10 Simple Ways to Keep your Toddler Engaged

Quietly as I sit in the classroom and watch the toddlers crumpling paper (it includes tearing as well), I realize that crumpling or tearing has been so much fun for them! I bet they can sit crumpling, tearing for hours together if we allow them. Then came the next instruction; pick up these crumpled paper balls, and aim to put in the basket (The basket was kept at a distance). “Oh that’s another thing that we can do with our invention”, is the thought of the little ones. Yes, you heard it right… Invention! Didn’t they invent something new for themselves? All they had was a boring piece of paper, they used their skills and crumpled it and now it is a ball! And now they have a fun game to play, aim to put the paper ball in the basket!

And after this activity well done by the Teacher and children in the classroom, you will see them imitating their Teacher and activity at home by picking any paper that they find, crumpling it to make a ball, and aiming it in the basket or anywhere. And mind it, this will go on for many days until either they discover something new or have played enough to be an expert.

I know that we Moms often feel guilty for using our phones as baby sitters. Yes, I agree that we get worked up all day just fulfilling the endless demands of work and family. And even more, worked up when we have two or more kids to handle. Well, to keep children busy, we don’t have to offer them a device or something fancy, or any ‘out of the box’ materials. Many materials that can keep children engaged are ‘in the box’ and very much in our shelves.

That made me think, let me curate some activities for all the lovely Moms who are striving so hard to keep their little ones and family happy! You can create these activities with simple things available at home that can keep children engaged for hours and also develop their skills-

  1. Crumpled paper ball game. This is the same activity that’s discussed above. The materials required are some old newspapers and a basket. Pick a few old newspapers, enjoy crumpling it along with your toddler. Next, keep the basket at a distance. After a few crumpled balls are ready, encourage your toddler to aim to put them in the basket and enjoy the game.
  2. Open and close the box. Take any box. Ensure that it doesn’t have any sharp edges that may harm your child. Give it to your toddler and watch them play -open and close.
  3. Stacking cups. You don’t always have to buy stackers from the shop. You can make your own. Just look into your kitchen drawers and pick child-friendly cups. Watch your child enjoy the activity of stacking up and then scattering.
  4. Create music. Tap on the table as you sing rhymes along with your child and watch them enjoy the music and the rhyme.
  5. Rolling dough. One of the best activities that can be done with the easiest available resource is ‘rolling dough’. Give your child small balls made from the wheat dough and a rolling pin. I can confidently say that your child will love it so much that you will have to hide the dough that you have kept for making Rotis!
  6. Bowling game. Collect all the plastic or disposable bottles at home. Arrange them in order. Let your child roll the ball to hit these bottles. Fun guaranteed for sure.
  7. Build Forts. Pick all the pillows and blankets available at home and build a fort for your prince or princess and let them feel ‘Royal’!
  8. Peek-a-boo. One activity that is fun for even a toddler is Peek-a-boo. Play as many times and have fun.
  9. Life skills activities. ‘Life skills’ is a vast subject. When inculcated in the early years can help the child be independent and resilient. Some of the life skill activities that can keep them engaged are arranging the toys, watering plants, arranging their plates, keeping their plate in the sink, etc. Teach them to fold their clothes and observe the fun. Also, teach them to Pray. I have so many memories of my son imitating his Grandparents and praying exactly the way they would.
  10. Take a walk in the neighbourhood and discuss everything that comes across like the grass, plants, trees, flowers, birds, animals.

Remember, a child will not follow what you ask them to but will follow what they see you doing. So, ensure that you are trying these activities along with your child and not leaving them on their own with the materials. The only activity for which they do not need your involvement is with the mobile. Rest all do!

I hope you enjoyed reading it! Try these with your toddler and share your feedback! Will share more fun activtities in the next post!

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