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I have loved having Miss JJ around, but sometimes it is hard to think of ideas to keep her busy. I decided I needed to make a list of my favorite toddler activities for me and to share with everyone else trying to keep their sanity living with a busy little toddler. I’m not a child expert, but these are some ideas that we use to keep busy. These activities should be done with supervision as well.
1. Bubbles. I don’t mean sit and blow bubbles. Just break down and buy a bubble machine. I recently bought this one and it is AMAZING. Tons and tons of bubbles with a lot less effort on my part. That way you can just play with your little one rather than worry about blowing.
2. Rotate Toys. This is just way to help kids enjoy some toys and then be excited for the old toys that seem like new.
3. Cup Stacking. Grab any cups, but I love to use red plastic ones. Build simple towers and have your little one knock them over or help you build. Miss JJ finds pure joy in knocking down cup towers.
4. Go to the park. Visit all the parks in your area. Walk to them if they are close. Drive to ones further away. Pack a picnic lunch and play on the toys or explore the whole park through your child’s eyes.
5. Go to the zoo. The zoo is a great place for toddlers to check out so many things they haven’t seen before. My tip is to go first thing in the morning. Usually animals are more active first thing in the morning and it is sometimes less crowded.
6. Paint using foods. Mix rice cereal or something similar with food coloring (or just use baby food purees). Lay down a disposable table cloth and let your toddler paint using a brush or fingers on the table cloth (outside).
7. Go on a walk. We go on so many walks. I try to walk different ways each day and sometimes we take the stroller or sometimes I carry her in a Bjorn to make it a little bit different. If you have an nature paths in your area, check those out for a change of scenery as well. We’ve even gone walking in the mall when the weather is bad.
8. Go on a bike ride. I love to ride my bike and it is also a fun way for toddlers to experience moving in a new way. Whether you use a bike trailer or a bike seat, it will be fun to get out and get some fresh air.
9. Go swimming. If you little one loves water, then this will be a hit. The water can be relaxing and toddlers love to splash. Bring along a couple of water toys for even more fun.
10. Schedule a playdate. Call cousins or friends that live close and get together with them. Toddlers enjoy playing with other little ones, especially only children. Find some good friends and you and your little one will enjoy spending time with.
11. Read books. This is a great idea to do together or to occupy a toddler. It is fun to read the books to your child and a great opportunity to teach them, but the pictures and page turning keep my little one entertained for quite a while on her own.
12. Listen to music and dance. Grab your favorite tunes and get grooving. My little babe loves to shake it and dance. Any type of music gets her going, but see if you can find some favorites for your toddler. Mine especially loves the Hot Dog Song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
13. Go to the mall. The nice thing about the mall is that everything changes. You can go in the same stores and they change displays all the time. It also might be fun to ride the kiddie rides or just walk around. Maybe even sneak in a snack from the food court.
14. Go grocery shopping. My little one loves to ride in the cart. She can look around and still see me. Plus, try to make it a game. Walk a little faster or slower and back and forth.
15. Cup bowling. Set up those cups from number 3 and roll a ball into them. It is fun to help baby try and again they might love it when the cups fall over like mine does.
16. Sing Songs. There are so many little kid songs you can sing with or without actions. Can’t think of any, then search online or here are a few to get you started: The Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, Bingo, Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc.
17. Color or Draw. Give your toddler some time to practice their coloring and writing skills. Try to make it fun with huge coloring books or butcher paper on the floor. If it is warm use sidewalk chalk.
18. Bake something. Whip up something simple and let your toddler help with the mixing and such. Then enjoy whatever you make together.
19. Go to the library. Many libraries have story time or other special events. Head to these events or just browse through the books.
20. Take a drive. Sometimes mom needs a busy little toddler to be secure. A drive is a nice way to see scenery, listen to some music and not have to keep track of an active little one.
21. Loading and unloading laundry baskets. The same goes for buckets, cabinets, etc. This is a great exploration activity. Put different items in the baskets and let the little one go through it.
22. Sensory Play. Sensory play is anything that allows a child to explore one of the five senses. There are so many ways to do this with random objects around the house. Browse through Pinterest or just come up with your own ideas.
23. Splash Pad. It is like a mini water park for kids. We have a few nearby and it is a free way to play and cool down.
24. Aquarium. If you have a local aquarium load up your kid and head that way. Water animals are very interesting for little ones who find wonder in so many things.
25. Watch an educational TV program. I know there are lots of us trying to limit screen time (which I agree with) but a little TV here and there is not going to hurt and if it is educational then it isn’t just junk.
Now I’ve told you my favorite toddler activities, what are your favorites? I can always use more ideas to keep Miss JJ busy!
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