3 Simple and Easy Ways to Entertain a Toddler
How do you keep a toddler entertained?
This can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s not something you have to do every day.
Take my husband, for example. He plays with our kids most every day, but it’s not often that I leave and he has to be alone with them for several hours. He gets nervous that he won’t be able to keep them entertained.
But you know what, that’s OK!
It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about doing something you don’t do very often. Armed with some basic ideas, though, I promise you can do it, and it will be fun!
I wrote this with my husband in mind, but it’s just as applicable to anyone who finds themselves in charge of a toddler and isn’t sure what to do, whether they be a parent, grandparent, friend, neighbor, or anyone else.
So how do you keep a toddler entertained?
It may sound intimidating, but all they really want is for you to play with them. The don’t want you to have some elaborate activity prepared or for you to be a professional entertainer.
They just want to play.
But what do you do? How do you play with them?
For the most part, it really is simple. Follow their lead. If they are playing with blocks, build an awesome house for the dinosaurs. Or just sit back and let them play on their own. Engage with them but also give them space to just be on their own when it is needed.
But sometimes you need a little more then just following them. Sometimes it is nice to have a supply of ideas to fall back on when your toddler starts to get bored and destructive.
I am all about keeping things simple and awesome. I want to share with you 3 things that you can do with your energetic toddler that will keep you both happy.
- Read. You can never go wrong with sitting down and reading with your child. For toddlers, I suggest reading books that have few words, ones that are mostly pictures. Books that are easy to create your own version of or to ask questions. Board books are also ideal. Paper books are like a challenge for toddlers where they need to find out how quickly they can rip the book to pieces. Board books are more durable and can withstand toddlers much better.
- Sensory bins. Toddlers crave sensory experiences. They are learning with their whole bodies. Activities that can allow them to touch and explore will keep them engaged for longer periods of time. Grab a bucket, pan, bin, or tub. Fill it with beans (dry beans, always dry beans), pom poms, rocks, shaving cream (plain old white shaving cream, I get mine from the dollar store), shells, or water. You could leave it as simple as that or you could be even more awesome and add spoons, cups, cars, dinosaurs, or animals to take it to the next level.
- Fill and empty games. You know that drawer or cupboard that your child is always emptying. Toddlers love to empty things then fill them back up again. I suggest that if you do this activity use a case of dominoes, buckets full of whatever, or a box with towels or clothes. Look around and find a container that they can fill up with objects then dump it out and do it all over again.