Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Family Time & 101 Things to Do With Your Toddler

Yesterday was a glorious day – one filled with family fun and adventure.

Here in Ontario (and in some other provinces), it was Family Day; in the U.S., it was President’s Day. And let me tell you, we made the most of it!

The sun was shining, there was a chill in the air and we enjoyed a wonderful day in the outdoors, exploring our neighborhood. When we got home our cheeks were rosy, we were completely tired out and we all agreed we had a great time.

There’s nothing like a day off, spent with the kids, to remind me of how precious family time is. As my children get older, there will be fewer opportunities to enjoy an uninterrupted day together, so I’m enjoying each and every chance I get when they are little to connect with them and enjoy their company.

I was reminded of this fact when I stumbled across a list the other day – “101 Things to Do With Your Toddler”.  As I perused it, I crossed off all of the activities that we’ve done over the past few years. I still have a few to go, but am proud of the number of fun activities we’ve been able to do together. In the spirit of encouraging family time, I've posted the list (below). I hope it inspires you with its interesting - and sometimes very simple - ideas. Many of these are good ideas to try during the upcoming Spring Break, when older kids can get in on the fun with their younger siblings.

Here’s to family!!

101 Things to Do With Your Toddler
  1. Color
  2. Blow bubbles
  3. Play hide-and-seek
  4. Play peek-a-boo
  5. Play chase
  6. Do finger plays
  7. Sing a song
  8. Collect rocks in a basket
  9. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and/or furniture
  10. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets
  11. Go for a walk
  12. Make a car out of a box
  13. Read a book
  14. Go to the park
  15. Finger-paint
  16. Play with play-dough
  17. Toss bean bags into a bucket
  18. Play the shell and pea game
  19. Dance to music
  20. Download games for toddlers from the Internet
  21. Practice putting things in and taking things out of boxes and bags
  22. Make a temporary slide out of a table leaf and your couch
  23. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor
  24. Scoop dirt or sand into a child's bucket (or use a serving spoon and bowl)
  25. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other (only with adult supervision)
  26. Put on a puppet show
  27. Go fishing with a yard stick and yarn
  28. Make a Horseshoe game
  29. Make a shape puzzle
  30. Play paper basketball
  31. Run through a sprinkler
  32. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge (PLEASE WATCH CHILD AT ALL TIMES!)
  33. Make a drum out of an oatmeal box
  34. Play with a kazoo
  35. Wash windows together
  36. Bang on pots and pans with a spoon
  37. Brush each others' teeth
  38. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your child's clothes
  39. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other
  40. Let child stack mixing bowls inside each other
  41. Make a playhouse out of a large box
  42. Let child play with a sticker sheet (make sure your child doesn't eat them!)
  43. Put stickers on fingers for finger puppets
  44. Play a musical instrument together- i.e.recorder, piano, etc.
  45. Go on a smelling hunt
  46. Frost cookies
  47. Plant a flower or vegetable plant together
  48. Roll a tennis ball into an empty trash can or bucket
  49. Draw on a mirror with dry-erase markers
  50. Play hide and seek together- trying to find a stuffed animal or other object
  51. Have a splash party together in the bathtub
  52. Put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk around the house
  53. Record each other on a tape recorder (great for scrapbooks or journals!)
  54. Make and try on paper hats
  55. Give a piggy-back ride
  56. Play "horsey" (with your child on your knee)
  57. Talk into an electric fan (it distorts your voice)
  58. Play tug-of-war with a blanket
  59. Collect flowers (felt, artificial, real...)
  60. Make a camera and go on a safari
  61. Play games with frozen juice lids
  62. Disconnect your phone and pretend to make phone calls to relatives
  63. Leave your phone connected and really make phone calls to relatives - let your child talk too
  64. String large beads onto or along a shoelace
  65. Squirt each other with squirt bottles
  66. Glue shapes onto paper
  67. Make sock puppets
  68. Make paper puppets
  69. Fill an old purse with toys
  70. Use a paper towel tube as a megaphone
  71. Make binoculars and go "bird watching" or "stuffed animal watching"
  72. Put snacks in different fun containers (paper sacks, empty canisters, etc.)
  73. Act out a story from a book
  74. Walk on a balance beam- use a 2x4 placed on the ground
  75. Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  76. Sketch an outline of your child on the sidewalk or paper with chalk
  77. Paint child's palms with tempura paint and blot on paper. Makes a great card for loved ones!
  78. Put lipstick on child and kiss a mirror
  79. Make a puddle on cement and splash barefoot in it
  80. Let child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich
  81. Make a toilet paper barricade for child to go under, over, or through
  82. Do the hokey pokey
  83. Make a super-hero costume out of household items
  84. Do knee-bouncing rhymes
  85. Play "Red Light, Green Light" saying "Go" and "Stop"
  86. Make a shoe-box train for stuffed animals
  87. Make a pillow pile to jump on (keep it clear from any hard surfaces, including walls!)
  88. Make an easy puzzle with felt and Velcro
  89. Make bracelets or collars for stuffed animals out of pipe cleaners and jingle bells
  90. Learn numbers from a deck of cards
  91. Play the matching game with a deck of cards
  92. Make a domino chain
  93. Have a picnic in the park, backyard, or living room!
  94. Play dress up in Mommy or Daddy's clothes
  95. Make a tin cup telephone and talk to each other in it
  96. Make a nature collage
  97. Mirror each other
  98. Make a "Mummy Mommy" with toilet paper
  99. Make a tape recording of short music selections and instructions to move in different ways
  100. Make and walk along a toilet paper trail
  101. TAKE A NAP!

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