Activities for Toddlers (1-2 years)

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In this section we will learn about various activities meant for your toddler. Your toddler continues to need your active encouragement to explore his capabilities and his surroundings. Developmentally the physical change is enormous. Once your child learns to walk, his horizons expand. And learning to talk, opens up his world to you, and whole world to him, in a new and exciting way.

Activities for Toddlers

Now kind of activities that will engage your toddler will be quite different and full of energy. As a result whenever your toddler tries to move ahead of his immediate capabilities it may lead to frustration for him. You need to patiently teach him his limits and limits set by you. Providing a safe environment is another important concern for you.

But now your toddler will be curious and will explore his environment by pulling, pushing and poking objects around him, keeping him busy and engaged all the time. The more you interact with him, talking, playing, hugging and kissing the more comfortable your child will be with you.

Age 1 year – Week 2

Spools

Encourage the child to bring two spools together. Sing the words “one, two and two”. You two can have fun rolling a spool back and forth to each other. Show the child how to put one spool over the other and encourage him to try independently. Help him if any help needed and don’t forget to praise him for any positive action. This activity develops:

  • Awareness of sets of two (pairs)
  • Awareness of pattern of 1-2
  • Free exploration
  • Gaining Confidence on completion of task by himself.

Age 1 year – Week 5

Playing with a ball

At this age, make sure that ball you choose should be 5-6 inches in diameter, so that your little toddler can hold it in both the hands. Also don’t forget that ball should be soft and multi-coloured.

On a smooth non-carpeted surface roll the ball from a short distance to the child. Encourage child to catch the ball. Gradually the child will develop skill and start rolling the ball back to you. Repeat this activity for weeks together.

I remember my son used to run behind the ball but if he gets distracted he simply forgot the ball and used to get engage in different activity altogether, till I used to remind him that mama is waiting baby.

This activity develops:

  • Hand co-ordination
  • Tactile Sensation
  • Following Directions

Age 1 – Week 8

Walking on a straight Line

If your toddler has started walking, then to encourage him more this activity helps in developing more confidence and balance. Draw a 4-5 feet long straight line on the floor. First you walk on the straight line while your toddler is watching you, after completing show that you have enjoyed it and applause, to arouse interest in the kid. Then ask the child to walk on the line. Never forget to praise your kid even if he fails at times. Repeat this activity for at least two weeks. Child will slowly become confident. This activity develops:

  • Concentration
  • Legs, foot and eye co-ordination
  • Following Directions

Age 1 year – Week 12

Exposure to outside world

Make it a habit to daily take your baby for a walk to nearby garden. Even if a park is not available, I’ll suggest, taking your kid for a walk and letting him explore and understand the outside world.

In the park, there is so much to explore. Talk about the different trees, flowers, grass and insects. Introduce prominent colours to your toddler. Let your toddler walk on grass and feel its touch. You may feel its too early, but trust me it works, our kids are quite smart and registering everything in their mind.

Next look at various kids playing in the park. It’s an appropriate place to meet kids of same age. Let your child, wander for sometime, touch and smell the flowers and imbibe Mother Nature in himself.

This activity develops:

  • Awareness of Different Colours
  • Vocabulary Enrichment
  • Sense of touch and smell.
  • Awareness about Garden.

Having fun with water

Allow the child to play with water while taking bath. Bring him water toys, preferably made of sponge and not harmful to your toddler. Let him splash water and play with toys, but don’t forget to be always sitting besides your kid while he’s having fun. Also, you can make paper boats for your kid to enjoy more. This activity develops:

  • Eye-hand Co-ordination
  • Awareness of sense of touch
  • Observation skills

Age 1 year – Week 18

Putting keys through a slit hole

Collect 10 keys and a container having a slit through which keys can be pushed through. Encourage the child to pick up a key and push it through the slit. This activity develops:

  • Fine Motor Control
  • Following Directions
  • Eye-Hand Co-ordination

Age 1 year – Week 23

Climbing up and downstairs

This is an appropriate age for kid to practice up and down the climbing stairs. Limit the number of stairs he climbs at this age.

