It can be challenging to occupy a toddler’s interest and avoid tantrums for an extended period of time. Toddlers have a notoriously short attention span and it is often necessary to constantly introduce new experiences to keep them happy. This age group is full of energy and it can be hard work to keep up with them, much less stay ahead of them. Next time your little one starts getting bored, try out one of these 7 ways to occupy a toddler for an hour.
1. Visit a Play Group
Join a play group of toddlers the same age as your child. Most likely you are not the only toddler parent looking for ways to keep your toddler engaged and busy. Play groups are beneficial for toddlers; interacting with other children allows them to learn to play well with others and build social skills. If you can’t find a local group, start one!
2. Get out and about
Check your local library for fun events such as puppet shows, story time, toddler events, and celebrations. Your local newspaper is a good resource for finding events in your area that your toddler may enjoy. Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to keep your little one happy.
3. Get Moving
An hour of physical activity will do wonders for your child’s attitude. Take them to the park or the back yard for play time. Depending on where you live you might take your toddler to the beach to dig in the sand or run along the surf. If you live in the mountains, take your toddler for a nature hike and let them find flowers, bugs, frogs etc. Kids love to explore! Indulge them and be amazed at how happy they are. The fresh air will do wonders for you too!
4. Preschool Practice
Occupy your toddler with learning activities to practice for preschool. Start simple with such activities as learning color names, shapes, letters and numbers. Concentrate on one letter, color, shape and number per week; concentrate on finding them in magazines, books, etc. Each time your toddler correctly identifies the color, letter, number or shape during the week give them a small reward. Before long your toddler will know their colors, numbers, letters and basic shapes.
5. Channel Your Inner Artist
Keeping your toddler busy for an hour is easy when you sit them at the table with some play dough or finger paint. Let them express themselves by making various things out of the play dough or by taking their fingers and covering a paper with fanciful designs. Kids love to glue things; let your toddler cut (kid scissors with rounded tips only) and paste pictures. Stick around to supervise so that your toddler does not color your walls and floors or eat the play dough!
6. Toy Time
Playing with new toys is one of the best strategies for keeping a toddler entertained. Create four groups of toys; but store three of the groups in a closet. Rotate toys so your toddler has a different set of toys every week for a month. You don’t have to keep buying new toys, but daily play time will constantly change by swapping them out.
7. Pick out a Book
Occupy your toddler’s mind by cuddling up with a good book. Your child will love the time you devote to spending quality time with them. You will benefit by creating a closer bond with your toddler. Look for colorful, fun, enticing story books and take the time to read to your toddler each and every day.
Toddlers are energetic and often parents find themselves at wits end trying to find ways to occupy their kids. Don’t despair; toddlers are easy to entertain when you use these 7 ways to occupy a toddler for an hour. What is your favorite way to keep your little one busy?
Top Photo Credit: mlwhitaker26