A new month, a fresh diaper and you’re on the run! There are so many things to do with your little one when they are fussy or just need some time out of the car seat.
Rose says that grabbing books from home isn’t always enough because let’s face it; reading can be boring at times (and who wants their kid bored).
Here is my list of learning activities for toddlers on the go
1. First Aid Activities
Plant a virtual seed with your toddler by outlining their hand on paper, glue the paper to construction or typing paper then let them paint it green! When dry cut out the outlined hand and describe what is happening through an educational description i.e. “That’s right, this human body can grow new cells! Our bodies are amazing!”
2. ABC worksheets
Print these off the internet and talk about each letter as you work through them together (if your child cannot read). Point out objects that start with that letter as well as things that they may own or see regularly such as A for Apple, B for Ball C for Cat, and so on…
3. Trace shapes
Take a piece of construction or typing paper and a marker. Show your child how to draw a basic shape such as a circle or a square on paper then let them try it! This is great for toddlers who are learning about shapes!
4. Shapes & Colors puzzle
Cut out 1″ thick foam pieces in different colors and shapes (try to cut 2 triangles, 2 squares) hiding each shape into one color piece (maybe one orange triangle hidden inside an orange square).
Have your toddler match up the right shapes and colors! Sometimes it’s easier to do this by feeling the object through the shape. Be sure to compliment their efforts even if they struggle; never shame or yell at them about their attempts (you’ll only make the situation worse).
5. Count & Match
Cut out different shapes and write a number on each one. Give your toddler the pieces and let them match up the numbers with the right shapes!
6. Dot to Dot
Dot-to-dots are great because you can do an adult version or even an easier version for your toddler. If your child is not ready to draw lines you can use a crayon or marker to ‘connect the dots to see what picture they create.
Get creative by using different colors as well as using objects that start with specific letters/numbers instead of just dots!
7. Shapes race
Draw 3 circles, 3 squares, and 3 triangles on construction paper; print out other shapes on the internet (try to add a variety of easy and harder shapes such as diamonds, and triangles) inside different colors then cut them all out. Place them in a pile and have your there take turn pick one and identify it by its shape.
Be sure to talk about the color before placing it back into the pile so that your toddler knows what they are looking for and how to place each shape if they cannot read. If your child is ready to color you can let them color one half of the object while you color the other half!
8. Name Recognition
Print out pictures of everyday objects from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) and cut them out. Mix them up and have your toddler sort the pictures by naming what they see!
9. Find it Object Hunt
Place everyday objects such as a fork, spoon, knife, or ball around the house and let your child search for each object (be sure there is nothing sharp or dangerous). When your child finds each object give lots of praise i.e. “Wow you found the spoon!”
Must Read: Birthday Wishes for Your Daughter
10. Letters and Numbers Recognition
Print out numbers and letters from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) and cut them out. Mix them up putting the number 1 with the letter A or the letter M with the number 3; let your child identify where each belongs (i.e. put the number 3 together with the letter C).
11. Bath time math
Give your child a measuring cup and let them fill and pour water into another cup or bowl, then talk about how much water they used in each container i.e. “Wow you got almost all of the water in the other cup!”
12. Number Recognition Race
Take any form of paper (construction/presentation) and write numbers 1-10 on it, and place them in different spots around the house such as the Living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Let your toddler race to find each number by following along its path!
To make this educational use two pieces of construction paper; one has numbers written on it while the other has matching objects for each number. So if the number is 3 draw three dots on one piece of paper and have your child find the corresponding three dots in different areas of the house.
13. Shape Recognition
Cut out different shapes print out other shapes from magazines or online (try to add a variety of easy and harder shapes then mix them up. Have your toddler sort them by shape.
14. Alphabet Hunt
Print out letters from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) and cut them out; mix them up putting capital letters together with lower case letters.
Place them in different rooms around the house and let your there take turns finding each letter. For a more advanced look make two copies of each letter one has a corresponding picture for it while the other doesn’t.
15. Number Hunt
Draw numbers from 1-20 on small pieces of construction paper or place numbers from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) on different objects around the house. Let them search for as many as they can find!
16. Shape Race
Cut out shapes from construction/presentation paper then mix them up causing various levels of difficulty i.e. some have 2 sides that are straight while others have 4 sides. Place all face down and race to pick them up correctly!
17. Picture Matching
Print out several pictures from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) and cut them out. Mix them up then let your child identify where each belongs i.e. draw the circle around the picture of a circle.
18. Coloring Book Creator
Take a coloring book and cover it with clear contact paper, allow your child to color different parts of each page but before they do you will need to write simple words on each one such as I see. See how many words your toddler can recognize before they color it!
To make this harder write different objects on each page. For an easier step just let them color each page and talk about the different colors used.
Must Read: Children Learning Review by Jim Yang
19. Letter Matching
Cut out letters from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) then put them in a face-down pile, let your child take turns picking two letters and identifying if they match or not i.e. “Do these letter B’s match?” If they do say yes else say no and give them another set of letters to try again!
20. Number/Color Recognition
Print out numbers and some colors from magazines or online (make sure to not print something too hard such as an animal) and cut them out; mix them up placing one number with several colors.
Let your toddler identify each number by the corresponding color i.e. “One number is for Red, two number is for Green”
Toddlers are a bundle of energy and as parents, we want to give them the best childhood possible. For us as adults to do this, we must find ways to entertain our little ones on those days when life gets hectic!
The activities listed have been created with the goal in mind of stimulating your child’s brain while they learn at the same time.
They can be used indoors or outdoors so you don’t need any extra materials besides common household items. We hope these ideas will help keep your toddler entertained and happy all day long!