At this age, toddlers are big on sensory play and love experimenting with various textures. Are you stuck at home with no idea of what to do with your bored toddler? Here’s a list of simple activities you can do with your child which will help to develop his thinking skills.
Make a pretend telescope from the inner cardboard tube of a kitchen paper towel roll! Children love peeking through the tube. Jig your child’s imagination by asking him what he sees – is it a plane, stars in the sky or a bird?
#2 Walk on bubbles
Bubble wrap, that is. Lay bubble wrap along a corridor and let your toddler step on it to pique his curiosity and be intrigued by the popping sounds made. Other than walking, encourage your toddler to jump, lie down or crawl on the bubble wrap. This helps them to fully experience a different textured surface. Oh, and those little fingers would delight in popping the bubble wrap too! Hello, independent play!
#3 Ball Play
Get a lightweight ball and pass it to-and- fro with your tot. Make the game more interesting by getting him to roll or bounce the ball. This activity strengthens their hand-eye coordination and engages them in physical activity.
#4 Water doodle books
Water doodle books contain images that magically appear when in contact with water. The books usually come with a water pen. Watch the fascination on your child’s face as he sees the white images come to life when he scribbles on it!
#5 Build sandcastles
If it is your toddler’s first time to the beach, he may be cautious and afraid of having soft sand under his feet. Once he is relaxed, let him shovel sand into a bucket and build a sandcastle together!
#6 Stack paper cups
Have some unused paper cups lying around the house? Your toddler can try stacking and unstacking the cups or build a pyramid with the cups. Lots of concentration and focus is needed for this activity. His hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity and visual processing skills will be strengthened through the stacking and unstacking of cups. Best of all, it won’t hurt if it topples!
#7 Play with scarves
Scarf play facilitates your child’s physical and emotional development. Teach your child the various actions that can be done with scarves – crumpling, swishing, floating. When your child swishes the scarf around, it’s not just play. Your child is also learning about patterns and directions whilst developing their sensory skills. Turn on the music, and who knows! You might discover a little dancer in the making too.
#8 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
At this stage, toddlers are learning about their bodies. This classic children’s song is a great way to teach body parts and develop coordination as they move to touch their head, shoulders, knees and toes. Try changing the tempo of the song slower or faster to maintain interest.
#9 Wooden Puzzles
Even the simplest puzzles aid your child in building problem solving skills which are essential for their future school and adult life. Start off with wooden puzzles which have hollows in the shape of the puzzle pieces. Move on to easy, two-piece puzzles with easily recognizable objects or animals when your child is ready to attempt more complex pieces.
Sit facing your toddler and do something for her to mimic, like waving your hands or clapping. Wait for your toddler to recognise the action and mimic it. Babies and toddlers are social creatures and enjoy uninterrupted face time with their caregivers.
#11 Ice Fishing
Place ice cubes in a clear tub with a few plastic figurines (preferably sea animals) and get your toddler to fish the figurines out with a mesh sieve. Allow him to use his hands to touch the ice and observe how ice melts and turns into water. That’s a simple Science experiment for your little one too!
#12 Doodle Box
Get a clean cardboard box large enough for your baby to sit inside, hand over a child-friendly crayon and let your baby unleash his inner Picasso! This activity aids in developing your child’s fine motor skills when he grasps and controls the crayon. It also confines any mess to the insides of the box. Let us raise world-ready children, one purposeful activity at a time.
What are some of your favourite activities for your 12- 18-month- old toddler? Do share them too!