Remember these 4 words and you’ll always have Things to Do With a Toddler:

by Alissa Marquess on May 8, 2012

Smash things to do with toddlers

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.

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!

Camp Mom Summer Activities Pack

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa May 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The 4 Bs of parenting – bubbles, balls, balloons, blocks (some require more supervision than others)


Cerys @ Rainy Day Mum May 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm

What great advice – I think I need them in very large letters around 4:30pm most days when we hit the witching hour in this house


Alissa Marquess May 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Yes- when you’re about to have your own little melt down is when you need the easy to remember type ideas. I love the 4 B words for parenting above too!


Judy May 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

My 3 year old is obsessed with cars right now…we sort them, line them up, count them, etc. Sometimes it really is the simplest activities that provide the most and longest lasting entertainment.


Theresa @ Two Much Fun May 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

You are so right! At any given moment I’ll find my twin toddlers doing one of those four things. My daughter will take apart Legos and put them together by color, while my son will build a tower and smash it down.


Susan Case May 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Fantastic post. I’ll re-pin it.


Margaret@growingplay May 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Love, love, love your idea to be super interested in something and then the toddler will take over. Very sound advice. Will try tomorrow.


Alli February 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

One thing that my toddler and I like to stack is the individually wrapped paper towels. We make paper towel towers! He loves it!


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