No one can deny that keeping a toddler busy is a true test of patience! And God forbid, if there’s another child in the picture! It’s a disaster waiting to happen with frayed nerves, short tempers, tantrums and questioning yourself as a worthy parent. But there’s really no reason to give up hope as there are a plethora of activities and a lot of parental advice on how to keep a child busy at home. Sometimes, what appears to be the silliest of activities can keep your little one engaged for hours. So whether it’s toys to keep kids busy or activities for toddlers at home, let’s help you out with a few simple suggestions.
Dos and Don’ts
Safety needs to be your first priority. Sharp items or toys that are small enough to be swallowed or stuffed up their nose are a complete no-no. Anything to do with water has to be strictly supervised.
Tasks for kids need to be age-appropriate or they are going to backfire. Give a toddler crayons and be prepared for not so artistically decorated walls. Also, remember that every child reaches milestones at a different pace.
It’s good to remember that all children, even among your own, are very different in their likes and dislikes.
Make sure that activities for toddlers at home involve a minimum of screen time and good luck to you for that. It’s an easy and convenient option for parents and a great way to keep kids hooked for hours but do remember that it comes with its problems like causing restlessness, poor sleep, anxiety, a low attention span and obesity as it restricts physical activity.
Keep a balance between structured activity and letting your child do things on their own or they might get irritable and cranky.
Plan some tasks for kids that involve the whole family as it strengthens bonds and makes them want to spend more time with you, even when they grow up.
Activities that involve a lot of physical movement like playing ‘Catch’, hopping or jumping are loved by kids and as a bonus it keeps them physically fit with strong bones and muscles and of course, burns all that extra energy.
Get cost-effective and creative toys to keep kids busy as they couldn’t care less about branded toys and simple household items can keep them as engaged.
Planning fun learning activities fosters their overall development, a love for learning and lays the foundation for forming good habits from a young age.
It may be challenging but here are a few tips on how to keep a child busy at home so that it’s fun for your child and you.
Creative stories Give your child some props or toys and ask them to create a story. This fosters creativity and imagination and is a fun learning experience.
Finger painting or playdough or anything which they can squish or mould helps in sharpening their senses and keep them busy for ages.
This is one of the biggest favours you could do for your children as it opens a whole new world for them and develops their imagination and vocabulary while being a great time for bonding.
Singing and dancing
Children never get tired of this and it is great for their emotional development too and is an ideal mood enhancer. You can also pick a letter and ask your child to pretend to be an animal or bird that starts with that letter and dance to music.
You can lay a simple obstacle course which involves running, jumping, climbing and hopping. They find this exciting and it’s also a perfect way to enhance their motor skills.
This is an all time favourite with children and encourages creativity and hand-eye coordination as well as problem-solving skills.
Helping your child to make a sandwich with a funny face or some lemonade is a good life skill and something they really enjoy.
Plan a small scavenger hunt
Set small tasks for kids and ask them to find something pink, something soft, something you wear when it’s cold or something to draw with. With more children you can make it a race or competition.
Don’t wake the bear
This game is a win-win situation for you and your toddler. Keep a toy near yourself and pretend to be a sleeping bear. Your child has to be very quiet and try to get their toy back without waking you up. If they make any noise, open your eyes and growl so that they run back to their place.
Create a game box
A great way to encourage independent play is to fill a box with things they like and which don’t require much supervision like playdough, games or LEGOs. This way your child has an option of choosing what they want to play with.
This of course would require strict adult supervision but can be done once in a while. Give your child special toys, bath crayons or bath foams to play with while in the tub. This can actually keep them busy indefinitely and gives you some time to sit and relax or maybe read a book in the toilet.
Some soapy and clean water is all it takes to keep your kids busy as they wash their toys or doll’s clothes. It gives you time to do your own work and keeps them thoroughly entertained for a long time. But again, adult supervision cannot be compromised on.
The key to planning activities for toddlers at home is to plan ahead and have activities ready. You can try out the above options and see what your child enjoys and let them use their imagination too. You don’t always have to be superhuman as a parent and can always reach out to Eurokids for more ideas on how to keep a child busy at home.