activites to do with toddler

What activities do you do with your toddler during the day?  My son is always on the go! He has tons of energy and wants to run and climb all the time.  Besides lots of unstructured play here is a list of things we do for fun and to keep him us occupied, really simple things by the way:

1) Have him “help” with common daily activities: My son loves helping and getting involved when I am putting laundry away, picking up toys, cleaning the table with a towel and water or putting things in the dishwasher. I get to do what I need to do anyway and he is busy and happy by my side.

2) Reading time: We have lots of books and picture books and he loves when I read them to him. He enjoys pointing at the pictures so I can tell him the name of each thing.   His favorite right now is a count to 10  Sesame Street book.

3) Point to your/his body parts and name them/ask him to name them: It is a fun game and we can usually spend 10 minutes or more sitting on the floor playing.

4) Teach him shapes and colors with Play-Dough:  Play-Dough is wonderful because you can build just about anything you want. You can press and mold the play-dough into many different shapes and practice naming colors.

5) Painting/Drawing time: Sponge painting is fun and helps when learning colors as well, same with drawing, a crayon and a piece of paper is all you need.

6) Water Play Time:  A small bucket, a cup and water equals lots of fun.

7) Get out of the house: Take him outside to explore, remember the simplest things are new and amazing to him!  A walk to the park,  a visit to a Science Center, a Museum, a class or play group will keep you both entertained and you will get to meet other parents while he is socializing with other children.

8)  Sing songs with lots of hand motions and listen to music: My son usually repeats the hand motions and “sings” with me.

9) Look for things out the window: He seriously loves looking out the window. Sometimes we sit there while I tell him about all the things we are looking at. I point at the birds, the squirrels, cars, people going by etc. (Great opportunity to practice colors and counting).

10) Blow bubbles: You can make your own bubble solution with eco-friendly dish soap and water (1 cup of water & 2tbsp liquid dish soap). SO fun!

What is YOUR favorite activity to do with your little one?

Keep in mind that all activities for toddlers are a learning experience.  Their little minds are like sponges absorbing everything!   Don’t forget to allow for lots of unstructured play time {children NEED it} and just have fun!