Why I Said Goodbye to Toys and Hello to These 8 Toddler Activities

Here are a few creative and fun ideas, which eventually became a part of our daily play routine. Bonus: all these can be done indoors!

As a parent of a one-year-old, I wake up every morning wondering how to keep my son entertained. I have tried them all – from interesting flashcards to crayons, edible paint and even tried to keep him occupied with trains and cars. I have also told myself that I will hold off screen time as much as possible and not resort to plonking him in front of the television or tablet. At this age, toddlers love novelty. Does that mean we buy a new toy everyday? Nope, you just have to be smart with the ones you have.

Here are a few creative and fun ideas, which eventually became a part of our daily play routine. Bonus: all these can be done indoors!

1. Pick and Put

This is one simple game for babies who are 8 months and above. Pick up a bag, box or even an empty carton and collect various items from around your home. Put them all in and do a little jig! Now, ask your little one to pick one by one out of the bag and put it out. Likewise, ask them to put it back into the bag too. So, this way you are teaching your kid to ‘pick and put’ while showing them various objects and colors too. Sounds like fun? Try it then!

Relentless at Heart

Image source: Relentless at Heart

2. Build a Tower

Building blocks are a great way to get your child’s concentration and motor skills sorted. Pick a set from a toy store and start building your colour tower. You could also use plastic cups, cards or sponges. Add in that fun element towards the end by crashing it down with sounds like “Knock it down” or “Timber” and see the joy on your child’s face.


Image source: pinterest

3. Obstacle Course

Is your little one crawling or cruising yet? Make them an obstacle course! Babies love climbing over and crawling under obstacles in their path. So gather your throw cushions and pillows and make a path for your baby to course through. They will love it  and it is great for burning off that excess energy before they take a nap! obstacle

Image source: h5.googleusercontent.com

4. Peek-A-Boo

No indoor game is complete without the age old peek-a-boo! Kids of all age groups love to play hide and seek. If you are playing this with babies between 1 and 5 months of age, you could use a cloth to hide your face and make sounds like ‘Boo or Baah’ while you remove the cloth. That little excitement on their face is definitely something that will bring a big smile on yours! You could play the same with older kids too, by finding cute little hiding spots inside the house. Ask your toddler to count while you go on and hide or vice-versa. This way, you are also bringing in the counting and numbers!


Image source: tellpk.com

5. Water Games

Water games are every child’s dream and every parent’s nightmare! However, there is no way you can avoid this. But here are water games which will let your kid have fun, with less mess. Fill the bathtub or a bucket with water and given her a bubble blower straw to blow bubbles. You could also make paper boats, throw in rubber toys or bath books. Give her an empty container and another one full of water and ask her to transfer water from one to another. However, remember that all of these require adult supervision.


Image source: busytoddler.com

6.  Make Music

There is no kid who doesn’t enjoy music. Be it a newborn or a toddler, singing is the best way to play or calm a child. You could sing anything from rhymes to other funny songs or even compose your own. You could also make a little home-made guitar by wrapping rubber bands around a baking dish or any container. Do a little jig with your little one and see what fun you have!


Image source: Pinterest

7. Ball Games

There is so much you can play with a ball. Babies will love the way a ball moves and try and crawl behind it. Try and store a few balls that make sounds or have different textures and bring them all out to play! 10-12 month old babies will love a rudimentary game of indoor bowling.


Image source: pioneersettler.com

8. Bang On

Banging is one favorite pass time, especially for babies. Your little percussionist will love drumming on tables, walls, vessels…just about anything. Give them a few things that make different sounds – a steel pot and a spoon for loud noises, a small box and a mallet for softer sounds. Get creative and get them playing! You could also create sounds by asking your older child to bang on an empty box or even give him a spoon and an empty container. Create a tempo or a rhythm and see how your little one slowly enjoys doing it. This is also a great way to introduce music to kids.


Image source: theseasonedmom.com

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