The toddler stage can be fun and rewarding for many parents. Your child continues to develop emotionally, cognitively, and socially and starts to be more curious, verbal, and more autonomous. On one side, you can appreciate this period because you can finally have conversations with your kid. We love them for their humor and enthusiasm. But, we have to admit that keeping a toddler entertained for long enough to send an email or do something around a house can be pretty challenging.
They are generally incredibly active, cheerful, and adventurous and enjoy meeting people and other kids. But toddlers can also be impatient, impulsive, and uncooperative, to the point that you sometimes think that they live to test the boundaries.
There are days when you can give all the time in the world to your indefatigable children. You take them out and keep them active – snow, rain, or shine. But there are other days when you are just simply too busy or too tired! This is when things can get tricky!
We love our kids. But we are worn down, and more often than not, we cannot keep our toddlers’ endless energy. However, your toddlers don’t need you to tell them to calm down. On the contrary, they need you to embrace their need for activity because it is vital for their physical development. That is why we put together this list of activities for high-energy toddlers. As you will see, some of the ideas will require your involvement, while others won’t. In general, they require little to no equipment and a minimal setup. The most important thing is that you have options. And remember – at this age toddlers are easily distracted, and this can be your advantage. Instead of constantly thinking of new activities, you can switch between these and keep your toddler entertained and satisfied throughout the day. Let’s dive in!
Give Them a Coloring Book
This is an oldie but goodie! Coloring and drawing don’t only improve fine motor skills, but also stimulate creativity, promote self-expression, and improve focus. Besides, it is ultra-fun, and the kid will enjoy it. You can give them a coloring book or choose to print some pages. But they will also be thrilled if you give those blank pages and crayons and let them use their imagination.
Let Them Play With Play Dough
Kids and toddlers, in particular, enjoy playing with play dough. It doesn’t even matter how many colors you have. Playdough, in general, comes with a plethora of shapes and forms your kid can make with it. Creating objects this way encourages your kids’ creativity and imagination and helps them think in new ways. You can buy a mold for them to make cookies and cupcakes. If your toddlers love animals, you can ask them to make all the animals they know or have seen. Besides being fun, playing with dough calms children down and helps them release excess energy and express emotions.
Give Them Toys
Well, toys are inseparable from childhood. All kids love playing with toys, and they will enjoy the chance with or without you. Give them building blocks, Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, racing cars, and let them have the time of their lives. Okay, it will make a mess! But they will be happy, and you will have some time for yourself. After all, it won’t be too difficult to clean everything once they finish.
Build Cardboard Fort
If there is something that toddlers love even more than toys or coloring books, then these are cardboard boxes. It is difficult to explain, but something is mesmerizing about cardboard boxes. And if you go a bit further and make a cardboard fortress, with tunnels, drawbridge and sign, they will be endlessly happy. Apart from that, this activity will boost your child’s creativity and problem-solving skills without you having to spend a cent.
Encourage a Pretend Play
This can be incredibly entertaining for both of you. For example, if you are tired or have a cold, you can make yourself comfortable on the couch and pretend that you are going to a restaurant where your kids serve you tea and cookies. They can also think of other pretend dishes that they like. Letting a kid be your personal “doctor” who nurses you back to health is always a fun way to interact. Apart from that, you can never go wrong if you decide to dress up like a princess or prince who saves the day.
If the weather and your schedule allow it, you can always take your toddler to a nearby park for some bird feeding. Spending time with your toddler outdoors and feeding birds is a great way to encourage a love for animals at a young age. Plus, it doesn’t require anything more than bringing some bread to the park.
Organize a Dance Party
During cold months most of us prefer to stay at home, crawl under blankets and watch TV or read a book. But this is not very healthy! Instead, take out some old CDs and start a dance party with your toddlers. If they are younger, you can also look for songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat, or Old McDonald Had a Farm and sing along & dance.
As your toddlers get older they will start to be curious about puzzles. Puzzles come with many benefits such as recognition, patience, and a sense of achievement when they solve the puzzle. If your kid passed the phase of putting everything in their mouth, this can be an independent activity. But if you enjoy playing with puzzles and want to introduce them to some of the more advanced options, you can join them.
Include Mentally Challenging Games
Kids will find playing these games fun and entertaining. Plus, they will help them improve their skills and knowledge. Ask them to name their favorite animals, sounds they make, and the food they eat. You don’t have to talk only about animals. You can ask them to talk about their favorite games, colors, cartoons, and other things.
We are at the end of our list of fun things you can do to keep your active toddler entertained. But even if there are many ideas here, you need to know that nothing will go right on some days. When this moment arrives, the most important thing is to give you some grace! After all, you are only a mom, not a magician! Remember, you can always ask for help! We know that it is not easy. But, the best way to raise a happy kid is to be a happy mom, and you can only do that if you are not alone to take care of children.
About the Author
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance, law, and investing.