We’ve been virtual learning now for several weeks with our 2nd and 5th graders. One of the main challenges we’ve encountered is keeping my 21-month-old busy and engaged while still being readily available to help with learning.
Somedays, Blippi helps out but I have found some simple toddler activities that have helped.
One thing I had to remember is that he’s a toddler. He truly can find entertainment in the smallest things. I also had to remember his attention span is about thisbig and there will be times he isn’t being actively engaged in an activity, and that is 100 percent ok!! Play is the way kids learn so this was an important reminder when the mom guilt creeped in!
I’ve also found that the less I have out and available for him, the more engaged and interested he is. Lots of choices and lots of toys readily available can be overwhelming for little ones and actually dwindles their attention. I will get out one or two choices and that will usually occupy him for quite some time.
7 Easy Toddler Activities
1. Just add water
This is slightly easier in the warmer months but I truly believe that on some of our hardest days- just add water- has come to the rescue! Filling a container of warm water, bubbles, and barbies or dolls, or cars for example, is so fun!
I’ve also given Sullivan a bath in the middle of the day, just to give him something to do! Add toys to the tub to make it special. We’ve added kitchen toy dishes, barbies, dolls, duplo blocks, and cars.
2. Sensory activities
You do have to determine if your kiddo is in the put everything in his mouth stage, but sensory activities can provide a lot of fun! Play-doh, slime, and water beads are some of our favorites. I usually get him set up at the table and then am able to turn my attention to something else, while still monitoring what he is doing.
The mess can be the main reason to shy away from crafts with a toddler but any craft activity always keeps my toddler busy and engaged. Crayons and even markers on paper, paint (although this makes stepping away hard), we also love do a dot markers. I can set him up with paper and various materials at a table and be able to help the big kids with something before we get crayons on the table or walls
4. Music and movement
Anyone who has a toddler will be able to recite head shoulders knees and toes. Toddlers especially love music and movement activities! We love gonoodle, kidz bop, and Little Baby Bum for music and movement.
5. Cars, blocks, and ramps
Use cardboard for a ramp, tape to make a road, you can have endless fun with these materials. My toddler loves all things cars and his attention can be held for a long time with just driving cars around!
Build a fort and let your toddler play in it. Read and play in there too! Especially during the quarantine, building forts was a favorite activity. Throw pillows and stuffed animals in there and you have all sorts of possibilities. We also have made reading important in our home and always have books available. If Sullivan is restless, I will sit down and just start reading. He eventually makes his way over to sit and listen. He also loves “reading” his own books too!
Favorite Instagram social media accounts to follow for ideas
I get lots of ideas from the above accounts especially when I’m in a rut. I know these accounts will be a lifesaver come this winter!