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How to have Fun with an Empty Purse
Seen through a toddler’s eyes, an empty purse is almost as fascinating as one which is full. Therefore keeping them entertained doesn’t have to cost the Earth. All it takes is a little time and imagination – and a parent who is willing to play. There are numerous fun and free activities that mums can do with their toddlers. Here are just a few.
Make Play Dough
Play dough is suitable for children of all ages and can keep toddlers entertained for hours. It is simple to make from items you will already have in your kitchen. The dough is made from salt, flour, vegetable oil and food colouring. Toddlers can even help making the play dough as there are recipes available which do not require the dough to be cooked in a pan. Perhaps the best thing about play dough is that it is non-toxic and will do your toddler no harm if they accidentally swallow some. It can also be reused over and over again. In terms of a toddler’s education, this provides a great way of teaching new shapes and colours as well as improving hand-eye coordination skills.
Visit the Library
Libraries are great for toddlers. There’s lots for them to see and do – and at no cost to you. Besides, encouraging your toddler to read from a young age is recommended and will help when they eventually start school. The vast majority of libraries hold toddler groups and often have special guests to entertain the children. Sitting down in a group and paying attention to one adult is good preparation for the future, as is mixing with children their own age. Such groups give mums the chance to mix socially as well.
It may seem like a strange suggestion but toddlers can help in the garden. Obviously, they should not be handed dangerous tools but there nothing to stop them helping to plant and water. Not only does this give you both the opportunity to get some fresh air, but toddlers can learn a lot from the garden including the colours and varieties of flowers and how the plants grow.
Another fun activity for toddlers is to go insect collecting. All that’s needed is a jar jam and a small net to catch the bugs. There is an endless supply of creepy crawlies that can be found in a back garden or local park. By simply sweeping the net over long grass you are likely to catch several bugs. Toddlers can learn the names of the various bugs and their colours. Such activities also make it more likely that your child will not grow up scared of insects.
Make a Tent in your Living Room
You’ll be surprised at how easily it is to be creative at home. Rather than sitting your toddler in front of the television, why not build a tent for you and your children to play in? Simply placing a bed sheet over four chairs will give toddlers an opportunity to use their imagination and for you to encourage some role play games. This activity is great for a raining day when your toddler may be frustrated by having to stay indoors. It can also help to eradicate some fears toddlers may have of enclosed or dark spaces.
Toddlers love bubbles and although this may seem like a simple activity, it can keep them entertained for hours. It is also something that can be done every day. Most mums will have children’s bubble mix at home but even washing up liquid can be used. Put some washing up liquid in water and then dip a plastic ring in it and blow away. You can create different sizes and shapes which your toddler will love. Count the bubbles with your toddler to help them develop their numerical skills. Best of all the bubbles leave no mess!
Teach your toddler some dance moves when they are at home. There’s almost an endless supply of suitable music for children to dance to. They will enjoy it and it is great for their coordination. Try arranging a few toddlers to come round to make this activity last a bit longer. The toddlers are likely to keep dancing longer with an audience. This will also help improve their social skills.
Visit the Garden Centre
Taking your toddler shopping may not seem the most fun activity, but garden centres are a great location for them. They often have pet shops and aquariums which will fascinate even the most demanding child. They can walk around and see the different plants and ornaments. Remember you do not have to spend money in order for you and your toddler to while a few hours away wandering around the site.