Days 6-10: Week 2 Roundup
It's Week 2 of my free program, 25 Days of Toddler Play!
25 Days of Toddler Play is divided into 5 weeks, with 5 activities per week. You can do any of them at any time, this is just how I chose to introduce the program.
Because I'm a former teacher, I introduce the supply list before the week begins so you can make sure you already have everything you need.
The program also includes one or two toys per week that I think are high-value for the cost and are shoppable on my Amazon storefront.
Day 6: Golf Tees in a Box
⛳️ All you need are golf tees, a toy hammer, and a box. Simple, elegant, and entertaining. ⛳️ Golf tees make great "nails" that your toddler can use to hone their fine motor skills. For a younger toddler, I stick the golf tees part way into the box and have them hammer them all the way in. Older toddlers can do it all on their own. That's it! This is such a great activity for fine motor skill development. ⛳️ One more thing - if it's nice outside today, forgo the box and hammer the golf tees right into the ground! ☀️
Day 7: Painting with Water
I don't know about you, but even the THOUGHT of bringing paint out for my kids to play with gives me anxiety. It never goes well. This is my take on painting, without the paint. 🎨
All you need to do is give your toddler a cup of water (or a wet paper towel in a cup to prevent spills) and let them go to town.
You can use paint brushes, cookie cutters, stamps, anything you can find. This is also another great use for the waterproof tablecloth we used last week (if you missed it, the link is in my bio).
Both my kids sat for about 30 minutes happily painting away. This cost me zero dollars because I already had all the supplies. And cleanup was a breeze. Now THAT's a toddler activity I can get on board with.
Day 8: DIY Reusable Paper
When I was a high school biology teacher, I used to do this with my students when we did the Punnett square unit. So I can attest that this activity is entertaining from ages 1-18+.
Put a piece of paper inside a sheet protector. Give them markers and a wet paper towel. Bam. Entertained.
To extend this activity, print out connect the dots, mazes, word searches, coloring images, anything you can find on a Google Image search, and put that inside the sheet protector for over-and-over-again fun! If your child is learning to write, print out their name in large letters and they can trace it. If you have older children practicing math skills, this is also a great application for that.
I hope your kids love this one as much as mine did! If you post pics of this, tag me to be entered in the giveaway! (it doesn't have to be today that you do the activity). If you have a private account, DM me a screenshot of the post.
Day 9: Hammer Time
If you've been following me since the beginning, you know that my son is VERY rough on toys. This activity is absolutely PERFECT for a child who likes to break things but is constantly being told not to. For this activity, all you need is a hammer and whatever you can find outside. You can use ice in a pinch. We have an old stump in our yard that is the perfect table for hammering, but you can use the ground or a rock or anything else. Give them the hammer (our son prefers a real hammer and even sometimes uses a 5lb mallet, our daughter prefers to use a toy one) and encourage them to find things to smash with the hammer. It feels like something they shouldn't be allowed to do, which makes it 1,000 times more fun. Start with a dialogue like this: "Hmm, an acorn... I wonder what's inside?" And let them find out! Obviously there is a risk of them injuring themselves with the hammer, so make sure to teach basic hammer safety and use eye protection. During the lockdown of 2020, I started doing this activity with my son who was under 2 years old at the time. We would spend HOURS doing this. I'd grab a lawn chair and hang out on my phone while he hammered acorn after acorn. The real treat is finding these things we call "puff balls" which you can see in the picture - they're really called wasp galls, and are brown round things you find under trees in New England where we live. We can usually find around 5 of them each time we do this if we look hard enough under trees! Let me know how your kids do with this!! Have FUN and be safe!!! 🔨
Day 10: Doll Bath
*Read my newest blog post for a full activity description!* If you have young children in your life, you already know that there are a LOT of dolls on the market. But, the TYPE of doll you choose for your child matters. It matters for their social and emotional development, their perceptions of gender, their cultural awareness and sense of self. Dolls are for boys AND for girls. Read it again. If your sons aren't playing with dolls, they are missing out on some vital role playing that can help them better process and understand the world around them, including routines that they might have a tough time with. You can do SO many things with dolls that aren't "playing house." For example, letting your child give a doll a bath can help them process and overcome anxieties they have about their own bath time. It gives them a chance to step into the parent/caregiver role, and it's fun! Same goes for mealtime, potty training, and more. Read my newest blog post (link in bio) for more role playing ideas with dolls, and my suggestions for hard plastic dolls that will last through toddlerhood and beyond. Spoiler alert: Miniland has the best dolls, period.
Stay tuned for Week 3: The supply list drops tomorrow! And don't forget that you can sign up for my email list to get these activities delivered straight to your inbox!