Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities for Toddlers (1-2-3 year olds)
My youngest daughter is a toddler. So, far, she has made a lot of developments and growing up. It is in this stage (1-3 years old) when she learned to walk, talk, sing, dance and do a lot of other things. She's even toilet trained already at an early age of 2 years old (most get toilet trained at 2-1/2 - 3 years).
Babysitting a toddler can be a challenge. Toddlers are not called "the terrible twos" for nothing. So, it would really be helpful if you can get some hints on what to do with them while you are responsible for watching over them. This hub shares about some babysitting games, toys and activities for toddlers. I hope it will make your babysitting toddlers a joyous victory and not a losing battle.
Babysitting Games, Toys and Activities
Developing Hand-eye Movements
Stacking toys and Simple puzzles
Interlocking toys like building blocks develop the hand-eye coordination of toddlers as they grasp, press and fit the pieces together. Simple puzzles like bright shapes cut out of wood with 2-3 pieces also helps develop elementary logic. These skills that develop the grasp of the child will help later in holding the pencil. Sometimes, just a simple box or container can be used by the child to put things in and then dump them out. They love that. My daughter likes to use all sorts of little girl's bags.
Cutting and tearing
I don't know why but these toddlers just love to use scissors (be sure that it's safe to use) and cut papers as well as using their hands to tear pieces of tissue paper. For me it's a mess but to them, it's a way of further developing small movements of their hand. To make it more productive, after they cut or tear pieces of old wrapping paper, why not help them to glue it onto another paper to make a collage.
First ball games
Use big soft balls at first. Sit him down with legs apart and roll the ball to him and ask him to roll it back to you. Later at about 2 years old, you can play catch the ball with the child. Stand about 2 feet away, position the child's hands closer together, then throw the ball gently onto the child's hands. Be sure to encourage her with every attempt to catch the ball.
Toddlers are very acitve on their feet as they are perfecting their walking and balancing skills. These toys and activities can help them develop their locomotion.
Toys on wheels
They love to walk, right? Let them enjoy and push these toys on wheels. Or why not ride them such as mini-bikes.
Provide a soft mattress where they can jump and jump or maybe roll over.
Swing and slide
Be sure to supervise the little ones as they start to use the swing and slide. As they grow older, they can be given more independence in playing.
Developing the Creative Mind
Drawing materials i.e. crayons, paints
Toddlers can now scribble and can enjoy drawing at this stage. Let them scribble using fat crayons on drawing paper. They would also love to do finger painting. You can even use shaving cream with food coloring or to be much safer, use yogurt.
Identifying colors activity
It is best to let her know about one color at a time. You can do this by finding objects of one color and say, for example, "This is a red ball and this is a red apple. Both are red."
I don't mean toys that are fake or copycat of branded toys. By this, I mean toys which encourage kids to play pretend and imitate the adult world. These include dolls, play houses, telephones, cars. It doesn't have to be store bought. It can be big boxes i.e. refrigerator or washing machine boxes and used by the kids to imagine that it is their house, boat, bus, whatever. You can help them make it into a playhouse by cutting doors and windows and the child can help paint it.
You can make your own play dough or buy some. Let the toddlers play with them cutting and shaping them.
Bath time play time
While taking a bath, give the toddler something to play with in the tub or in a bucket like measuring cups and spoons, plastic bottles, etc. Be sure to supervise and keep the bathroom safe for the child. It can get slippery.
Curious Nature walk
Give the child some time to explore things outdoors like in the park. Let her look at, smell and feel the flowers, leaves and whatever she sees around.
Developing Music, Listening Skills and Speech
By 2 years old, they can memorize short rhymes and join in simple songs. Choose any of the popular actions songs and sing it with the actions a few times. Exaggerating your actions is encouraged. Then, let her sing along. Action songs develop a child's sense of rhythm, listening skills and vocabulary. Some of the good actions songs are Row your boat, Pat a cake, Humpty Dumpty, If You're Happy and You Know It and The Wheels on the Bus.
The If You're Happy and You Know It Action Song
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