Keeping children entertained can be challenging at the best of times, and now even more so when everyone is stuck indoors, it’s cold outside, and you haven’t got the option of venturing much further afield than the local park. Plus, it’s even more tricky when non-essential shops are closed, and picking up engaging toys, games, and other equipment for your toddler is harder to do.
Here at myTamarin, we want to help make the time locked down at home with your little ones as stress-free and enjoyable as possible so we have put together a list of ten fun-filled things to do at home with young kids that can be organised in mere moments and only require items you are likely to already have in the house.
Quick And Creative Lockdown Activities For Toddlers
Arts and crafts are always a great option for keeping children entertained and these activities are perfect for getting creative without getting too messy:
1. Water Painting
All you need for this activity is a pot of water, a paintbrush, and some coloured paper. With these three items, your child can create masterpiece after masterpiece without you needing to worry about the clean-up afterward plus once the paper dries, it is ready to be used again. Not only does this activity help develop their fine motor skills but it also builds your child’s creativity and confidence whilst allowing them to experiment with forming shapes and letters. If it’s a dry day, you can even take the water painting outside and use the pavement as a canvas.
2. Recycling Animals
Rather than throwing out used bottles, egg cartons, or kitchen roll tubes, let your children use them to create their own indoor menagerie. The top half of a milk carton, for instance, makes a great base for an elephant and an egg carton can soon become a colourful caterpillar. Your child might need a helping hand with this activity, but you can gather up creative tools such as tissue paper, coloured pencils, and paint, and guide them in fashioning their own environmentally friendly pet.
If you are looking for things to do with 2-year-olds, playdough is a sure-fire winner and the best thing is, you can make your own cost-saving, non-toxic dough at home with ingredients you have in your cupboards. Simply combine 8 tbsp plain flour,2 tbsp table salt, 60ml warm water, a few drops of food colouring, and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to create a coloured ball that’s ready to be squished and squashed by little hands. You can encourage your toddler to make shapes using cookie cutters and once they are done, you can bake your child’s creations for a long-lasting memento of what they got up to in lockdown.
Imaginative lockdown activities for little ones
Great for sparking curiosity and roleplaying, these classic activities are sure to keep your toddler content:
4. Scavenger Hunt
Help your children become explorers with a scavenger hunt around the house or garden for everyday objects or some of their favourite toys. You can take pictures of the items beforehand and print them out on a sheet your child can tick off as they discover each object or simply show them each picture on your phone. You could even use matching objects such as socks, shoes, and building blocks so that your child has one to hand and one to find.
5. Teddy Bear’s Picnic
With a blanket on the floor and their favourite plush pals, you and your toddler can enjoy a lunchtime picnic in the house. When eating, they can pretend to serve tea and food to their bear friends before singing along to the well-known teddy bear’s picnic song.
Great Activities For Home Schooling Toddlers
These activities encourage recognition and recall in a fun and exciting way:
6. Number Fishing
Homeschooling 1–2-year-olds provides the perfect opportunity to begin introducing some of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum in an engaging way which is exactly what this water-based activity is for. You can use bath time for this activity, or a large bowl filled with water and foam numbers work best as they float on the surface. Then, with a sieve or slotted spoon, your little one can scoop out each number and you can promote recognition of each digit by saying the number aloud.
7. Object Match
Simple and straightforward, you can use any objects you have around the house for this pairs game. Lay out all the items and let your toddler match up what is in front of them. As an extension of this activity, you can also use the same objects and sort them into different colours, sizes, and shapes.
Things to do with 1 and 2-year-olds to get them moving
When you are cooped up at home, these indoor physical activities will help your toddler burn off some extra energy:
8. Ten Pin Bowling
Keep hold of ten toilet roll tubes or empty bottles and make your own bowling alley! Use a soft ball (or even a pair of rolled-up socks) and take turns with your toddler to throw it and see how main pins you can knock down. After each bowl, it can be your child’s job to stand the pins back up ready for the next go.
9. Bop and Boogie
Everybody likes a dance and a sing-a-long so get your child’s favourite tunes or nursery rhymes on and join in! If you are stuck for songs or dance moves, there are some great follow along videos on YouTube.
10. Pom-Pom Drop
With just a few cardboard tubes, some tape, and a handful of pom-poms (or cotton balls), you can create an activity that is great for developing grip and will keep your toddler occupied for ages. Cut the tubes to varying lengths and stick them at a child-friendly height at different angles on the wall. Hand them the pom-poms and that’s it! They’ll have plenty of fun dropping the pom-poms down the tubes and seeing them fly out the bottom.
If you have found this article helpful and are looking for more great options to while away the hours at home with your children, then be sure to check read up on ways to develop your child's social skills in lockdown.
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