Before I entered the world of blogging I would spend hours searching on the internet and in brochures for the latest toy that would entertain my little boy. I’d spend a small fortune on all singing and all dancing toys that promised to enhance my child’s development.
I soon realised that the saying “the more a toy does, the less your child has to do” holds true. Typically toys require our children to sit and watch the toy perform which is entertaining rather than educational.
I wanted to find another way to entertain my child. So I embarked on a 100 day toddler play challenge which opened my eyes to how many everyday household objects can be used to entertain your toddler and aid young children’s development.
Pots and pans – these make super musical instruments. You can either place them in a circle on the kitchen floor or why not attach string to the handles and hang them from a gate, bush or laundry tree. Using a variety of kitchen utensils your toddler will have great fun banging away and creating their own music. They will be experimenting with listening to the different sounds made as each utensil strikes the individual pots.
Clothes pegs – grab your clothes pegs and let your toddler drop them into different baskets. It’s amazing how long toddlers will concentrate on transferring activities. As your toddler moves onto pre-writing skills opening and closing clothes pegs is a fantastic way of developing a pincer grip. Why not create your own Hungry Caterpillar clothes peg artwork.
Plastic cups – These are great for stacking. How many different ways can your toddler find to stack the cups? They are also great for filling, aiding your child’s concept of volume, building towers and knocking them down which will teach your child about cause and effect.
Plastic bottles – get your little one to fill them up with pom poms or pipe cleaners. Watch their concentration as they feed the items through the small hole. Why not place the bottle on top of a mirror and see your child’s fascination with the reflections. Small plastic bottles can also be filled with rice, cereal or buttons to create Discovery Bottles. Hide small items inside to create I Spy Discovery Bottles.
Colander – this provides useful sized holes for your toddler to post pipe cleaners or straws through. In the bath it becomes a great drain and in the Tuff Spot it can be used to sieve a variety of items – seeds, small beads, sand and dirt to name a few.
Cardboard toilet rolls – use the tubes for giant threading by putting them onto a broom handle. Attaching the cardboard tubes to the fridge door (or a large cardboard box) with cellotape creates a super marble run.
Masking tape – create a masking tape car track on your floor. This activity kept my toddler entertained for days. We ended up adding a train track and several car parks.
Household goods can help develop fine and gross motor skills, enhance your toddlers thinking skills and thought processes and help build your child’s self esteem as they accomplish new tasks. Plus you never have to rely on having AAA batteries in the house ever again!
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