Toddler’s brains are like sponges, they are just soaking up all the new experiences and learning new things about the world around them. It is such an exciting time and I’m sure like me you want to do as much as you can to help them develop new skills. That’s why I’ve started this activities for toddlers series.
Whether you’re officially doing Tot School with your toddlers, or you just want to add in some structured activities to your day you’ve come to the right place.
Tot School Ideas: Activities for toddlers to help your child learn through play
- 10 Beautiful Flower Crafts for Kids that are Fun and Easy! - We thought for this week's Art and Craft for Kids Collection we'd gather up some pretty flower crafts for the kids to make.
- 10 Easter Bunny Crafts for Kids to Make - With Easter fast approaching we had felt the urge to share some Easter Bunny crafts for kids to make.
- 10 Fun Ways to Learn Shapes for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Learning the different shapes is really important for toddlers as they are key to pre-math and logic and pre-reading and writing skills.
- 10 Homemade Wrapping Paper Crafts that Will Make Your Gifts Look FABULOUS! - We've rounded up 10 super simple wrapping paper crafts so that the gifts will look so fabulous no one will want to unwrap them!
- 10 St Patrick’s Day Activities for Toddlers - From catching leprechauns to making rainbows you won't want to miss our collection of St Patrick's Day activities for toddlers.
- 27 Fabulously Fun Ice Activities for Toddlers – Perfect for Hot Summer Days - These ice activities for toddlers are the perfect choice for hot summer days, and your little ones can learn lots of things about science as they're playing!
- 7 Ways You Can Entertain Toddlers with Leftover Wrapping Paper - Your house is going to be full of leftover wrapping paper so why not put it to good use and entertain your toddler with it!
- ADORABLE Gingerbread Man Ornaments for Kids to Make! - From salt dough to baking soda clay, cardboard to beaded suncatcher we have a whole heap of ADORABLE Gingerbread Man Ornaments for kids to make!
- ADORABLE Valentine’s Day Crafts for Toddlers! - These Valentine's Day Crafts for toddlers are super EASY, super FUN and absolutely ADORABLE! Give them as gifts or decorate your home with them!
- Art and Craft for Kids – B is for Bird Feeder Craft - These bird feeder crafts are a great way to build fine motor skills, and then you can spend your time bird spotting in your back yard!
- Brilliant! Circus Crafts Your Toddlers and Preschoolers will LOVE! - The circus is coming to town and we've got so many circus crafts for your child to enjoy as well as themed snacks and activities!
- Butterfly Painting Craft for Toddlers - This butterfly painting craft is so much fun and simple enough for the youngest of toddlers. And when it's finished it would make the perfect gift for grandma!
- Choosing a Tot School Curriculum - A Tot School Curriculum is useful for adding some structure to your day - and toddlers love structure!
- Easy Apple Crafts for Kids to Make and Other Apple Activities - Easy Apple Crafts for Kids: It's time to have fun with apples! Make a paper plate apple or a tissue paper tree and then messy play with apple stamping!
- Easy Fall Crafts for Kids to Make and Other Fall Activities - Easy Fall Crafts for Kids: Your kids will have a blast making a leaf owl and painting cotton wool to make a tree! Plus we have Fall activities and snacks!
- Easy Footprint Crafts for Kids to Make as Keepsakes - Easy Footprint Crafts for Kids: These crafts make great messy play activities - and moms and grandmas can treasure the finished works of art forever!
- Easy Leaf Crafts for Kids to Make and Other Leaf Activities - Easy Leaf Crafts for Kids: It's time to have fun with leaves! Make a leaf mask or a pompom tree and then have some messy play fun with a leaf soup!
- Easy Ocean Crafts for Kids to Learn All About Sea Creatures! - Easy Ocean Crafts for Kids: From ocean sensory bottles to the most adorable egg box crab your kids will love learning about the ocean with these activities!
- Easy Paper Plate Crafts for Kids of All Ages to Enjoy! - The wonderful thing about paper plates is that they are super cheap, and can be turned into pretty much anything you like with a pinch of imagination and a sprinkle of inspiration.
- Easy Pumpkin Crafts for Kids to Make and Other Pumpkin Activities - Easy Pumpkin Crafts for Kids: We've got pumpkins and window clings that glow in the dark, and a Mr Potato Head pumpkin craft!
- Easy Snowman Crafts for Kids to Make and Other Snowman Activities - If your little one is in love with Frozen they'll love these snowman activities for toddlers!
- Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids – It’s All About the Turkey! - Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids: Keep your kiddos occupied on Thanksgiving with these brilliant turkey crafts using paper plates and hand prints!
- Exploring Toddler Science Activities at Techniquest - If you’re looking for fun toddler activities then you can’t go wrong with a visit to Techniquest. Located in Cardiff Bay this huge science museum is fun for kids of all ages, but is the perfect place to go to experience some toddler science activities.
- Firefighter Dramatic Play Ideas for Preschoolers - Boys and girls love to dress up as firefighters and tackle burning buildings - not only is it fun but it's essential for their skill development too!
