Ride on toys
Great for gross motor development! When our children were smaller we used to have little black plastic "motorbikes" that they could ride on. They would ride everwhere outside in the yard and also during non-peak traffic times around the block when we took our nightly walk. A great selection of ride on toys for young toddlers are widely available.
Sand and water play
On those lovely warm days make sure you let your toddler enjoy some sand and water play. This is a great educational activity which does not involve much from mom's side. You can sit outside too and enjoy a book while you watch your toddler play. Mixing the two components is wonderful for all sorts of imaginary play. Choose sand that is lime free, do not just buy builder's sand! Water tables are also great helps if you would like to confine the mess.
Jungle gym/climbing frame
If you have space in your yard then invest in a climbing frame. We started with a metal one that we could move around easily and when our children were older we had a wooden one made. Adding swings and slides at a later stage is also a possiblity as your toddler gets older. Climbing is and important toddler educational activity as it build upper body strength which is necessary later for schooling.
Books are always great, but especially include them for your indoor toddler educational activities list. Read to your little one everyday, even if only for a short time. Consider also indoor obstacle course & tunnel and some age appropriate crafts Be sure to look at my 1 year old toy recommendations too!
Playdough is such a wonderful tactile activity for toddlers. In the beginning some may like to try to eat it, and while this is not ideal, small amount will not harm them. Purchase some cookie cutters, a small rolling pin and add some plastic non-serrated knives and your toddler is set for a whole lot of fun. Some children's toys stores also sell playdough syringes that you can fill with playdough and squeeze out the other side. This does take a fair amount of muscle power but by 2.5 years your toddler will master it.
A great fine motor toddler educational activity! Take a medium square of hard corrugated cardboard (from and old box) and a few wooden pegs. Make sure they are the ones that your toddler can squeeze together on one end so the other opens. Show them how to peg them on and off the edge of the cardboard.
Take an empty spice shaker and fill it with a few pieces of uncooked lengths of spaghetti. Show your toddler how to unscrew the top, remove the spaghetti, replace the lid and then place the spaghetti back in the bottle through the holes in the lid.NOTE Once my one child tried to eat a piece of dry spaghetti and it got stuck in her throat. With a little coughing and soem water it was dislodges quite easily, but do be aware of this if you see your toddler putting some in their mouth.
1 year old toddlers do still battle with the fitting together of the normal puzzles, which is why knob puzzles are ideal for them. The knob forms a little handle that they can hold onto and slide (rather than fit) the shape int the right slot.
Fitting shapes into containers are also a great toddler educational activities. You can elect to make some yourself with old icecream containers and bottle tops or buy ones that have different shapes. You can also save you own vasious bottles and lids for them to srew on and scew off. Be careful with glass containers and perhaps only use glass for older toddlers under direct supervision.
Pegs into holes
We had a wonderful wooden toy when our toddlers were little which was a series of round wooden "pegs" that fitted into a wooden board with the same sized holes. This provided hours of fun for little ones.
Stacking ring toys a great still for this age group as well as for younger sitting babies.
This duo toy is fun to either make towers or to find the right size sequence to nest the cups. Half the fun is pushing over the tower with a big crash!
Indoor Gross Motor Activities
In addition to the outdoor ideas mentioned above, on colder days you can also plan these gross motor toddler educational activities.
Try these balls ideas for younger ones. (See "roll toddler on ball)
You can also place a non slip mat in your shower and let your little one paint with shavin cream on the walls of your shower.
Purchase a black board easel and let them draw pictures over the surface.
Play a gentle game of tug of war with a scarf.
Catching and throwing of bean bags, or throwing bean bags into an empty washing basket it's great fun! Instead of bean bags, simply make sock balls, match up your clean laundered socks, roll them into a ball, and let your toddler enjoy aiming them at the basket.
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