• Aisha Iqbal

Fun Activities to try with Your Toddler - Part 2

Remember the golden rule: Don't spend more than 15 minutes prepping an activity.

I've noticed how Z's attention span and interest in activities that he first barely tried out has slowly built up (by slowly I mean from less than a minute to 4-5 minutes which is a great improvement I think!) so keep persisting with the usual colouring and Play-Doh attempts!

  1. Coloured Pasta

Takes less than 10 minutes to prepare - just boil some spaghetti and when they're done, add food colour and mix.

I'll be honest though, this really didn't last long. I think had I put more noodles in a sensory bin/container, he might have enjoyed playing around with it for longer and explored the textures more.

2. Play Dough Fun

I made Play Dough using this recipe and it worked for months! Just keep it in a Ziploc bag in the fridge and add in a spoonful of flour before playing with it again (dusting the surface of the table where your tot will be playing also helps).

Z definitely tasted it the first couple of times, quickly realised it does not taste very good (the recipe includes salt which makes it more less palatable I think!) and stopped doing that so just a few days ago I got some actual Play-Doh! Unfortunately he ate some of that too but I Googled it, and as long as it is just a spoonful it won't harm him! Phew. He quite enjoys it now and it is pretty much a daily ten minute activity now. Add in spoons and containers to make things more exciting. Also a great way to learn shapes and objects (we generally stick to 'ball' and 'snake' because that is how far my clay modelling skills go while cooking dinner).

3. Sand & Water Table/ Sensory Bins

I absolutely LOVE this sand-and-water table from Argos. Just £25, so cheaper than the lovely Ikea FLISAT table which is very popular among the sensory bin/Montessori advocates, and also suitable for outdoor play. If it is just sand, Z is not too interested but water (with or without sand, or here I've used uncooked porridge!) is the magic ingredient. Especially with a bit of shampoo to make bubbles! Z can play with this for upto 45 minutes and I can have many cups of tea sitting nearby. All you need is some dry weather! The table has plugs so you can drain it out and any leftover porridge can be happily eaten up by birds and insects.

4. Glass Door Tape Ups

Use a window/glass door to your advantage and keep your tiny tot busy with stickers, little toys taped up for them to 'rescue' or any foam shapes/animal faces put up with some basic friendly scotch tape!

Right now Z is quite happy to rip things off and toss them heartlessly to the ground but hopefully as he grows older, he will be able to stick them back up again!

5. Finger Painting!

Z liked this as you can see, but I don't think the mess is worth the 2 minutes of creativity ... but in case you're more laidback about the clean up, all you need is yogurt (or I would guess any cream would work as well) and food colour.

I've found it is quite convenient to tape down paper (card paper is better for this sort of activity) on the table so it doesn't move around and annoy the baby. I offered cotton buds in the beginning but Z was definitely more interested in using his hands!

6. Whipped Cream Sensory Bin

This is my latest favourite activity, recommended by my cousin Myra!

All you need is a can of whipped cream and some food colour. The texture is quite fun to play with and it is also safe for babies who are still likely to put things in their mouth. Z loved the bright colours and walked around the table messing about with his utensils and chunky hands.

Let me know if you try out any of these activities and whether your tiny tot likes them or not! And if you have any activities you love doing with your little ones, do share them with me.

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