Summer is a great time to get the kids outside and away from screens. I've listed some fun activities for toddlers that don't involve screens.
Duplo is a great way to encourage your toddler to be creative and imaginative. It's also a fantastic way for them to develop their fine motor skills, as they'll need to use the small pieces in order to create their masterpiece.
If you want an activity that will encourage your toddler's independence, Duplo is perfect for this too! The instructions are on the box which means there's no need for mum or dad involvement – just give them some space and let them go at it!
Water play is a great way to cool down during the summer and help your toddler learn about water. You can make water play fun with toys, tools, and activities like counting how many drops of water you can get from a faucet or measuring how full a cup of water is.
It's also educational! Water is important for plants and animals to live so you can talk about why it's important for us too. Or tell stories with your kids about what happens when it rains (or snows).
Use ice cubes to play with colours. For example, place red, blue, and yellow ice cubes in a cup and have your toddler move them around to make different colour combinations.
Turn the ice cube tray into a colour wheel! Place all of the different coloured squares on a tray or in a bowl so that they are visible from all sides. Talk about how each one represents one of the primary colours: red, blue or yellow (or whatever colours your toddler is interested in).
Create a colour circle by laying out four large sheets of paper on top of each other so that they form one large circle. The bottom sheet should be white while each successive layer will be coloured using two different shades from the same family: one light shade and one dark shade (e.g., pink and magenta). Ask your child to identify which colors belong together based on whether they're both light/dark or not within this particular family (i.e., light pinks with dark purples).
Make an abstract painting by placing four different coloured squares on top of each other within an empty plastic container lid—try mixing up these colours as well! Encourage them to mix up their own combination using any combination of colours available until they're happy with what they’ve created.
Playing card games with your toddler is a great way to pass the time and teach them patience and turn-taking. Not only that, it's also a good way to get your child used to sharing—because they'll be forced to share their cards when playing with others! You can even make up some rules of your own.
Bubbles are fun and a great way to keep your toddler occupied. You can make bubbles at home by mixing water, dishwashing liquid and glycerin in a plastic container (you can find this at your local grocery store), shaking it up and adding a drop of food coloring. Bubbles are great for washing windows, cars, pets and more!
It’s easy for toddlers to paint on the sidewalk. You can use water-based paints, a paintbrush or roller, a sprayer, pens and brushes. Or, and maybe easier, you can just go crazy with chalk on the patio and it will all wash away in the rain.
For younger children, you can create a fort out of cardboard boxes and then decorate it together by painting with watercolors, gluing on stickers or drawing pictures. You could also include smaller items like plastic animals, toy soldiers or dolls to decorate the inside of the fort. Create tunnels for your child to crawl through and even make a house or garage for them!
Finally, if you have older kids who are interested in building more complicated structures (and have access to tools), consider making an elaborate castle for them to explore when they're done playing with their new fort. This is one activity that encourages creativity while also providing plenty of interest for both parents and children alike—who doesn't want to invite friends over for a sleepover at their castle?
Set up a mud kitchen in your backyard. Use empty pots and pans, plastic bowls, kitchen utensils, spoons, rolly toys, trucks and bikes. Add some dirt and water to the mix – if you can go one step further add cornstarch and shaving cream (soap it all up if you like). Your toddler will be amazed at how much fun they can have with simple things like this!
With summer underway, it's easy to fall into the trap of letting your kids spend too much time in front of screens. They need opportunities to exercise and play outside.
This summer, take steps to help your kids enjoy activities that don't involve screens. Instead of sitting on the couch playing video games together, go for a hike or run around the neighborhood. You can also spend time reading books or drawing with crayons instead of watching TV shows or movies together. If you have older children who are not interested in doing these activities with you (and even if they are), make sure there is something else available that allows them to remain engaged while watching TV from another room—this may mean having some board games ready for them when mom and dad want some alone time!
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