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10 Activities to Keep Your Toddler Engaged, Mom Tested and Toddler Approved

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Routine. I hear that it’s a good thing.  Probably not the routine we have in our house.  Toddler wakes up and urges you to let him into your bed.  Then urges you to get him a bottle of milk.  And then urges you to turn on one of his shows on Netflix.  I don’t know, maybe it’s the crumbs in my unmade bed that are getting to me but I think it’s time for a new routine.  

So I set out to find things to excite my 18-month-old son.  Activities that would stimulate his growing brain and help him discover the world around him…instead of what happens to be in the trash can at the time.  

I was skeptical about the first activity I found but it already had one great quality.  Free materials! Check this out: milk jug (cleaned out of course) and clothes pins.  Both of which I already had.  Toddler puts the clothes pins in the milk jug and then urges you to …wait, no, let him discover, …then the toddler learns how to shake them out! 

That leads me to the second activity.  Playing with pots and pans, especially while I cook dinner because it keeps him in the kitchen with me.  Not hiding in his toy car eating my hidden stash of chocolate (true story). 

Bean bag toss is another great activity.  I thought there would be  more fun putting them in different boxes or places in the house.  Instead he wanted me to throw them toward him.  I happened to make them myself so it was another free activity!

Pipe cleaner and a colander

Pipe cleaner and a colander

Other great activities to try:

  • Nature walks (let them explore)
  • Crafting pom poms and a cupcake pan for sorting
  • Pipe cleaner and a colander
  • Coloring
  • Play dough (you can make it yourself too!)
  • Fort building
  • Reading nook (even if they are not reading yet, they love to try!)
  • Bubbles

What activities do you enjoy with your toddler?

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson February 12, 2014

    Some things we loved when my kids were toddler are also great sensory activities: playing with pasta, exploring ice cubes, getting a huge bucket of flour and letting them play, painting with yogurt, leftover bubble wrap play and stacking cups provided endless hours of entertainment.

  • comment avatar Jessica Humrich February 12, 2014

    We started letting Brodie help in the kitchen from his high chair. Making potatoes? We cut them up and put them in his bowl and let him tranfer them to the cooking pot. He likes to add ingredients to be mixed in too.

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