Entertaining a 2 year old can be challenging at times. Many parents run out of ideas for ways to keep their little one entertained, often turning to television or just leaving them to play with their toys. Here we have four great indoor and outdoor activities for parents and toddlers to enjoy together, most of which won’t cost much money. Engaging with your child in new, fun activities is a great way to help them develop important skills, for example language, problem solving and social skills.
Arts and crafts
Sometimes, parents aren’t keen on doing arts and crafts at home, thanks to the mess 2 year olds often make! However, if you can put an old sheet down to protect the floor and wear some messy clothes, both parents and children can have a lot of fun making art at home. For children this age, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy supplies. Save some recyclables such as plastic bottles and toilet paper tubes, and see what your child can create! You could try making a rocket, a trumpet or even use a large cardboard box to make a dolls’ house. The only limit is your imagination!
Make your own play dough
Again, many parents avoid play dough as it can become messy. Put some plastic on the table if you are worried about it getting damaged, and cover your child’s clothing with a plastic, wipe-clean apron. There are plenty recipes online, and you can customize your dough by adding food colors or flavors to make the dough scented. You can even add glitter to give the dough an interesting texture. Then, you can enjoy making all sorts of shapes, or even make your own pretend food to use at a teddy bear’s picnic!
Make a lucky dip box
This is a great way to stimulate your child’s senses. There are many different variations on the activity, but you could try filling a sand box with small toys or other objects and have your child dig around to find them. You could even try it blindfolded and ask them to guess what they have found without peeking! A variation on this is to find safe objects from outside such as leaves, twigs, flowers or rocks. Make a collection in a large box and let your child feel the different textures and hear the sounds the objects make when handled. You can even use this as a way to help teach your child the names of different flowers or the names of the trees the leaves have come from. If you’re not sure about the names, it can be a great way for you to research and learn something new together outdoors.
Have your toddler help with chores
Toddlers love helping mom and dad with important jobs. If your child has toy versions of appliances such as the iron or the vacuum cleaner, let them use theirs at the same time as you’re doing the real thing. You can also let your toddler start to help with simple tasks. Let them splash their hands in the sink while you are washing the dishes, or have them help wash vegetables and fruit before you chop them. Toddlers also often enjoy using a cloth or towel to ‘clean’ tables and other surfaces. You could give them a spray bottle filled with water to spray on the table before wiping it down with the cloth! Make it fun with chore charts and stickers to encourage little ones to develop good habits early on.
We hope you have found these ideas inspiring, and given you some new options for things to do when playing at home with your toddler.
By Emily Dick
Emily has recently graduated with an Honors Degree from the Open University in the field of social science. She currently creates content for www.Buzzparent.com, where she enjoys writing about a range of topics such as parenting tips and advice, and reviewing the latest toys and games for children.
Emily is currently raising her two-year-old daughter and two pet cats. She is working on plans to open a children’s soft play and activity center in her local town, as well as coming up with ideas for children’s picture books with her daughter.