Friday, September 24, 2010

Activities for Toddlers: The Wee Ones

A while ago, I posted about activities you can do with your young toddlers, ages 12-15 months. Here are some activities from the same book by Jackie Silberg, Games to Play with your Toddlers, that are for toddlers ages 15-18 months. (I personally think you can make all these activities work for toddlers around 12-24 months, depending on their interests.)

Cup stacking
Show your toddler how to put the cups together and take them apart. Try cups of different shapes or sizes and watch how he/she experiments to see which cups fit into other cups. This is a game that develops problem-solving and thinking skills.

Let's roll!
Show your toddler how to roll. Practice on both left and right sides. "Even though toddlers are too young to understand left and right, they can recognize their bodies have two sides."

At a local "toddler gym" here in Ogden, I learned a fun way to teach your toddler to do a forward roll. You have them stand in front of you and then swing their arm like an elephant trunk in front of them. Then you grab that "elephant trunk" from between their legs, have them tuck their heads, and roll! My 1 1/2 year old loves to do it over and over.

Teddy Swing
Tie a string or ribbon onto your toddler's favorite teddy bear and swing him from a tree, just a few feet off the ground. Teach them how to push him gently to make him swing.

*I tweaked this activity a bit. We took our teddy to the park and helped him do our favorite things like swing and slide and climb. My little one loved this activity.





The Two Feet Game
Hold your toddler's hand while you say or chant the following:

"I can walk with two feet, two feet, two feet.
I can walk with two feet, all day long."

You can use this song with "jump, hop, run, march, slide, skip."

Sprinkle time
Poke holes into the bottom of a large plastic bottle (I used a milk carton). Go outside and talk about the grass and flowers and garden. Fill your bottle with water from the hose and show your toddler where they can sprinkle the water. Ask him/her to sprinkle the grass, sidewalk, flowers, etc. Everytime they understand directions, praise them.

Two Little Blackbirds
*change jack and jill to your child's name and one of her friends)

"Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill.
(hold up the index finger of each hand)
One named Jack and one named Jill.
(move your index fingers in the air and say "tweet, tweet, tweet")
Fly away, Jack. (move one index finger behind back)
Fly away, Jill. (move other index finger behind back)
Come back, Jack. (move first finger from behind back)
Come back, Jill. (move second finger from behind back)

*This is Jackie Silberg's favorite activity.

To help your toddler learn shapes, cut out each shape as large as you want and tape them to your floor. Show them how to run to the square or jump onto the circle. You can walk around the edges of the shape, jump over them, hop from one to the other, or ask them to place a ball onto a specific shape. My kiddos enjoy this one.


(your little one can also help you put the tape on the bottom of the shape. They love to help...)

*Toys and Tongs

(This activity is either from Jackie Silberg's Games to Play with Toddlers or Trish Kuffner's The Toddler's Busy Book.
I can't remember.)
I've used this activity with both my kids and it's entertained them for at least 10 minutes, so it's worth giving it a try. You fill the cups of a muffin tin with random small toys. Then show your toddler how to pick up the toys by squeezing the tongs and placing them into a bowl. This of course helps them with their coordination and "squeezing skills" (aren't those useful?). Now my kids aren't usually ready for this activity until they're closer to two years old, but depending on the size and strength of your toddler's hands, they might be ready earlier.



Have fun with these!!
(And please do leave your comments; I love hearing from you.)
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