Sure, if we had all the planning and organizing time in the world, we could set up loads of interesting play activities for our toddlers, but the plain truth about toddlers is that they’re BUSY and that makes us BUSY, and tired, and generally behind in keeping up with the mess maker we love. The other truth is the activities toddlers love best are usually very simple.
Often, our moments for play and connection come without warning, we just have a lull in our day, or we’re waiting at a restaurant or doctor’s office.
Want some short hand so you can always think of something to do with your toddler at these times? I have four easy to remember words:
Sort – Stack – Smash – Stash
- Sort blocks into piles- talk about colors or sizes, sort buttons into cups or legos into stacks. Sort silverware into the tray together.
- Stack anything- blocks, yogurt cups, boxes, rocks
- Smash down the tower you just built, smash play dough and crumple paper, smash an old box by stepping on it, smash a sand castle or pile of dirt.
- Stash blocks in a bucket, bits of paper into an old baby wipes container, a ball in a purse. Stash one thing into another and then it can be carried somewhere (Ooh, happiness for a toddler is toting things from one place to another!)
Those are my SSSSuper words that I remember so that I always have something to do with my toddler! Frequently if you begin one of these games, as if you are super interested in doing it yourself, your toddler will be happy to take over for you.
If you’d like to be sure not to miss this series on ideas for things to do with toddlers you can sign up for my newsletter. Also take a look at my post “A Few Secrets About Playing with Toddlers” for ideas about how to stay interested in the kind of repetitive play that toddlers love.
Do you have any “Go-To” things you do with your toddlers? Let us know in the comments!