Now what? Fun (and Free!) Activities to Try with Your Toddler
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’re a parent. While that’s accomplishment enough, you’re becoming a great parent. You are searching the internet looking for ways to fill up your child’s day with awesome activities.
You’re a great parent because you want to give your child something that they’ve not done before. You are expanding their horizons, and yours. Here’s a little list of fun, and maybe unorthodox, things to do with your child that cost nothing but giggling and belly laughs.
- Stuffed Animal Monster- We all end up with approximately 25-30 stuffed animals that never get played with. They need laughs too. Have your child lay on the floor (couch or bed if their old enough to be safe) and gently lay the animals on top (leaving a breathing tunnel of course), stand back, and give the go. Watch them crawl out and hear them giggle as you exclaim “It’s a stuffed animal monster”! Then it’s your turn!
- Couch Cushion Fort- Couch cushions make awesome forts, complete with tunnels, and, if you have enough cushions, a reading room. As long as your child is covered up, safe in the fort with you by his side holding a flashlight on his favorite book, it’s the coolest fort ever. Knocking it down is even better.
- Tickle Mountain- Lying on your back, have your child crawl over you. But make sure they know not to wake up Tickle Mountain. If they do, they get a quick little tickle until they crawl off on the other side. They’ll come back for more.
- Hide and Seek- We’re not kidding. This long forgotten game of search and conceal teaches children patience and will power, and also to become comfortable with the back corners of your home. Take turns hiding and seeking. When it’s your turn to hide, give them verbal animal clues at first as not to discourage them. When it’s their turn to hide, don’t be afraid to find them pretty quickly. Twenty seconds can seem like a long time to hide in the basement. You’ll hear them giggling when you’re done counting anyway.
- Lost Toy City- Children seem to rack up unused toys as fast as a credit card bill. Birthday after birthday, holiday after holiday, toys come in at a rate that staggers even their imagination. Use those forgotten toys. Bring them all out in the living room or open space, and take turns setting them up into a wonderland. Use some pots and pans and a couple of your romance novels for a base and go to town, literally. They will love it. Don’t forget to name your streets: “Mommy Lane”, “Daddy Road” to name a few.
These activities could last 10 minutes, or they could last an hour or more. Just remember that their favorite activity is spending time with you.