When you can’t go outside you may have to get creative on how to keep toddlers entertained indoors. As toddlers, kids are discovering the world through their five senses. Kids don’t have to wait until they are school age to begin the learning process. They can be started off as young as the age of two with a few fun and educational games.
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Music is a good tool for learning. The rhythm and the lyrics teach hand-to-eye coordination, tone and memorization. Once kids are two years old they can usually walk without wobbling too much. Their balance is even between both feet and they are learning to jump and run.
These skills are helpful in songs like “Hokey Pokey”. They learn the right from the left foot and the right from the left arm. Perform the song once for them and then have them try it with you. Both kids and parents will get a laugh out of the song and the game. Don’t worry about how well they perform the movements. Over time, they will improve. “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Row, Row, Row your Boat” are also good songs for movement and rhythm.
I can still remember nursery rhymes from my childhood. Why? Nursery rhymes are told over and over to kids. Even though your child can’t read yet, use picture books to tell the story of the nursery rhymes. When you recite them, use a sing-song rhythm. Start off with simple ones like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Mary had a Little Lamb”.
Picture books are excellent for familiarizing toddlers with animals and their sense of touch and a great way to keep toddlers entertained indoors. The book “Pat the Bunny” has soft surfaces that imitate the furry coat of a bunny. Children can feel the softness and associate it with a bunny rabbit. Other picture books have foods and other items in it that kids see in their homes. After reading the book, you could take your toddler around the house and see if he/she can find any of the book items in the house.
Toss the Animals Into the Hamper
Here is one that is so simple but so fun for the little ones. All you need is a laundry hamper of a box filled with stuffed animals. Show them what is inside and then dump it out. Even better when you add a “new” or not seen a long time toy. Dump it out and make it a game of filling it back up. You can add learning by filling by color or counting. They may also rediscover some the stuffed animals and play with them as well.
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Fun With Food for Toddlers
Kids like to pull things out and spread them on the floor as we learned in the above game. Use that behavior as a chance to teach them about fruits and vegetables. Purchase the fake fruit that usually comes with play kitchens. As the child picks up each piece, call out the name.
When your child learns to say the names themselves you can play a game with the food called “Fruit Basket Upset”. Throw the fruit up in the air. As you call out the name of the fruit the child has to pick it up and put it in his or her own basket. The child with the most fruit in their basket gets a prize.
Learning doesn’t have to be boring. When you start off making learning fun, toddlers will continue to enjoy the process. Summer can be especially challenging if older brothers and sisters are home as well, check out this Summer Activity Guide for Kids. But what about YOU?