- Fun Farm Activities for Toddlers - Fun farm activities for toddlers to help your tot learn all about farm animals, includes Small World, crafts and book suggestions
- Helping Your Children Develop a Love for Books and Reading - Helping your child learn to love books and reading is one of the best gifts you could ever give them. Find out how to nurture that love from an early age.
- Patriotic Crafts for Kids – Celebrate the Red, White and Blue! - If you celebrate Independence Day it's a great time for doing brightly coloured crafts and activities for your toddlers and older kids while helping them learn all about the significance of the day. Here are some wonderful Fourth of July Crafts for Kids to inspire you!
- Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers to Help Everyone Stay Sane! - These rainy day activities for toddlers will help keep your little one entertained when you're stuck inside. Most are mess free too!
- Raising readers: Making books with kids - Have you ever made a book with your children? There must be something in the water because four of our readers shared making books with kids activities at last week's Super Mommy Club Party. So I thought I'd round them up for you here, and throw in a few more ideas so that you can have a go at home.
- Toddler Activities: Let's learn about health - Doctors and dentists and hospitals can be scary places for adults let alone children so I think it's important to familiarise them with these places and people from an early age, and as with all things educational around here, we like to do it using fun toddler activities!
- Tot School Ideas: Christmas Bell Activities and Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Looking for Christmas Bell activities for your toddler or preschooler? We've got lots of ideas to develop their skills and creativity.
- Tot School Ideas: Halloween Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Looking for ideas for Halloween activities for toddlers and preschoolers? We've got some fabulous fine motor, gross motor, crafts, snacks and sensory play ideas your child will love!
- Tot School Ideas: Nativity Crafts and Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers - From Stained Glass Windows to DIY Nativity sets, this week's Tot School is full of wonderful Nativity crafts and activities.
- Water Table Activities: 12 Sensory Play Activities For Inside and Outdoors - Water table activities are a great way for children to learn through sensory play. And you don't just have to fill them with sand or water. Sensory ingredients like pasta, ice and even shaving foam can lead to hours of fun and laughter.
Best Books for Toddlers
- Dig, Dig, Digging – if your toddler loves anything with wheels then this is a great book for them. It has some brilliant illustrations and each page features a different vehicle, from tractors to dumber trucks and refuse collectors.
- Beach – Look and Say – we have a number of these books but right now this Beach book is a firm favourite. It has sturdy pages with big tabs that make it easy for little hands to read. Each page has lots of beach related objects for them to learn about.
- That’s Not my Monkey – we have a whole bookshelf of That’s Not my books, the kiddos love to feel the different textures on each page, and they also like to play ‘spot the mouse’, there’s a teeny mouse hiding away on each page of the book.
- Let’s Talk – this book has buttons along the side and when you press the button it says the word, at the moment the kiddos are having fun pressing the button that relates to the picture in the book, but as they get older it will help them sound out the word too.
Independent play for toddlers and preschoolers
I’ve been home with my kiddos for nearly 19 months now, and one of the things I have loved about being a temporary SAHM is being with them as they learn and play. But there are times when I need them to entertain themselves, while I’m catching up on chores or making dinner for example.
That’s why I was so excited when MaryEllen Bream offered me a complimentary copy of her book: 101 Independent Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, which has so many great ideas for independent play that it should keep us going for some time!
So far the kiddos have had fun colouring and practising using stickers, though I had to supervise that one as they didn’t quite have the fine motor skills needed to peel them off the paper and stick them down.
They love sweeping with my long-handled brush (I might have to buy another so they don’t fight over it so much!), and playing matching games with the Learn about Health cards that I made.
They love playing with magnets, putting them on and off the fridge doors and we had great fun making a ball chute out of a cardboard tube. We did try making a road for our toy cars with masking tape but it kept peeling off the carpet!
Miss E now has a collection of teapots and cups and love to pour herself a cup of imaginary tea and then drink it, mastering invisible tea helped her to drink water from an open cup!
They also still love their stacking cups that were a gift from Nanny P, and can pretty much build the whole tower without any adult assistance.
We’ve had so much fun already and we’ve only done nine of the activities from the book!
I love how MaryEllen has broken the activities up into themes like Arts & Crafts, Sensory Play, Chores and Educational Activities, I only wish she’d included a contents page and then numbered the pages so I could select the activities a little more easily.
I adore Pinterest and have a Fun Toddler Activities board where I save all the great things I stumble upon online, but sometimes it’s nice to have an old fashioned book that you can just open up to a page and get started on an impromptu activity.
Of course this isn’t quite an old fashioned book because it’s an ebook, but it didn’t take long to print out a copy and stick it in a binder for us to refer to when we want another fun-filled activity to do.
If you find yourself trying to cook dinner with a toddler or preschooler winding around your legs saying they’re bored then hop over to MaryEllen’s site and treat yourself to her fabulous book. Then your little one can have fun while you cook dinner in peace!
~Clare – currently pinning to Fun Toddler Activities.