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How to Engage Toddlers at Home – 42 Indoor Activities, Part 2
Welcome! This is part 2 of How to Engage Toddlers at Home – 42 Indoor Activities. The numbering is from 21, as 20 activities have already been shared in my earlier post.
21. Coin Painting
We painted coins and made impressions of them on blank sheets.
Bottle caps, and the base of cans or water glasses can be used for making impression paintings. Also, kids can make different structures like flowers on a tree, bunch of grapes, caterpillar, etc.
22. ‘Collect and Count’ or ‘Count and Collect’
Just telling these naughty ones to collect/count things or count/collect them makes it a physical activity as well a learning one. For example, I ask my son to collect all his cars (big or small), put them in a queue, and then count them. This activity involves his energy in collecting his toys and counting those makes him learn the number system as well.
This activity can be played with various items. Give the child a variety of options like asking them to assemble different toys they have. Kitchen utensils can also be used here, as well as balls, balloons, coins, bottle caps, etc. This activity can be used to make them learn colours, opposites, numbers, alphabets, etc.
23. Imaginary Cooking
This is something kids love to do. When I cook in the kitchen, my kid pretends to cook in the room with some of the kitchen utensils, or his own toys. He cooks different imaginary dishes and serves dishes either to his mommy or to his toys.
You can get your kid a kitchen set to make this pretend game more happening for them.
What could be better than making them clean up the mess of the house they made while playing? Believe me, this activity is something they will not even enjoy, but even they would learn to discipline/organize themselves. For our little one we have made it a habit for him to clean up once he is done playing with his toys; we ask for his help to put his toys (from all around the room) in his toy box.
You can make him involved in various other clean-up activities at home like cleaning of bed sheets, etc.
25. Help in Hanging Clothes
This is something I would recommend not just as an engaging activity for kids but also to make them a part of the household chores. My little one helps me in taking out the clothes from the washing machine into a bucket, and thereafter helping in putting them out in sun for drying. This gives us time together along with giving me an ease to complete my task with his help.
Putting the clothes to be washed into the machine can be another engagement for them.
26. Wash and Clean Toys
Let’s pamper their toys too today along with pampering them. Water is generally a love for every kid. So it is with my son. He likes to instruct others to take bath (though I have to cook up so many stories to get him ready for bath) so I generally give him a small tub of water with a bit of his body wash, and all his toys are made ready to take this bubble bath.
He loves this activity of washing, followed by drying them. This keeps him occupied for an hour at least (with least investment of my time).
Try out this activity with making them dip some utensils or even some little clothes of theirs to give them a variety for repeating this task after every two – three days.
27. Hurdle Jump
Jumping is always a fun activity for kids so why not to give a twist to just plain jumping fun. I put the pillows/cushions on the floor and make it a hurdle jump for him. This not just improves his jumping skills but also helps in sending instructions to his mind for creating an execution plan. As an option I even lie on bed and myself be a hurdle for him (just to give him a variety hurdle) and he just loves jumping over me.
28. Round and Spin
My son is really a fussy eater, so for every feeding, I give him a brownie point, which is giving him rounds, after which he spins. He loves to do this rounds and spinning activity.
29. Musical Chair
Who would have not heard and enjoyed played this game? We all would have, right?
Play the music and ask the young one to sit as the music stops, as simple as that.
My son loved this game initially but then he got bored, so as an alternative, I make his toys play this game with him and now he loves it again.
30. Moulding Clay/Dough
Moulding is such a fun learning activity. We have a clay box wherein different dinosaurs shapes have been given. My son likes dinos, so he loves putting the clay into the moulds and giving his favourite dino a proper shape. I even give him wheat dough to make variety of shapes. He recently made a caterpillar out of it.
31. Hand Impression
Just give them colours(liquid/safe) and ask them to dip their hands into it, and make hand prints, and nothing would be more fascinating for them as playing this way with colours.
Use both hands to make figures like butterflies, and let creativity run loose.
32. Make Animals out of Cotton Roll
Kids generally like touching soft items, and that is why most are attracted by soft toys. For my son, cotton is what he likes, and he makes different shapes out of it, giving it names like cow, bird, tiger, lion, etc. All these items are what he is able to make (as per his creativity, though the real shape is something you need to keep guessing until, he breaks the secret character name).
We even play with drawing any figure on a sheet and then sticking plaincoloured cotton to it with glue stick to make it different and interesting.
33. Pouring water in glasses
Believe me, this is such an engaging activity, and it increases their concentration and hand-eye co-ordination. Along with this, it leads to hours of them spending time to accomplish their tasks. My boy loves this task when I give him 4-5 glasses to be filled with his water bottle. This is really a good engaging and engrossing activity.
34. Inflatable Dinosaur Punching/Kicking Bop Bag
Though after few days, he was bored with his punching dino bag, it did keep my son busy, and he loved being a boxer while playing with him.
35. Create Stories
Creating stories is one of the best ways to make kids imaginative, and what works the best is when you make them create their own, and allow their imagination to have more wings. My son likes creating and telling stories. He will make different characters he heard or saw and then his imagination would know no bounds.
36. Make and Play Drums out of Utensils
Musical instruments are the ones which all kids love, and when it’s something which is available at home, then it is pocket friendly and innovative, too. My kid bangs glasses, plates, bowls, whatever he thinks can make sound, plus he even can differentiate on the various sounds around us by this activity.
37. Hide and Seek
Not something very different, as we all must be doing this with our kids, but just putting it up in my list as at times we forget things which we usually do, so what are you waiting for, come on kids, let’s play, ready or not here I come!
38. Memory Game
This is something which is not only creative and enjoyable but also will enhance the memory of kids. Just take a few toys which your child frequently plays with, and place them on a table/floor. Ask the child to observe them, then ask him to close his eyes, put a pillow cover or cloth onto it, and take a toy out. Now remove the cloth, and ask the kid to see and recall what’s missing. He would love to play this memory teaser.
This can be played with any item available at home. To make it more interactive you can even ask the kid to play your part of hiding and you guessing and recalling the missing item.
39. Magic Show
As the name suggests ,it’s magic! Get some simple tricks from the Internet, and play those with your little ones. You can even hide any item in front of them, and say “aabra ka daabra here it comes” and the sparkle in their eyes will seriously take it as magic.
40. Treasure Hunt – Hide Letters in Alphabet Mat
We have an alphabet mat at home, which can be assembled and disassembled. So we play treasure hunt with it by hiding the letters at some places (generally I prefer places where my son frequently visits) and then I start giving him clues; for instance, if I hide it in his toy box, I will say that mumma has hidden it in a box where all your toys are kept, and so on to help him guessing. This helps his thinking ability and widen his area of search and thoughts.
This could be played with a number of items at home, but prefer things of your kid’s choice so that he takes interest in the same.
41. Ringa Roses
Most of us would have played this game in our childhood, but generally in this age of digitization and variety, we tend to forget this fun and entertaining game. I too didn’t remember it, and one of my friends during our evening walk time reminded me of the same (when she urged our kids to play it). My son liked it, and since then, whenever we feel like playing something different, we go for ‘Ringa Ringa Roses’ and the benefit is that he has learnt one more new song!
42. Water Gun or Spray
Kids generally love playing in/with water, and this is the reason why this one is of my son’s most favourite games. I at times fill his water gun with water and make him stand at the window facing the garden area. He just sprays the water on the plants in the garden, and loves talking to the birds and trees around. This serves a gardening purpose as well as the kid’s engagement, too.
This is the end of this long, 2-part post. Thank you for staying connected, and reading it and giving your time. Hope you liked it.