When you have kids under 3, you know you can get away with anything as a toy or an activity set.
This is their exploring stage when they are starting to use their hands to touch and feel objects. This is also the stage when you need to be careful of harmful objects and toys that are not suitable for them.
Its always best to give your child the most attention during these early years. As a new mom, make sure you are well rested and have enough energy to get through the day – with healthy snacks and some pre-cooked meals (really handy). You’re little one can be very demanding and might need your attention the entire day – so try and nap when they do and get a little house work done when they play. This might help beat the overwhelm.
Now, onto the toys or activities that will keep those little fingers active.
1. Baby plastic cutlery
These are great to introduce to babies that have just started their weaning. They learn to hold them use them and also play with them. This creates a fun way to get them to enjoy food in a no fuss way. Plastic spoons are not just great for eating but alos make a fantastic idea to play on the back of the plates as drums.
2. Paper towels
I stick the ends of the paper towel so they are sealed and do not open out. You can let your little one roll this across their playmat. They often find it fun to crawl and bring it back to start all over again.
3. Toilet paper
You can give just the inside tube of a toilet paper roll for your little ones to feel and touch. If your kids are a little older, you can let them pretend its a telescope and get them to look through it and tell you what they see. This also helps them learn new words.
4. Tissue in a box
This one’s our all time favourite. A great game is getting them to put the tissue in the box and pull it out again. Its a fun game that can keep them busy for a few minutes.
5. Hair rollers
You might need more than one hair roller for this. The outer later of these rollers are made of velcro like material , so they can grasp hair. So when you place two of these rollers together they stick to each other. This can be fascinating for little minds. You can get them to stick two rollers together and pull apart.
6. Empty egg cartons
I call this the treasure chest. This is a great game for toddlers that are ready for a treasure hunt at home. Give them an empty egg carton and get them to explore the house and find “hidden treasure”. I usually hide an apple or an orange in their room and get them excited about finding the fruit to keep in their treasure chest!
7. Sock puppet
You are never too young or too old to play with the good old sock puppets. Usually at this age they just tend to put one sock in their hands and pull it right out. Its a good idea to give them a slightly larger sock so it moves in and out of their hands easily.
8. Pod peas
A creative activity idea for slightly older kids, because of the choking hazard involved. A fun and engaging activity.
9. Peel fruit
Like poding peas my kids get excited when they have to peel madarines or onions. This one can tend to get a little messy, but really easy to clean up after, and doesnt leave any stains.
10. Knead dough and use as play dough
We make a lot of flatbreads at home, almost on a daily basis. So yes plenty of flour to go around:) You can knead it into a medium size ball, say to the size of a lemon and get kids to use it as playdoh. They can do shapes with a silicone cookie cutter or just make tiny balls or “little wiggly worms”. This is a safer option to using store bought play dough that can be loaded with chemicals.
11. Sticky note
I enjoy sticky notes myself-ha! I have it all over my fridge. There is just so much to remember isnt it?! You can use these for your toddler to learn shapes and colors. And because they peel easily it wouldnt mess up your flooring or walls.
12. Beetroot prints
Slice beets in half and your kids can make prints on plain paper. Since its a natural color its not harmful for your little one.
There you have it. These easy activities will keep your kids busy and hopefully get them tired just in time for their sleep:)
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