Entertaining a toddler can be a difficult job, but there are some tried and true ways of keeping them entertained for 10 minutes or more. Listed below are five activities that will keep your toddler amused long enough for you to take a small break, as well as spend quality time with your child.
Most people say that the TV is the best babysitter. This is not a good habit to form because it can lead to many problems later in life. This doesn’t mean that your child should never watch TV. There are many shows on TV that are educational and get your child up and moving. Half an hour or so a day is a good amount to let your child watch one of the educational programs such as the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. There are other shows, such as My Little Pony, that will teach your toddler the value of friendship. Each show teaches different things and is focused on different aspects that a toddler should learn.
Puzzles are a great way to keep your toddler entertained. They are also a great way to help your child learn dexterity with their hands and fingers, as well as pattern recognition. Puzzles come in different forms, not just the regular piece by piece kinds. There are puzzles available that a toddler can piece together while playing with the zipper that can be found on the piece, or the button flap, or even the shoelaces on the piece. These puzzles are available at most stores that carry children’s toys.
Coloring books are a classic way to entertain your toddler. A box of Crayola crayons and a big coloring sheet can keep a toddler busy for a good long while, especially if you have purchased the 64-color box. To prevent them from coloring things other than the coloring book, set them up on their own special table and tell them that they have to take good care of their table. This not only teaches them responsibility, but also makes the clean-up process easier on you.
Painting with Acrylics and Water Colors
This project is a bit more hands on with your toddler than others and takes some set up before starting it. First of all, set out some newspaper on the surface you are going to be doing your painting on. For younger toddlers, watercolors are best to use with brushes because there is less chance of a spill going badly. Non-toxic acrylics are best used for things such as finger painting. Once you have your area set up for easy clean-up, choose your paper and paints. A surface that your child can get to easily is the best choice; this will save their clothes from getting extremely dirty. Try having your toddler copy your actions while painting things like a rudimentary house or stick figures.
Up and Moving: Games That Will Get Them Walking
One of the best things you can do for your toddler is introduce exercise early on and make it fun. For girls, one of the most fun things they can do is to push their “baby” in their own stroller around the living room or the kitchen. For boys, racing their cars along the floor and tables can be a great way to keep them active. A fun tip to try is to ‘time’ them and ‘beat’ their own records for getting to point B from point A. This will keep your toddler active, which will keep them healthy.
There are many more ways you can keep your toddler active and busy, these are just a few ideas you can try out for yourself.
As a mother of 3 and having years of experience working in child care and preschool, Kristin Foster is terrific at keeping children entertained while learning important values. She’s also contributed to the Top Online Early Childhood Education Degree Programs for others who love children and would like have a career that not only allows them adequate time with their own children, but also helps mold our future members of society.