With the social restrictions the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is forcing, many of us parents are looking to be safe and find fun learning activities for our toddlers at home.
Schools are closed, borders are closed or partially closed, people are asked to stay inside, live entertainment and other recreational events have been shut down in many places.
There is now very little choice in terms of outside entertainment. That means we have to be creative to make the best of the situation.
On the bright side, it’s a great opportunity to bond with the kiddos.
Over the next weeks if the kids are home most/all of the time, it makes sense to plan the days and activities. It will help keep structure and avoid things kicking off at home with the young ones!
THESE ACTIVITY ARE…
“BUDGET SENSITIVE, USES SUPPLIES WE ALREADY HAVE & REQUIRE MINIMAL SET UP.”moonstruck mom
Most of the list uses things many of us already have around the house and require minimal setup. This is key due to the COVID-19 situation we have going on at the moment! Plus we know toddlers are ecstatic about exploring the world around them so they might move from activity to activity quite quickly. So, activities with minimal set up is gold.
These activities are good if you’re a parent who:
- is just budget conscious
- lives in a country or area where most stores are closed and access to buying toys or materials is limited
- doesn’t have as much time because they are working or have more than one child
FUN ACTIVITIES THAT IMPROVE DEVELOPMENT FOR TODDLERS
1. Scavenger hunt around the house. Hide different toys or household products around the house, along with a very simple clue leading to each hunted item. A little work can go a long way with this one. Of course you’ll have to lead the charge from one clue to the next!
Skills: Attention, understanding directions, memory skills, language social development.
2. Make a band. Literally get all the family members together, pick a list of songs and perform them. Make it a ‘thing’ so it feels special to the young ones. If you don’t have music instruments to play with, use pots and pans. Not the best for your ears drums but a lot of fun!
Skills: Coordination, listening skills and musical ability.
3. Play house. This one is endless. You can structure it with different scenarios around cooking, cleaning or a daily activity families tend to do at home.
Skills: Playing make belief is excellent for the imagination, creativity and cognition.
4. Calling around. Find some old phones around the house or play phones and make different types of calls to each other. Book a doctor’s appointment, call a friend or grandma or call a helpdesk to fix a device.
Skills: Creativity, language, social development via real world scenarios.
5. Name the shape, number or letter. This activity will take a little bit of prep work to cut shapes, letters and numbers out if you don’t have shape, number or letter flashcards. Give them plenty of positive feedback when you play this game.
Skills: Language development, understanding and recognition.
6. Cereal drawing or writing. Use cereal to have fun and snack. Draw different things like shapes or words with it. Glue them down and create art you can keep.
Skills: Fine motor skills, attention and creativity.
FUN BUDGET ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS AT HOME CON’T
7. Body/hand/feet drawing. Have your child lay on a large piece of paper and outline their body, hands or feet. You can also color in or paint within the body shapes afterwards. This is a great way of starting to teach body parts, helpful for potting training and understanding growth amongst parents versus kids or across siblings.
Skills: Gross motor skills and language, social development.
8. I spy with my little eye. Play this with your youngsters in the garden or out the window. One person “spies” or looks out the window. For example, mom must find something that is a particular color outside the window and not tell her child. The child has to guess what it is. For instance, “I spy something that is red.” My child guesses correctly that it is our neighbors red car parked beside our house.
Skills: Listening skills, attention, language and social development.
9. “Simon says”. This is a common game many of us played growing up. It can be really simple to play with really small children. One person is “Simon”. Simon asks the group to touch something on their body or clothing. For example: Simon says touch your nose, then everyone must touch their noses. Simon then can say “touch your nose” without saying “Simon says” then the person is “caught” and is out. The key is to pay attention to when there is no Simon in the short sentence.
Skills: Language development, listening skills and attention.
10. Bath beach party. What better way to improve the mood of the household than a good ol’ party. Sing and dance, and encourage play together and individually. Never leave your child around water unattended. You can include sand if you have it at your disposal.
Skills: Creativity, tactile stimulation and social development.
MINDFUL PARENTING IN THESE TIMES
Don’t forget to stay mindful as a parent in all of this. It’s a lot of time with the kids and with parents working at home mixed with cabin fever, it can become rather difficult.
Here are some other helpful resources:
- FREE Mindful parenting guide with activities
- 4 Mindful Activities to Improve Children Outcomes
- 3 Key Principles of Mindful Parenting
If you have other cool activities that you’ve been doing inside with the kids, please share. We’re all in this together!
Be good to yourself,