My little girl is now fifteen months old and keeping her entertained can be a challenge. She loves Mickey Mouse but I don’t exactly want her glued to the TV all day, and she soon tires of the same old toys day in day out. Of course we try and get out and about as much as possible, but when the weather is against us (as is often the way in the great UK) or I’m too tired to leave the house, finding new activities can be difficult. She isn’t quite at an age to colour or paint, and would rather eat said implements than create fridge-worthy works of art. After much searching I have come across some suitable activities for when your toddler is in that awkward in-between age. I hope some of these help you to keep your little one busy and aid in their learning at the same time!
1. Sensory Play. I had heard much about this kind of activity so decided to give it a try. I set up some dried pasta, rice and lentils in a plastic tub and put down some newspaper to help clean things up easier afterwards. She loved exploring all the textures and shapes and spent a good amount of time happily entertained. You can also add food colouring to the rice or lentils to create even more sensory fun.
2. Messy Play. Another popular activity and one I have to admit, I’d shied away from. I’m not too keen on having a big mess to clear up! However after seeing a friends little one having a ball I decided to give it a go. There are many different things you can do – sit them in a bowl of paint or, if you’re not quite so brave, things like Angel Delight, whipped cream or non-allergenic shaving foam are good fun. I decided to try some cooked spaghetti and my daughter loved sitting in it all, stripped down to her nappy, sucking away at the pasta.
3. Household Play. You don’t need to buy bright and expensive toys to entertain your little one, there are many thing around your home that they will love exploring. Every now and again I raid our home for different items for my little girl to play with and she loves it. An old purse filled with receipts and old banks card are a favourite, and she loves noisy bangles and scarves. In the kitchen, pans, bowls, wooden spoons and a sieve are always welcomed. I even went to the Poundshop and bought some cheap bits that she could play with and came back with hair rollers, a hairbrush, a plastic handheld mirror, sponges and some erasers. This really is a favourite thing to do with my little one and I love joining in with her little role play games. It keeps us both amused for ages.
4. Build a Den. I don’t know about you but one activity I loved as a child was building a den. Your little one is exactly the same, they may just need some adult help to build! Grab an old clothes horse, use furniture and throw over some blankets and towels and hey presto! Throw in some toys and soft cushions and your little one will love crawling around their new hide-out! If you want to go that step further you could string up fairy lights for that extra touch of magic.
5. Water Play. Quite an easy playtime activity is to fill your sink or bowl with warm water (make sure you check the temperature before you let them play), strip them down to their nappy and let them splash around. Babies love water and just having a splash will keep them thoroughly amused. You can even throw in a few plastic implements and toys for them to play and explore with. NB Make sure you supervise them at all times whilst in the water.
So there you have it, five easy to do activities that will hopefully give you some ideas to keep your little ones entertained on those hard-to-please days!