Find activities and keeping a rambunctious toddler busy is one of the most challenging jobs I have found in my adulthood. Especially when you are attempting to home educate other children in the home, it may feel like the younger ones are always underfoot.
I’ve tried many tactics from involving the younger one in the older children’s activities to baby wearing my two-year-old. Each of these tactics has their own pluses and minuses and have worked to various degrees. However, the most successful way I have found of keeping my little one busy is providing age appropriate learning activities for him.
In this post I’m going to share with you three simple activities that I have used and do actively use with my own toddler. These activities are great because they work on basic color and letter recognition. The biggest positive of these are the only require simple household items. These activities are also easy to set up and do any day of the week. And don’t worry, they need very little prior planning too!
Color Sorting with a Muffin Tin
This activity requires simple items from around the house, the objects we used in this video could easily be switched out for other items. For example, in the video we used a muffin tin, construction paper and math cubes. As an alternative, you could easily use cups of different colors and straw or toys (of different) colors to be sorted.
The possibilities here really are endless. I have used plastic cups, post-its with hand written numbers and large coins (be sure to watch your child) to practice counting. There are many ways to get creative with this activity and provide a different experience each time for your child.
Busy Sheets – Get Your Freebie Here
In our house, we call these busy sheets. They are laminated sheets with some velcro to create sorting and matching activities. These sheets are great because they are created ahead of time and grabbed easily without much thinking involved. Keep several of these on hand and easily switch them out to keep your child interested.
You can get your own free busy sheets by clicking here. This is a zip file and will need to be unzipped to access the files. Simply laminate the sheets, cut out the pieces and use velcro to get the board and matching pieces to stick to each other. I use heavy duty velcro so it will withstand my toddler. Just a suggestion!
Letter Painting and Gluing
This is a messier activity so I’d be sure that your toddler is in a safe place to create a mess. For us, this means I am putting him in his high chair. Sometimes, we place his play table in the kitchen where a mess can be more easily picked up.
This activity is great because it is easily customizable to your toddlers own learning needs. Simple change out the letter by simply drawing a new one depending on the new day or week. If you don’t have to mess with paint, I suggest using stickers which are really fun for toddlers.