Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Activities for Toddlers: Structured Playtime

I'll be honest, this has been a weak spot for me, as I am a firm believer in encouraging your baby/toddler/child to have free playtime where they can learn to entertain themselves, instilling independence and creativity. But I believe I have pushed this and not structured playtime well enough. You may be doing this already and not even realize it! Perhaps you always have arts and crafts time with you toddler in the afternoon after his/her nap. This is a wonderful way to encourage a structured activity time. 

What is structured playtime??

    This is defined as playtime where the parent chooses the time/location of the playtime as well as what the playtime will consist of(preferably in some way stimulating the mind, which just means interacting with your kiddo!). Preferably you can structure the time, and location of the activity to help establish a routine. 

Here are some structured Playtime activities:

1) Puzzels and/or Blocks.

Some of our favorites:
Farm Animal Wooden Puzzle
Pets Jigsaw Wooden Puzzle
Wooden Block Set

2) Reading Books

I try to make this time interactive, not only just reading, but reading with a call to respond: "Can you turn the page?" or "What does the doggy say?" We also make it a habit to read just before bedtime
My childhood favorite book!
"My First Books" set of 4!
We read this before bed!

3) Music Time

Purchase some fun bells or drums, and put on some music to dance and sing to!
Music & Rhythm Toys
Children's Singalong CD
50 Silly Songs!

4) Arts and Crafts Time

Play doh, painting, coloring or other art projects are fun and a great activity for your toddler to do while you are getting dinner ready or cleaning the kitchen!
Play Doh Multi-color
Mess Free Coloring kit
Bathtub Crayons!!

5) Outside play 

Sandbox, sprinklers, swings, or simply collecting rocks!
Classic Sandbox with Cover
---Don't forget the sand toys!---
Outdoor Swing, attach anywhere!