I’ve been asked by quite a few new mamas and just mamas in general who are curious about what I do with Jam to keep her busy now that she is a toddler (that is so funny to say, it seems like I just had her) and is pretty darn active if I do say so myself. So, I decided to compose a few different ideas that we (Jam and I) have found to be pretty interesting, fun, age appropriate and can also be modified for younger or even, older children.
Before I go into different hands-on activities I want to mention some things that we like to do out in town that are also pretty fun and keeps my little one busy. We absolutely love to go to the library, we go at least once a week for toddler story/playtime. While there the children play, get a story read to them that has to do with whatever they are learning (alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, etc.) and then play with other children. We usually check-out new books to bring home and enjoy. Check your local library to see what exciting things you and your baby can get into.
We like to take Jam to the park and to feed the ducks which she really likes. I’m so happy that the ducks don’t freak her out (she calls them and any other animal, for that matter, a “dog” LOL we are working on that haha.)
I like to incorporate some kind of learning into everything that she does, and it doesn’t have to be much, if she’s playing with a block I may ask her what color it is or put a few over to the side and count them with her. I made her a focus board from a tri-fold project board and some labels that I got from the Dollar Tree and I will go over a small section with her at a time for just a few minutes. It’s never too soon to start learning in my book.
Okay so on to creative activities and crafts to do at home, almost all of these will need some work from mama and require supervision.
Paint with water:
This is so simple but also really fun for your young toddler. All you need is some paper (color construction paper works best), a paint brush, you could even use cotton balls, a bowl of water, and a surface you don’t mind getting water on, because let’s be real, little ones aren’t gonna keep the water from bowl to paper.
Wooden Peg puzzles like these are great for small fingers and easy enough for your little one to place the pieces, plus they can learn something while playing.
This one was a lot of fun for us, I enjoy kneading bread so making this dough for Jam was even exciting for me. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me mention this in my story, it’s taste safe, so if your little is still putting those fingers in his/her mouth it’s okay but please don’t let them sit there and just eat it. You will need 3-5 cups of flour and 1-2 cups of vegetable oil (more or less of each depending on how you like the consistency.) You can also incorporate food coloring, vanilla and/or lemon extract for some nice colors and scents. I highly recommend doing this on a surface that’s easy to clean or even outside.
Glow Sticks for Bath Time:
Really cool to see your little one “light up” (haha get it) with this one. All you need is a few glow sticks and for added fun, bubble bath. Turn those lights off and let baby have tons of fun. Play some upbeat music to get your little dancing with the sticks but be careful that they don’t slip and get hurt.
This LeapFrog Magnet set is pretty cool, Jam really likes the songs that it plays and the pictures that we can put in the “DAD, MOM, and BABY” slots. You can stick it on your fridge or a simple cookie sheet pan that you don’t use. You and your little one can go around the house to see what the letters can or can not stick to and make it a fun little game. If this magnet set isn’t your cup of tea, you can find magnets anywhere and make your own little magnetic boards.
Jam likes to get her hands dirty so finger painting and hand prints are our thing. Get creative and make many different things with beautiful colors.
Shaving Cream Colors:
This one can actually be done with whipped cream to make it taste safe, but we decided to do it with some shaving cream that we had leftover from a different activity. All you need is a gallon size ziploc bag, food coloring, and of course, the shaving cream. Add the shaving cream and food coloring to the bag and let your little one mix and squish the bag. Works great if you add different colors.
Add literally anything to a bin (sand, cotton balls, ice, rice, beans, etc.) and let your little feel around. Also add in a few small toys for him/her to find as they feel around.
I left this one for last because I didn’t measure, I just mixed until I liked the consistency. You will need some shaving cream, cornstarch, and food coloring. Mix all the ingredients together until you like the feel of it and that’s it. Really simple and will keep your little one busy for quite awhile. This is not taste safe so please watch babies carefully. As with the Cloud Dough, I recommend playing with this on a surface you don’t mind getting a little messy. I actually like the Cloud Dough a lot more than I did this dough but I think that’s only because I felt like I was kneading bread.
Jam really did like all of these activities and I loved watching her as she ventured into different things. If you decide to do any of these please let me know in the comments below. And be sure to follow me on my social media (Instagram and Facebook ) to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in my world. As always have a freakin’ fantastic day!!