Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baby and Toddler Activities, cont'd

I have not forgotten that I promised to post all of the baby/toddler activities series that I received from our county. These are not my ideas, and, of course, may not be appropriate for all babies. Please use care when trying any new activity with your child, taking into consideration their own abilities and temperaments. All activities should be properly supervised. Follow all safety guidelines.

Activities for Toddlers 16-20 Months Old
  • Talk about daily routines - what you are doing now and what you will be doing next. Have time to be quiet.
  • Toddlers need lots of time to move around and exercise. Go for a walk to the park, visit the playground, or make a trip to the mall.
  • Make happy faces, mad faces, sad faces and silly faces in a mirror.
  • Make playhouse furniture out of boxes. For a stove, turn a box upside down and draw "burners." Plastic containers make safe pots, and wooden spoons stir the soup.
  • Toddlers love to help with daily tasks. Assign simple "jobs" to do and let him know what a big boy he is. He can wipe off a table, put toys away or sweep up.
  • Let your toddler help out during meal times by bringing some things to the table or setting a place.
  • Set up playdates with other children. Your toddler does not know how to share yet, so be sure there are plenty of toys and be close by to help to help her learn how to play with others.
  • Your toddler will enjoy gentle rough housing and tickling games. Make sure he can let you know when he has had enough. He will also enjoy quiet snuggle up times too.
  • Play simple games like Hide and Seek and chase with your toddler.
  • Use a blanket or sheet to make a tent or secret spot for your toddler to hide and play in.
  • Have a pretend party with stuffed animals or dolls. You can cut out "presents" from a magazine, make a pretend "cake" and sing the birthday song.
  • Dance with your toddler. Make a simple instrument from a plastic tub (a drum) or plastic container filled with rice or beans (a shaker).
  • Story times, especially before bedtime, are a great way to settle down before sleep. Let your child choose books to read and help turn pages, and help her name what she sees.
  • Let your child practice with a spoon and sippy cup during meal times.
  • Toddlers love to play in water. Put "squeezing" objects in the bathtub such as sponges or squeeze bottles, along with dump and pour toys (cups and bowls).
  • A favorite pull toy is often a small wagon or old purse for collecting things. Your toddler can practice putting objects in and out of it. It also can be used to store favorite items.
  • Toddlers will begin putting objects together. Simple puzzles with knobs are great. Putting keys into locks and letters into mailbox slots is fun too!
  • Toddlers are excited by bubbles. Let your toddler try to blow bubbles or watch you blow bubbles through a straw. Bubbles are fun to chase and pop too.
  • Make a picture book putting common, simple pictures cut from magazines into a photo album. Toddlers will also enjoy pictures of themselves, family members and pets.
  • Get two containers that look the same and a small toy. Hide the toy under one container while your toddler watches. Ask him "where did it go?" Eventually you can play the old shell game.
  • Sing action songs such as "Ring Around the Rosey," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "This is the Way We Wash Our Hands." Do the actions together.
  • Toddlers love to play with balls. Use a beach ball to roll, throw and kick.
  • Help your toddler sort objects into piles. He can help you sort laundry (put socks in one pile, shirts in another). Play clean up games. Have your toddler put toys on a specified shelf or box.
  • Make instant pudding together. Have your toddler help by dumping pudding, pouring milk, and stirring. The results can be eaten or used for finger painting.
  • Put favorite toys in a laundry basket slightly out of reach of your toddler or in a clear bin with a tight lid. Wait for your toddler to request the items, giving her a reason to communicate. Respond to her requests.
  • Play the "What's That?" game by pointing to clothing, toys, body parts, objects or pictures and asking your toddler to name them. If he doesn't respond, name it for him and encourage imitation of the words.
  • Save milk cartons, Jell-O boxes or pudding boxes. Your toddler can stack them to make towers.
  • Use boxes or buckets for your toddler to throw balls or bean bags into. Practice overhand release of the ball or bean bag.
  • Let your toddler scribble with crayons or markers.
  • Fill a plastic tub with cornmeal or oatmeal. Put in kitchen spoons, strainer, measuring cups, or plastic containers. Toddlers can fill, dump, pour and learn about textures and use of objects as tools. Tasting won't be harmful either.
  • Lay out your toddlers clothes before dressing him. Ask him to give you a shirt, sock, pants, and shoes. This is an easy way to learn the names of common items.

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