A mom is super busy when the child starts walking on his toes and gets busier when he starts talking and when the bundle of energy starts with ‘Why’’s & What’s’. This generally starts at the age of 2 or even earlier for some! Phew, the physical and mental tiredness sometimes drains you away if you are only one looking after the bustling ball of energy. There are few tips to make this journey a little easy for new mothers who are exhausted and looking to make things a little simpler. The tried and tested recipes by me for keeping a toddler busy.
Indoor games – Hide & Seek or I spy – A tested game with toddlers, they would not get it right the first time, but after few times they will be so into the game. The fun of running, chasing, hiding is fun for both Mum and toddlers. There are few things that you need to take care of – their safety. So before you start the game, make sure you are making the little ones aware of all the danger zones and set game rules, Not inside the cubboard, not in the kitchen, under the table, no locking doors (for slightly older kids) or whatever you feel is threat to their safety at your place. Communicate with them with sign language or talking they will get the safety rules however small they are. Yes, DO NOT FORGET to record the moments by your camera, the memories to cherish for your lifetime.
Indoor sports – Get a ball and do the ‘catch and throw’ game. It’s super fun. Start it with a super light, super soft ball which would not hurt them. This game is super fun with them.
Water games – Every toddler loves these games, I have plenty of sand toys which I make use of. Just give them a spoon and bowl or any of their old plastic toys which can hold water and leave them in bath with Bucket & Mug. They can play endlessly with water. Keep a check on their safety throughout though. I usually use a bath mat on the floor and give just enough water in mugs for them to play. That way you are sure that they are in safe zone. If you have a help at home, you can ask the help to supervise the kids while you get on to some serious work, Mommy!
Play doh art – I get some store bought play doh. To make it little less messy, use newspaper on the floor and make them sit on a mat and let the newspaper get messy. One can make endless creative’s with doh. If I run out of doh, I give them wheat doh used for making chapati’s – totally Natural & color free.
Put on the music and tap feet with them – One very popular way of giving them an extra joy of happiness is to make them dance and sing along to their favorite rhymes! There are plenty of stuff available for free on youtube. My kid’s favorite is the Mother Goose club series. They are super fun for both mommies & kiddie’s.
Coloring – They will start this at the age of 2 or so, they would not color it perfectly till they turn 4. Give them designs which match their interest. I have been giving trucks, cars, buses to my boy and have given sun, tree’s, ballerina’s to draw for my girl. They love to color designs which match their interests. Crayon’s is a good way of introducing them to the world of colors. Also, coloring improves their hand – eye coordination and a great way of improving their concentration. Keep a check on their safety. They tend to eat colors so supervise them and make them aware of dangers of chewing colors.
Outdoor fun – It’s great to step out with them and hit the park or for a nature walk every day. If under 2, use a stroller to take them around.
Foam play – Another way to keep them busy and thrilled. Get some loads of newspaper or plastic bowls and let them unleash their creativity with the messy foam play on newspaper(Just to make it easy to clean up after the play). Add some natural colors made at home, like beetroot juice for red, carrot for orange and spinach for green. Let them mix it in the foam and play endlessly. I have been using Shaving foam for this.
Reading – A picture book, board book, story book – plenty of them available in the book stores by age group or get enrolled in a local book library to get a varied collection of books. I will give some tips on how to select the book for your toddler in my next blog which will be really helpful for first time mothers.
Indoor fun places – Explore for indoor fun places closest to you for a fun outing. These places generally have ball pits, Slides, cars, Trampoline, Role play and plenty of things to keep your little one busy. Mumma’s can carry her favorite magazine along to read while the little one is busy playing.
There are plenty of more ideas available on google, as they grow little older you can explore them! The above ones are super hit in my household and it does not take much to start.
The writer is Varsha Joshi, Director of an Kids company, Awesome place – A parent break center in Bangalore. A mother of two, 2+ years old son and a 5+ years old daughter.