Written by Liza John
A happily playing toddler is such a pleasure to watch. However, any parent can attest to the fact that keeping toddlers engaged and entertained is not a task meant for the weak of heart. When a child utters “I’m bored,” it means that without a quick solution, you are going to have a handful of a toddler with boundless energy.
Planning ahead can mostly work in your favour, but constantly organising your child’s playtime can be taxing for you and stressful for the child. In fact, you need to allow your child to find their own means of entertainment. This can enable them to explore their interests and be more independent when it comes to occupying their time.
Fun Indoor Activities
Sometimes life may force you and your family into closed spaces and you will have to make peace with it. It is most likely that you had a tough time keeping your toddler engaged during the quarantine. Without enough stimulation, curious minds are bound to run wild. Here are a few ways in which you can let your toddler have fun indoors without causing too much trouble.
It might seem difficult to get your bundle of energy to settle down and pick up a book, however, the activity can be beneficial to them in the long run. Starting with picture books and fairy tales, if your child’s introduction to reading is done right, they will have a lifelong friend in books.
Since toddlers are in the process of language acquisition reading to them and gradually teaching them to read can boost their language skills tremendously. You can also take your child to the local library and interact with the community there or even have some role-play to make things interesting.
Having a make-believe tea party is fun but what if your toddler has too much energy to simply sip on tea. Let them expend the best of their energy by singing and dancing to their heart’s content. You can join them and even get a workout session out of it. If you feel like you haven’t been spending enough time together as a family, this can be your weekly bonding activity.
If you have enough space indoors, arrange furniture in such a way that it becomes an obstacle course for your child. Give them the necessary instructions to move through it as well. For example, if your child has not yet picked up the appropriate use of prepositions, this can be of great use. Instructions like ‘go over the chair’, ‘crawl under the table’, and ‘stand next to the vase’ can teach your child how to follow directions as well.
Toddlers are more prone to spend their time looking at screens these days. The lack of physical activity can hinder their growth and development drastically, so it is up to you to get them moving. Capture their attention by giving them clues to find a surprise. If you have a backyard or enough floor space, you can get creative and keep your toddler hooked to solving clues and working their grey cells for a long time.
Conquering the outdoors
Fresh air and physical activity make people feel better regardless of their age. While ensuring that your child gets the required physical activity, you can join in the fun and keep your child entertained for a while. An advantage of outdoor activity is that your toddler will be out like a light the moment you put them to bed since they got all that excess energy out of the system.
Here are a few things you should try the next time your child is lacking for things to occupy their day:
Learning how to ride a bike is often described as a core childhood memory. Let your toddler have some fun on the wheels by teaching them how to ride a bike. While it may take some time and tears before they can ride on their own, it will be worth it. Once they get a hang of it, you can ride your bikes as a family every weekend as a bonding activity.
Interaction with the environment is imperative for the holistic growth of your child. Let your toddler get familiar with the nature around them by taking them on a hiking trail. The activity can engage your child physically and mentally as they take in everything they experience.
Playing with Pets
If you have a pet at home, especially a dog, taking them out to walk can be a fun activity for your child. Visit a dog park with your child and pet and see how much fun the two can have. After getting back home, you can also teach your child how to feed and care for your pet.
Toddlers need constant stimulation, or they simply get bored and throw tantrums. Make sure that your toddler develops well in every aspect by keeping them engaged in various ways. Let them explore various indoor and outdoor activities so that they can have a wholesome childhood.