Sunday, 10 January 2016

10 ideas for entertaining your toddler

Entertaining a baby heading into toddlerhood is hard work. Early toddlerhood is a tricky one, they aren't babies anymore and can be easily bored by 'baby' activities but don't quite have the comprehension and fine motor skills needed for older toddlers. They might be walking but they aren't quiet ready to play in a park with mum and dad just watching on. They are starting to understand how the world works and are gaining more fine motor skills but they might not be great at taking direction yet. While many toddlers are on the cusp of independent play but many still need mum and dad's guidance when playing.

Here are some ways to keep your newly crowned toddler entertained:

1. Pick it up

My little girl has recently discovered the fun of tipping every block out of her bucket and putting them back in again, or moving them from one place to another. The might not be able to build much with their blocks yet but they are learning about 'like' objects and grouping. Putting objects into and out of containers is also great for developing those fine motor skills.

2. Bow time

I love this activity. Poke holes in the top of a box, push some ribbons through the holes and tie them into bows. As your toddler undoes the bows tie them up again. Hours (ok, minutes) of amusement right there.

3. Fun with scarves

Find some fun and floaty scarves, toss them up in the air and your toddler will love watching them float down. They'll also enjoy feeling the different textures and looking at the colours and patterns.

4. Colouring in

I made the mistake of giving my girl coloured pens to colour with the first time. I don't recommend it unless you want to spend some time getting ink out of your toddlers clothes, hands and the table top. Try crayons or coloured pencils until they have a bit more control! There are literally thousands of free printables around so just google some or let them free draw.

5. Yogurt painting

Tasty and fun! If you have one of those kids, like mine, who still puts everything in their mouth then yogurt painting is a fun and safe way to paint. Just add a couple of drops of food colouring to yogurt, mix and let your little ones paint with the colourful yogurt.

6.  Sand play

Sand is such a great sensory item. They'll happily run their fingers through the sand over and over again but you could also give them plastic tubs or cups to fill up and tip out. Be warned, a lot of sand may be eaten in the process of sand play.

7. Cornflour finger paints

There's no need to buy expensive paints, there are actually loads of paints you can make with simple ingredients you might have in your kitchen pantry. The beauty of these too is that they are 100% non-toxic and you know what is in it! Mix four heaped teaspoons of cornflour with a little bit of water, adding a little at a time until you're happy with the consistency and then add a couple of drops of food colouring. Easy as that.

8. You can't catch me

Hiding and chasing. Like a slightly more sophisticated game of peek-a-boo, hiding behind the lounge and popping up is a fun filled way to tire your toddler out. Move around and pop up behind objects or around corners yelling 'I'm going to catch you' and chase them around the house. Be prepared for giggle fits and get the coffee ready, you'll need an energy hit after all that chasing!

9. Water water everywhere....

It doesn't have to be a pool or a lake or a beach, most kids just love water! My girl will gravitate to any water source in whatever environment she's in. We have a water-play table for her, but she's just as happy splashing in the bath, playing under a sprinkler or dipping her feet in the lake. (Just make sure you never leave them alone with any water!)

10. Books books books

Some toddlers just don't have the patience for books while others adore them. My child could read/flip pages/look at books all day. I always have little boards books in the play areas which she'll bring me over and over again to read to her. Even if your toddler doesn't show much interest in reading, keep trying and eventually they might develop that love of books. Plus it is fantastic for your child's development!


What is your favourite activity to do with your little one? I'm always on the hunt of fun and entertaining activities!

Happy playing.


Linking with:
Mummy Do It
My Bored Toddler


  1. Great ideas!! I'm definitely going to give the paints a go this week! Thank you.

  2. I need this list! When they're grabbing at you, whinging because they're bored, it's so hard to think of fun toddler activities!

  3. So many great ideas Lu! My toddler loves water play and books (oh and trucks & diggers). #BlogFair

  4. I don't have any kidlets yet, but this list is great! I'm dreading the days I'll have to keep them constantly amused.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

  5. Some great ideas here Lu, mine used to love any water play but have only just got into books in the last couple of years.

  6. Great ideas! My daughter LOVES books. She will get one for me and one for her and then sits beside me and 'reads' her book. She's also just getting interested in drawing and looks so serious, like she is hard at work, when doing it. Thanks for sharing with the Blog Fair.

  7. My son loves drawing with markers, I find he is much more satisfied with the result of bright colour compared to pencils and crayons. Have you tried Crayola washable markers? I find they come out of clothes really easily.

  8. That photo with the scarves is just so cute! My favourite way to occupy my toddler is a masking tape car track!
    Thank you for linking up to #ToddlerFunFriday