Hi Funky Fans!
Well we are in for another 3 weeks at least.
Has cabin fever set in yet? I must admit, I am itching to get out now but stay in we must so we may as well make the best of it.
Toddler G and I have been testing out some activities for you to do at home with your little ones and here are what we have done this week.
The weather hasn’t been quite as nice this week so a few more of the activities are indoor.
A lot of people use cushions for this but we decided to mix it up and use big books instead!
Old text books are great for this!
Get your small person to help you put them in a line on the floor. We started off by having no gaps and using the books as a balance beam.
Toddler G had to walk along it or crawl along it without falling off.
This is harder than it sounds when you are only 18 months old and great for their balance and coordination.
Once toddler G got that hang of that we moved the books slightly apart so they were more like stepping stones so he had to stretch to reach them.
We also put another book on top of another to create a step. Be a bit careful with this as they can slip but it did provide another dimension which Toddler G found a bit tricky but very rewarding when he managed it.
You can give instructions such as, don’t tread on the blue book if your child is a bit older and you can also spread the books or cushions around the floor and have a game of shark. This involves the cushions being islands and you being a shark!
Sensory water play
This is a little similar to some of the other activities we have done but hands down it was the favourite!
I put some fresh herbs and jugs of differently coloured water of the tuff tray. I used sage, thyme, rosemary and lemon balm.
For some reason I have tonnes of lemon balm and no idea what to do with it so if you have any suggestions please let me know!
You can also use dried herbs or lavender or flower petals. Anything that has a bit of a smell, preferably a nice one, works well.
Encourage your toddler to rip up the herbs, smell them and squish them.
They can add the water, stir in the herbs and petals, shake it all up and admire the colours.
I also put a few things in to herb shakers which toddler G really enjoyed shaking them in to water. Cinnamon and nutmeg works really well for this but just remember to supervise them.
This kept Toddler G happy for about 30 minutes and he really loved the coloured water element as well as all the smells so definitely an activity you will want to do more than once!
Smelly play dough
1 cup white flour.
1/2 cup salt.
2 Tablespoons cream of tartar (found in spice aisle)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.
1 cup water.
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, peppermint oil, lavender oil or any other nice smelling thing you want to add in.
Food colouring. You don’t have to but it’s quite nice to match the colour to the smell so blue for lavender, green for peppermint etc.
Toddler G has just started enjoying play dough and he really likes scents so I combined the two and it works really well!
You will want to supervise better than I did though as you can see from the picture I didn't and Toddler decided it smelt so good he should try a little bite!
Making the playdough together is great fun but once it is made engage your little one with more activities for example;
Poke spaghetti in to the dough
Roll it in to worms and snakes
Make sausages and peas
Add googly eyes and make faces
Add feathers and pipe cleaners and make monsters
Find leaves and make leaf prints in the dough
Playdough is great for toddlers imagination and creativity, also their hand muscles which improves fine motor skills and plus it’s great fun and really quite therapeutic if you are feeling a bit cooped up!
Digging for treasure.
Toddler G doesn’t like getting sticky but he doesn’t mind compost as it brushes off easily.
This is a fantastic outdoor activity and kept him entertained for quite a while.
It is a messy one though!
I filled up a gardening tray with compost and hid various things in it like some plastic animals, a couple of toy trucks and some shiny baby toys.
I gave him a spoon, a scoop and a tea strainer and got him to dig around until he found all the things. You can also use a sandpit if you have one.
Where’s it gone?
Ask your toddler to pick three objects for this game – a favourite toy, a teddy and a household object such as a wooden spoon would be perfect.
Ideally if your little one can say the word or they know the sign for it this makes the game easier!
Take them into the garden if you want to, along with a blanket. Lay the three items out on the ground, then ask your little one to hide under the blanket while you take one away.
Ask them which item is missing. If they are very quick at this game then add more items.
Toddler G loves hiding away while I remove the item and this makes the whole game a lot more exciting.
Painting with different objects
Painting still isn’t toddler G’s favourite activity but this one he did actually find more fun!
Find an array of different things to paint with.
We used a pom pom, a bit of fir tree, some leaves, some strands of string, a dandelion and some long grass.
I put all the items in to clothes pegs and let him dip them in to paint and see what patterns it makes on the paper.
It was particularly good to flick the string with the paint on and make wiggly worms.
I hope you are all doing okay Funky Fans.
We actually managed to have a zoom family quiz night the other night which worked really well and everyone enjoyed it! It made us all feel a little more connected even when we are so far apart.
I really recommend taking the time to video chat family members. My parents in law love watching my son run around and will spend an inordinate amount of time playing peekaboo with him as they miss him so make the most of this and let them entertain your small people for as long as you can, it may mean you get to have a hot cup of tea!
Finally I know a lot of you are missing your playgroups and baby classes so here are some of the best ones I have found online.
My absolute favourite music class:
This is a gorgeous class run by Lucy who is super talented and very engaging with little ones. She regularly takes requests and this is one of the very few classes that toddler G really engages with. She runs them on Facebook at 12:30 on a Wednesday and 10am on Thursday via Zoom.
My favourite ever playgroup
This is actually our normal playgroup that has now gone online. We love Keycreate, Dave who runs it is such a fab, bouncy, bubbly dad and he is so full of energy he will have your little one joining in with their stories, songs and interactive play.
Keycreate runs every Tuesday morning at 10am via zoom. All the info is on their facebook page.
The best way to get your toddler to exercise
Tumble tots is a big franchise and it is so good of them to run this free session every weekday morning at 10am on Facebook live. I find it really adds a structure to our day and it tires Toddler G out before naptime.
These are the groups we join regularly and we love. Please come along too and let me know what you think and let me know the classes your little one is enjoying!
Take care of yourselves and remember to send me your ideas and what you have been doing with your little ones!