esteem
– Helps boost creativity
And so much more! I loved the fact that we sat down together, and talked about what he was painting, what colors he was using, etc., so it can also help build your child’s vocabulary.
Tip: Display their artwork and talk about it, which helps build their self esteem. Be proud to hang that painting on the fridge, or frame it and add it to the playroom! Don’t forget to add the date on the back of it, and title it! Ask your child what they painted; sometimes their answers will give you a good chuckle.
Me: What a great happy face!
Toddler: A Duck.
Me: Of course it’s a duck! Obviously it’s a duck.
Activity #2: Car Wash!
If you have a toddler, there is a good chance you have some hot wheels in your house. I have two boys…. I have a thousand hot wheels in my house. I don’t even think that is an exaggeration… All you need for this is a small bucket (We used the recycling bin that came with his Step 2 play kitchen!) some water, a towel, and a tiny bit of dish soap!
Add water to the bin, add the soap, and mix it around until some bubbles form. Have your toddler give their cars a “car wash” by placing them in the bin and then drying them on the towel! It is such a simple activity but it kept my toddler busy for almost an hour! Bonus: Helps get rid of germs! Don’t have any cars around the house? No problem. Wash any other toy! My son grabbed a couple of the play dishes from his kitchen and started washing them. He then wanted to step it up a notch and pushed his learning tower over to our sink, and started to wash the dirty dishes. Thanks buddy! Even more life skills are being taught now, and every time there is a chance to teach a new skill, like responsibility, is awesome.
Activity # 3: Baking!
Who doesn’t love the smell of baking! My son absolutely loves to help me bake, and again, baking (or cooking) with your children has huge benefits.
This activity works on fine motor skills, math skills, vocabulary and so so much more! It also might encourage a picky eater to try a bite of something they have helped make!
Don’t stress about the mess, because yes, it’s going to be messy! My toddler’s favorite thing to bake is muffins. He helps with every single step, and yes, we have lost some eggs along the way, and my floors have definitely seen their share of spilt milk, but guess what…my extremely picky eater will eat every single one of those muffins baked.
Being stuck at home can definitely get frustrating, add a toddler into the mix and it can be exhausting. It is hard coming up with new things to do to keep our tiny humans busy! I hope these activities bring you and you little one some fun and great memories! Stay tuned, and follow along the journey as I will be sharing more and more activities. Our basement reno is almost done and I can’t WAIT to share what our new playroom looks like. I don’t know who is more excited, me or the kids! (It’s me.)