With your active toddler now officially between two to three years of age, this is the time where they are learning about boundaries and struggling between their total reliance on their caregivers and their independence. As their reasoning skills, gross motor and fine motor development are further enhanced, parents can engage in simple yet interactive play with your tots!
Here are 10 fun and easy toddler activities to try out at home:
1. Tangram puzzles
Tangram puzzles are typically made of wood and come in a set of assorted shapes like hexagons, diamonds, triangles, squares and trapeziums. Seemingly simple, tangram puzzles enhance spatial intelligence and enable children to visualise structures. Spatial skills have been linked to better academic performance.
There is no fixed way to play with tangrams; you can let your child make his or her own complex shapes or follow the puzzle card to form shapes.
2. Tapes on a mirror
Get a child-safe mirror and paste a few strips of masking tapes or washi tapes on top of the mirror with ends folded in for easy gripping. This activity helps young children improve their dexterity. An alternative to a mirror would be a large baking tray.
3. Build calming bottles
Calming bottles can be made easily using glitter, liquid glue mixed with water and some embellishments. Your toddler can assist by pouring the ingredients into a clear plastic drink bottle using a funnel. Remember to seal the cap tight with a hot glue gun to prevent a glittery mess all over your furniture! Those pretty colours and embellishments provide a visual experience for your toddler as they learn about shapes, sizes, colours and even movement as they tilt the calming bottles.
A clean, large, cardboard box can be cut open and drawn on to become a low-cost yet usable race track for your child’s toy vehicles. Involve your child by letting him or her decorate the race track with markers or crayons. Then, let your toddler place vehicles, animals, or any other toys or items from the home to create roadblocks. Your child’s creativity is in charge!
5. Obstacle Course
Create an indoor obstacle course by placing pillows, boxes, crates and furniture strategically for your toddler to jump, climb, manoeuvre and crawl under. Such activities not only train their balancing and coordination skills but also their spatial awareness. Just remember to take precaution about safety, and avoid playing near the window, or balcony.
6. Make a sandwich
Lay out ingredients such as sliced bread, butter or jam and other ingredients like ham, tomatoes or cheese for creating the sandwich on a large food tray. Your toddler will have fun spreading the bread slices with a butter knife and assembling his or her own sandwich. This activity works on their fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination and attention span. Mummy’s little chef in the making!
7. Dance to music
Perhaps the easiest activity to set up – dance time! Simply switch on your child’s favourite tune of the moment and start dancing! Parents can hang loose, and enjoy the disco time with your little tot – watch him or her groove!
8. Water Jug Station
Toddlers love to perform tasks by themselves. Setting up a water jug station that is easily accessible to them gives them the opportunity to practice transferring water from a jug into a cup. This task takes practice and you will have to keep clean towels handy to wipe up spills.
9. Mirror Paint
Create symmetrical artwork by folding a paper into half and dripping different colours of paint near the middle on one side. Fold the paper and unfold again to reveal symmetrical shapes. The visual wonder is sure to garner plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from your little observer!
10. Straw painting
The last activity is art related as well. Drip a large drop of paint onto paper and let your child control the route of the paint by blowing through a straw. This activity builds up their attention span, and as they create their straw painting masterpiece, they would also discover about cause-and-effect at play!
What is your favourite activity for 2 to 3-year-olds? How did they react? Let us know in the comments!