As a mother of a 2-year-old I relied on days out whether it was a day spent at the park or paying a visit to my family and friends. We also attended lots of different groups where my daughter could socialise and play with her friends. We were always out and keeping busy. It hit us pretty hard when the UK lockdown was announced, I knew this change would be very difficult to come to terms with. After the first few days, Kiera started to have a hard time adapting to our new routine. She missed her family, she missed her friends, she missed being out. This is when I knew I had to come up with new things to help this transition easier for her. At first, we did the usual colouring pictures and playing with play dough and it worked but just like everything else she got bored quickly so it was time to be more creative.
- Put music on and dance like nobody is watching! This is one of our favourite things to do. Some of our favourite songs to dance to was Baby Shark, Five Little Monkeys and of course the beloved Dance Monkey by Tones and I. I also found that Just Dance videos on YouTube are a great way to keep your toddler moving. These are also fun ways to improve your child’s coordination and balance.
- Build a den and have your lunch in it. We did so and my daughter brought her friends with her (her favourite toys and teddies) to keep her company. All you need is a couple of blankets to hang up between furniture and pillows for comfort. This type of activity helps explore creativity and builds imagination which is important for your toddlers developing brain.
- Bake some yummy treats (crispy cakes, cupcakes, pancakes etc). This is a great way to keep them busy. Getting your little ones involved is a great way for them to learn, and asking for their help makes them feel important and builds their confidence. You could even try getting them involved when it comes to making meals. Toddlers love to be helpful.
- How about some basic learning such as numbers or the colours of the rainbow? These are great ways to keep a toddler amused. Most toddlers love to learn and soak up information like a sponge and it is also a great way of bonding with your child. Building blocks are great for counting and stacking and knocking them down and starting all over again. This method really helps to keep the child interested and also helps with their gross motor skills too. Playing a game of Eye Spy with colours is a great way to teach your child colours.
- Play a game called “Immediately!”, a fun game that gets your toddler involved in daily chores. This game entails completing tasks in a fun way. For example, you say, “Pick up your toys from the floor immediately!” So, they have to pick up all their toys as quick as they can. Or you can say, “Put your dirty clothes in the washing basket whilst hoping immediately!” and they complete the task whilst hopping. Be creative and have fun with this one. This game has been a life saver for me, having a toddler around 24/7 doesn’t give you a lot of time to get housework done and this game can help get your toddler involved
Although these times have still been difficult for us these are the ways we make the most of our time isolated together hopefully these ideas work for you and your toddler. Be creative and mix things up. Make this time memorable for your child so they can look back and see that they had lots of things to do during this time.