Toddler Activities

Gross Motor

Encourage your baby to walk alone by letting him push and pull chairs, a large box, laundry basket, or large toys. Fill them with a few large blocks or toys to keep it steady.

(This is a great way to help your child build strength and become balanced). 

 

Place an empty laundry basket or box in the middle of the floor with a few balls or beanbags inside. Show your baby how to drop the ball or toss the beanbag into the basket or box.

(Use this opportunity to talk to your baby about what they are doing.)

 

Give your baby time to practise going down slides, climbing, going up and down stairs, jumping, and running.

(Your baby is learning to what she can do with her body, so let your baby challenge herself but stay close)

 

Encourage your child to move with music by playing some your his favourite songs. 

(This is a great opportunity to teach him different ways to move by marching, clapping, swaying his arms, tapping his legs, and hopping to the music.)

 

Let your baby play with balls of different sizes and watch her kick, throw, and try to catch it.

 

Move your body like a penguin by waddling, a frog by squatting and hopping, like a bird by flapping your arms, or like a monkey by scratching yourself and jumping around.

 

Fine Motor

Cut a hole in a plastic lid of a large empty container or box and show your baby how to push small toys through the hole, open the lid, and dump them out.

 This is a great opportunity to learn how to put things in and take things out.

 

Give your child building blocks, plastic links, different size containers with lids, or toys that your baby can pull apart.

(This is a great opportunity to talk to your baby about what she is doing like "twist...twist...good twisting"and "pull...pull...good pulling".)

 

Hand your baby large writing material like jumbo chalk, pencils, and crayons. 

(This is a great opportunity to allow your baby to draw and scribble. Take some time to talk about the art and the colours used)

 

Add empty containers, buckets, pales, or plastic cups into the bath for your baby to pour water in and out of.

 

Stringing Along: Set up large-size beads or buttons and have your baby string them on a pipe cleaner, shoelace, or string.

(This is a great opportunity for you to point out the colours of the beads to your baby and count them as you string them)

 

Social Emotional

Hold your baby close and hug him when he gets upset or sad. Talk to your baby about the feelings he is experiencing, give him them words to name them.

(This is a great opportunity to comfort and soothe your baby to make him feel safe and secure.) 
 

Show your baby how to be caring during play with dolls, stuffed animals, and toys. Use actions and words together, so that the meaning of your words is clear. Show your baby how to feed, bathe, put to bed, love, and care for a doll or stuffed animal.

 

Appreciate the down time without the radio or TV on to sing, talk, or read to your baby.

 

Set routine and limits on your baby. Acknowledge and praise good behaviour. 

(This is a great opportunity to allow you baby to feel safe and secure when she knows what is expected of her.) 

 

Role play with your baby. Give your baby clothes to play dress-up like mommy and daddy. Or provide your baby with toys to pretend to cook or have tea parties.

(This is a great opportunity for your baby to imitate your behaviour).

 

Get two shoeboxes and two toys. You each get a box and a toy. Take turns putting the toy in, over, under, behind, and on the box. Talk to your baby about what you both are doing.

 

Language

Use short sentences like "soft teddy bear", “red truck” and ”prickily plant"). Hold those objects up in front of your baby and name them. Wait for your baby to respond with a sound, word, or gesture, and you both can take turns.

(This is a great opportunity for you baby to understand instructions and requests better when you use gestures. Keep it simple.)

 

Shake your head, when you say "No"; Point to your baby's feet when you say “Shoes on”; Guide your baby hand over a soft object and say "Gentle". Use simple language when talking to your baby. 

 

 

Put pictures of people or objects in a bag and say “1, 2, 3, what do we see?” and pull a picture from the bag. Pretend to talk to you baby on the phone or encourage me to call someone.

(This is a great opportunity for your baby to learn new words)

 

Sing songs with your babyy throughout the day and repeat them often. Leave out parts of the song or rhyme for your baby to finish. Talk to your baby during bathing, feeding, dressing, and doing daily chores. Name his clothing and body parts. Let your baby help you set the table, sort the laundry, and put groceries away.

 

Cognitive

Let your baby hold the book and turn

the pages when reading. 

 

Let your baby cut out pictures and photos from magazines, newspapers, and old books to make a book of their own.

 

Give your baby two or three cups that fit inside of each other. Try using measuring cups, margarine tubs of different sizes, nesting blocks, or plastic bowls. Allow your baby to stack them up tall and encourage her to knock them over.

 

Help your baby to notice familiar sounds such as birds chirping, car or truck motors, airplanes,

dogs barking, sirens, or splashing water. Imitate the noise you hear and see if your baby will imitate you. Encourage your baby by smiling and clapping.

 

Give your baby simple puzzles or make your own puzzles with two to four pieces and shape-sorters with simple shapes. Encourage your baby to match the pieces by taking turns with you.

 

Sort objects by shape, touch, colour, and size in a sorting game with your baby. You can use blocks, a muffin tray and fruit loops, clothes, rocks, and spoons. 

Note: These skills are mastered by most children by the age group show. However, the activities are a bit more challenging than others. By practicing these activities with your child, it will help you child to prepare the next developmental stage. Each activity has a symbol that represents the main area of development.

 

If you have questions or concerns about using any activity for your child, contact a health care or child care professional.