Toddlers love the thrill of hiding and being ‘found’ by you. There are so many great places to hide around the house – behind the curtains, under the table, under the blanket.
Use short phrases with your little one like “where are you?”, “you’re hiding”, “I’m coming”, “boo – there you are”, “under the table”, “what clever hiding”
Just like hide and seek, cubby houses provide endless fun for little ones. This is such a fun, free activity and involves using your imagination and problem solving. Using chairs, boxes, sheets, blankets and pillows you can create your dream house.
Use short phrases such as “let’s build”, “make a cubby”, “put up the sheet”, “over the chairs”, “make a roof”, “go inside”, “we’re in the house”, “under the sheet”, “hiding inside”.
Sensory play means exploring a range of textures, sounds, colours, flavours and scents in your play. Sensory play is a great way to introduce new concepts and also help your toddler get used to a wide range of sensory experiences. Put away the traditional toys and try one of the following:
Water and sand play (remember shoes and socks off for more fun!)
One of the best opportunities for children to learn is during unstructured outdoor play. Once you are sure the environment is safe for your little one, watch what they are interested in, follow their lead and talk about what you are exploring.
For example “you found a leaf”, “brown leaf”, “it’s crunchy”, “smells pretty”
Your toddler will love spending hours in the sandpit with you. This is a great time for you child to learn many concepts such as ‘full’, ‘empty’, heavy’, ‘light’, ‘big’, ‘small’, ‘in’, ‘out’, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’.
Talk all the time about what you are doing together. “You’re digging”, “dig, dig, dig”, “big hole”, “in the hole”, “hide your toes”, “where are they”, “there they are!”.
For even more fun, fill up a bucket of water to use in the sand pit too.
Toddlers love animals. Whether it is a visit to the zoo or farm, reading books about animals, or playing with figurines, all toddlers are intrigued by the animal kingdom. Talk about what you can see, hear and touch.
For example “big dog”, “dog’s barking”, “woof, woof, woof”, “have a drink”, “pat the dog”, “so soft”, “pat, pat, pat”.
Reading aloud to your every day toddler is the single, most important thing that you can do to teach them the read. A trip to the library is also a great outing and an opportunity to discover a whole range of new books every week!
All toddler love the suspense and sense of control when knocking down a tower of blocks! Building together provides you with a great opportunity to talk about a range of concepts. For example “let’s build”, “blue block”, “put it on”, “build a tower”, “up, up, up”, “ready to crash?”, “push”, “crash”, “fell down”.
Musical instruments are great fun for toddlers because they like to make noise! Choose simple instruments such as bells, shakers, castanets, maracas, a triangle and a drum. Let your child play freely and talk about what they are doing. “Bang the drum”, “bang, bang bang”, “playing loud”, “playing on the drum”, “boom, boom, boom”.
Cars can be fast, slow, noisy and come in many colours. Playing with toy cars is a great way to learn language. Remember to follow your child’s lead because then they will be engaged, having fun and learning.
Use short phrases like “brmmmm noisy car”, “car’s going fast”, “woosh, down the ramp”, “yellow car”, “stop car”.
Communication temptations are activities that are motivating for your child, but that they need your help. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to encourage your child to communicate with you, whether it be by passing you the object they need help with, making eye-contact with you or using the words “help”, “more” or “open”.
Great ideas for communication temptations include:
Bubbles with the lid on too tight
Snacks in a tight container
A bag or pillowcase tied shut with toys hiding inside