The toddler phase aged around 1 and 3 and is a difficult time as they want to put things in their mouths, and also have short attention spans, and play can be messy. They are becoming very interesting little people and will provide you with hours of fun frustration and happiness. It’s tiring but stay in control and just enjoy this phase as they’re not toddlers for long.
Messy play is best
Toddlers need to explore touch taste and enjoy some very messy play. Try a few ice cubes in a tray, or some squishy jelly, or flour and see the reaction. Talk about it, make an ice drink and bake with flour and make jelly so they know what happens to the products. Edible finger paints are just the best fun, and make a point of designing a picture together and talking about it. Display all creative works of art and congratulate your budding artist.
A toddler will simply explore, whether it’s the cushions on the sofa, an old box, or old tissues, anything that’s safe and can be easily explored. A great play idea is using baby jars washed out and lids put lightly back on. Toddlers love to try unscrewing them, and will play for ages trying to fathom out how it works. They will stick little things inside and pull them out, and line them up then knock them down. Boxes are prized objects, and can provide activity for any young age. Ripping up old magazines is huge fun; also stacking paper cups, and any old pots and pans you may offer. Baking tins are a good backup, especially if you’ve already made a cake to enjoy. Paper plates are a great play toy so keep all the ones left from parties, wash them and keep them for your toddler to play with.
Toddlers don’t need expensive toys to amuse them. The simplest household things provide a great source of activity. Gather any fabric pieces, ribbon, and pipe cleaners or play balloons until they pop. If you get bubble wrap, keep it for toddlers to enjoy popping the bubbles walking on, and then scrunching it up. It’s great free fun. Elastic bands are good but under supervision, don’t let the toddler ping them into its face or mouth. Show them how to roll bands onto a used toilet roll holder, and see how many they can be put on. It could be a joint game and sort the colours as you stack the bands.
Inside and outdoors, make the changes
Make a point of making variety in play and make each day different. Your toddler may go back to play with the same old games, but keep providing a new source of activity as everything goes towards building a healthy child both mentally and physically.