Toddlers are exhilarating, confusing, and sometimes exhausting. They know how to push our buttons one minute and go back to being their sweet lovable selves the next.
The more time I spend with my toddler, the more I’ve come to love having a set of fun activities that I try to include in our day.
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There are so many benefits to reading with your child. We started reading at least one book a day when my daughter was a newborn and as she became a toddler, books became one of her favorite things. It’s a time that we both cherish and look forward to.
We snuggle up together and read through each book. Sometimes I read the story. Other times we point out what’s on the page. Then there are times when I make up a new story to keep things fresh.
My daughter has come to favor certain books (like the Little Blue Truck) and it’s a fun thing to watch her likes and dislikes form. A side benefit is that books are one of the few activities that can hold my daughter’s attention for longer spans of time.
There are days when I feel like we need a reset and reading has proven to be an effective go-to strategy.
2. Go outside
Toddlers don’t just like to go outside, they need to go outside. Rainy days my toddler stands at the window and watches the rain waiting until we can head outdoors.
There are a lot of fun things that you can do out in the wide open world! We like to go for walks, play at the park, or splash in her water table. Whenever the weather is nice, we walk around our neighborhood.
No matter what is going on, my daughter will never turn down a walk. I could not have survived her teething without getting out of the house!
We recently got a playset for her and she LOVES it. When we have nice weather we go out and swing. Plus it has a slide that she loves and it’s something she’ll grow into a bit. We’ll have fun for years to come.
3. Learn something new
Every day I try to expose my daughter to something new. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. In fact, sometimes the simple things are the most rewarding. There are days when we read a new book together.
Other days we do a new activity or play a new game. Pinterest has become an amazing tool for finding fun activities to try out!
Last week we played with new puzzles one day. Another day I put together a box of kitchen items that were safe for her to play with and let her explore the box. The next day I folded the flaps into her diaper box and let her imagination run wild.
Yet another day we busted out the crayons and played with new colors. There are so many ideas floating around the Internet!
Sometimes we just look around the house and decide what fun thing we’re going to play with today. It’s amazing what she wants to explore and as long as it’s safe, I let her go wild. After all, most of it’s new to her anyway!
4. Roll around the floor together
I make it a point to get on the floor with my daughter every day to have fun. We have tickle fights, make funny faces at each other, and sometimes I even roll her like a log.
Anything to get her laughing and having a good time. She loves that time when it’s just me and her. No toys, no distractions, just a lot of fun and giggles.
It may look odd to someone observing from the outside, but we have a blast! This one activity has helped us to bond. I look forward to our time together every day and make it a point to show my daughter what loving touch feels like.
Toddlers have the funniest sense of humor. The smallest things can set them off and there’s a lot of fun to find new things that make them laugh.
Also, what was funny yesterday may not be funny today so you always have to change things up. That’s part of the fun!
5. Listen to fun music
There’s something about music that makes my soul happy. It seems to be the same for my daughter! She’s been dancing since she could walk. Her biggest grins are always related to music in some way.
I make it a point to turn on music for a mini-dance party every single day. We sing songs together, learn the dance moves (“The Wheels on the Bus” is her current favorite), and dance around together.
I don’t just play toddler music. We make sure to play a variety so she’s exposed to different things. My husband collects records from different eras and genres and they listen to music together a few days a week.
She calms down once he goes over to the record player and it’s a special time for the two of them.
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6. Take time doing your own things
Finally, I make sure that my toddler and I don’t spend every second of every day interacting with each other. I make sure that we both get a safe and supervised time of independence.
Sometimes she “reads” books by herself in her special chair. Other times she’ll play with a toy in her toy room. Other times she’ll roll around on the floor or look out the window.
I take those times to decompress and recenter myself. Toddlers are hard and even just taking five minutes to do something yourself is so important. There are days when just loading the dishwasher is the break I need as my daughter plays quietly behind me.
These are just a few suggestions of some of the fun things we do in our house. Is there anything fun that you do daily you want to share?
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A few years ago, my life was a mess. I had so much to do, so many responsibilities, and too much for one person to handle. Since then, I got my stuff together and have a far more stress free life. Help me help you decrease your stress and live your calmest life.