Keep Your Toddler Busy This Winter

Like all boy moms, some days, my toddler drives me crazy. He loves to jump off of furniture, yell at the top of his lungs, and has more energy than I can get in twenty cups of coffee! No matter what I do, he always manages to break at least half a dozen toys every day (thankfully, I take advantage of AU Christmas sales, so I save money!).

 Last week I found out he had a box of eleven crickets under his bed. Did I mention the box did not have a lid? Needless to say, we ended up chirping all over the house! In my house, even little bugs are toys for boys. So what are some ways I keep my sweet little bundle of energy occupied during the winter?

I used to be an art and music teacher before I had my baby boy. I love coming up with messy creative fun! Toddlers love finger painting and expressing themselves. Sometimes, I set up the poster board and finger paints in the backyard to make it less of a mess. Make sure your little one is wearing old clothes because he will get messy. After they paint on the poster board, I get out the hose or backyard sprinkler to wash away the paint. So much fun!

Not into big messes? Try music! You don’t have to have expensive musical equipment to have fun with your toddler. Get some old pots and pans. Bang away on them with a spoon. Make an easy set of maracas by filling a small container with rice. Shake away! Play along with your son. Dance and sing to his favorites tunes. Lots of kid’s songs stream on the Internet. Set up a streaming station of his favorite melodies. So much musical fun!

My son loves to hit, kick, and bash things. Daddy is a coach, so sports are a big part of our lives. A toddler can’t play an organized game like soccer or basketball, but they can still learn some sports basics. Gently kick a ball back and forth. Teach your toddler how to catch. Give him a small bat and set up a tee-ball stand so he can practice his swing. Don’t worry about the rules or winning. Enjoy making beautiful memories together!

Another great way to encourage exploration and discovery is to set up a table full of fun manipulatives. What is manipulative? These are simple physical objects like rice, clay, or feathers that encourage hands-on learning. Set up six or seven plastic containers on a table. Put something with an exciting feel or texture in each one. For example, you can fill boxes with sand, water, gelatin, shaving cream, cotton balls, or colorful crafting feathers. Supervise and encourage interaction with the objects.

Make fun memories with your little boy! Your toddler will enjoy discovering new wonders with you each and every day. Each moment matters. Enjoy this precious time together with wholesome fun.

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