Make your play space toddler friendly
Toddlers are into everything – you don’t need me to tell you that. Inquisitive, resourceful, always on the go, looking after a two- or three-year-old can be exhausting. One thing that can really make a difference is to make your play space as toddler-friendly as possible – with lots of interesting things for them to explore but with safety and sanity limits in place for your peace of mind. Try a child’s eye audit of your space and see what changes you can make.
Super sensory play
Although no longer babies, toddlers are still sensory beings who need to explore the world by touching, seeing and doing. Sensory, messy play is fun for young children and offers lots of opportunity to play with creative, science and maths ideas. At two and three the chances are that your children will still put everything they come across in to their mouths but don’t let that make you shy way from messy play. Jelly (jello), potatoes and plain old water are perfect play things.
You can also let them try out their artistic side but remember that it’s the process of painting or drawing that children benefit from exploring, however the end product turns out. Roller painting with cars and paint printing are fun ideas to try.
Boost their language
Children of this age are really developing their language skills, so give this a playful boost by including in your week some fun ways to encourage their chat. A song bag is a great way to have fun with rhyme and rythmn and puppets make great props to go along with songs and stories. Finger puppets the children can make themselves are also wonderful for encouraging conversations.
Play at grown-ups
As children get a little older they begin to play pretend games, trying out things they’ve seen adults doing at home or when they’re out and about. This is a great way for them to test out situations and relationships, practise language and build friendships, so encourage it by providing some simple props. You could try posh teashops, train driving, camping or a building site.
This post is joining in with the Carnival of Toddlers hosted by PhD in Parenting, where you can find many more ideas for parenting, suriving and having fun with toddlers. You might also like to sign up for our Weekly Play Planner which delivers seven fun play ideas to enjoy with your kids every week. And you can like NurtureStore on Facebook or add the site to your reader and we’ll keep you supplied with plenty more toddler play ideas.