Play Fest families got together and came up with some really stimulating play ideas for toddlers on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve captured the ideas to share back, so you you’ve always got a handy point of reference to come back to if you ever find that you are stuck for an idea or two.
What is like life with a toddler?
We asked Play Fest what life was like with a toddler to which there was a general agreement that it’s exhausting, hilarious, maddening, hectic, busy, frustrating, rewarding, manic and stressful, yet the most amazing experience. Bearing all of this in mind, how on earth do you keep one of these entertained?
Play Fest gave it’s top tips for stimulating your toddler through play:
- give them opportunity to learn through discovery e.g put objects in a box & reach in without looking to feel it
- Little ones like to imitate what you’re doing. Even if it’s just stacking bricks
- Don’t put in too much effort – inevitably they’ll be fascinated with the thing you least expected!
- Everything breakable moves up a shelf
- Make it simple but fun. Think outside the box
Play Fest families shared favourite toddler play ideas that you can try for yourself:
- Toddlers love play that involves textures; glitter & foam and playdough
- Games like duck duck goose & traffic lights are great for introducing taking turns & coordination
- Messy activities – as young as possible
- Cook lots of spaghetti and put it in a washing up bowl and cut it up. Add food dye to make it more interesting.
- Role play
- Crafts with pasta shapes and making texture pictures
- Pretend play e.g. play kitchens
- Playing games like i-spy when out and about to learn about surroundings
- Food play with jelly, angel delight, pasta, noodles as well as the usuals like water, paint and cornflour
- Baking is great for experiencing tastes, smells and textures
- Simon Says, hokey cokey, head shoulders knees and toes, if you’re happy and you know it, old mac donald – singing games
- Simple jigsaws
- Shopping list game memory game
- Matching pairs game
- Jumping in puddles
- Make things from old cereal boxes, toilet rolls…anything from the recycling box.
spaceship stations, from old cereal boxes, toilet rolls, well anything from the recycling box
Toys and Toddlers
Play Fest discussed a distinct lack of good quality engaging & stimulating toys for 18-24 mth group that they can learn on their own. Many have to introduce older toys under supervision.
Any toys that help children learn colours and shapes are great, but introducing textures is even better.
Finally science play for young ones was a product idea challenge.