Activities for a Young Toddler

Friday, October 05, 2012

For months now, I've been pinning (on Pinterest) fun ideas and activites of things I can do with Gia.  It was getting difficult for a while to know what to do with her all day.  She's so very active now, and I feel like sometimes her toys bore her.  And I don't just want to give in and turn to the telly.  Most days, our afternoon witching hours can be cured by a walk to the park down the street, or to the bigger park in town.  But a stretch of some wonderful, rainy days made me realize that the seasons are changing and I needed to be a bit better prepared for more indoor fun.  So, off to Pinterest I went.  I have a board called "Activities for G" if you want to see where I have all these ideas stashed.

She she turned 1 year, it seemed like she was ready for some more hands-on interaction and learning type things, but I had a hard time finding things that were still age-appropraite. (My biggest problem is that she STILL loves to put anything and everything in her mouth, so it has to be big enough not to choke/swallow AND non-toxic AND washable.)  Most activities I found were just  beyond where she was at.  But I found a few fun senory ideas I thought I'd try.  So armed with these things in mind, I headed off to the store.   My first stop was The Dollar Tree, and honestly, I didn't think I'd get much here.  I just needed to pick up a couple extra little trash cans for our guest room & bathroom.  (Only a dollar! Can't beat that for a trash recepticle!)  To my surprise, I hit the rainy-day-boredom-buster-mecca-of-all-things-fun!  We also stopped by Target and got a few things there.  I'll show you first what I bought, then show you how we are playing with them.  Here's my haul:

Starting at the far left of the picture (and going across clockwise):

Window Clings- $1 for each.  The giltter monster sheet of window clings was from The Dollar Tree and the gel acorn clings were from Target.  I have since learned that the gel clings are not a good idea for toddlers.  They're too jiggly and pretty, and apparently have "EAT ME" written on them in ink that only toddlers can see.  Had I seen that hidden ink, I clearly would not have bought them.  But she loves to peel off and rearrange the glitter monster clings.  

Pipe Cleaners ($1) and a red plastic strainer ($1)- Both from the Dollar Tree.  I bought them for this activity but so far, Gia much prefers wearing the strainer on her head as I hat.  Though admittedly, she learned this from me when I picked it up in the store.  I had my hands full while we were shopping, and didn't have that third arm to carry the strainer, so I just put it on my head.  Yes, yes I did.  Seriously.  In the store.  But at least I wasn't wearing slippers or sweat pants, right?

Foamy Shapes ($1)- From TDT (The Dollar Tree).  They have sticky backs, so I figure we'll make pretty pictures with them or something.

Pip Squeaks markers ($8 or so)- From Target.  I had lofty dreams of coloring with Gia.  So far, she just likes to pretend she's putting on make-up with the markers.  We've put them away for a little bit.  :)

Board Books ($1 each)- TDT.  I get sucked in to the Dollar board books every time.  Its a miracle I came out with only two.  ...    ...    ...   Ok, ok fine!  I went back a couple days later and bought two more $1 board books.  So sue me!  I like board books!  And the yellow fairy one has glitter on it.  So there!

Letter Magnets ($1 each)- TDT. I bought two packages of these, as they only contain one of each letter.  I should have bought 3 or 4 sets.  They also had numbers.  But Gia LOVES these.  I keep them in a container in a cabinet by the fridge and she loves to go get them out!

RoseArt Crayons ($2 maybe?)- Target.  I like coloring.  Unfortunately, these crayons also had that invisible toddler ink.  Who knew?

Pom Poms ($1) and Muffin tin ($1)- TDT.  YES!!!!  So much fun.  There is so much to do with these!  Gia has actually done really good at sorting them too!  Some days, she totally gets it and puts them in the right colors, other days its a bit more haphazard.  But they sure are fun to play with!  Here's an example.  BTW, the pom poms at Target were twice as expensive.  Same with the pipe cleaners.  

I put all these things in an open junk drawer (cleaned out all the junk and put these in there) that Gia already loved getting in to.  Now I don't have to tell her no when she reaches for it!  (I'm getting smarter, here!)

I also put together a few other fun activities that are from household items.  I had some cut up long strips of fabric from the Christmas tutu I made her last year.  I just stuffed them all into an empty wipes case, and she loves pulling them out!  I also got out a bunch of our clothes pins, and these colorful plastic IKEA bowls and let her put them on them (like in this post).  She didn't quite get the hang of opening the clothes pins, though.  But it definitely works to build hand strength and coordination!  Activity Mom is where I got a lot of these ideas and they are wonderful!!!!

So there you have it.  What kind of things do you do with your little ones... you know, the ones who aren't babies but are really young toddlers?  I think its such a fun age but still a little hard to know where to start and what to do!  I've learned just to try something.  If it works- awesome!  If not, I'll just put it away for a few months and try again later!  She is growing up and developing so fast!
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