As the child is encouraged to go up and down the stairs it will become more interesting for him. All this should be practiced under supervision. Once he develops confidence, he will enjoy going up and down over and over again. This activity develops:

  • Awareness of up and down
  • Gross motor co-ordination
  • Self-Confidence

Age 1 year – Week 23

Climbing up and downstairs

This quite a right time for the child to learn and practice, climbing up and down the stairs. He may be allowed to climb four stairs at a time.As the child will be allowed to go up and down the stairs it will be come more interesting for him. All this should be practiced under your guidance and supervision. Once he develops confidence, he will enjoy this more. This activity will result in:

  • Awareness of ‘up’ and ‘down’
  • Gross motor co-ordination
  • Self-confidence

Age 1 year – Week 28

Cardboard puzzle

It may sound little overwhelming to introduce puzzles at this age. But your child will be able to pick such things later with quite an ease. Introduce simple and known objects like Dog, Ball, Butterfly etc, with only two pieces.

First show the child complete picture, then mix up the pieces. Now encourage the child to put the card pieces back correctly. Help the child if he does not understand. Encourage him and appreciate when he is able to do it correctly. Use one puzzle at a time. Make sure that pictures are large and colourful to attract the attention of your kid. This activity helps in:

  • Developing awareness that two parts make a whole.
  • More awareness of colours.

Introduce Crayons

Give your child a drawing notebook and crayons to scribble. Let him colour the simple pictures you have made like Apple, Ball, Kite and so on. I started telling my kid about various shapes and used to draw the shapes and tell him to colour the same. He enjoyed this activity once he started colouring a bit properly.

Encourage your toddler to have fun and enjoy the patterns he make. Scribbling with crayons allow your toddler to practice twisting and turning movements of his hands. It develops:

  • Eye-Hand Co-ordination
  • Fine Motor Control
  • Awareness of shapes and colours.

Don’t expect your toddler to recognize shapes and colours, just introduce and let him learn by himself.

Age1 year – Week 30

Carrying a Tray

This is quite an interesting activity that I used to play with my son. Select an unbreakable tray and put light, un-breakable objects on it. To make it interesting I used to put my small plastic cups. Now encourage the child to balance the tray and carry it a short distance. Praise the child as he completes the tasks. Remind the child to walk slowly.

This activity will develop:

  • Skill with sense of balance
  • Co-ordination of both hands.

Age 1 year – Week 32

Recognizing the Room

Always make a habit to tell the names of the rooms to the child, whenever you enter the room together. One day, simply ask your child to tell the name of that room or take you to directed room like “Please take me to the toy room”.

Appreciate when your child takes you to correct room and if you find him confused, just tell him the name of room and take him to the correct room. In this way, make him learn all the important rooms in your house like kitchen, living room, toy room and so on.

It may take several days for the child to go to the correct room. But continue this activity, till he remembers them all. This activity develops:

  • Awareness of Rooms and their position in the house.
  • Following Directions.
  • Confidence

Age 1 year – Week 36

Walking on Stepping Stones

Take a child to a garden where a footpath has different sizes of stones to walk on. Then ask your child to step on stone placed at a specific distance. He may be asked not to put his foot in between the gap of two stones. It develops:

  • Better co-ordination of large and small muscles.
  • Increased awareness of big and small objects.
  • Awareness of distance.

Age 1 year – Week 46

Pouring water from one container to another

Whenever there is an activity with water, kids tend to enjoy a lot. Train your child to pour water from one cup to another. Explain your child that one cup is full and other is empty, and show him to pour water from one cup to another, without spilling water.

Praise, when he is able to pour without spilling water. Also, appreciate when he can identify empty and full, correctly. This activity develops:

  • Observation skill
  • Awareness of concept of Empty and Full.
  • Eye-hand co-ordination

Age 1 year – Week 50

Button and Zip

Train the child to button and unbutton his clothes. But you have to make sure that buttons are of large size and kid can hold easily and learn it properly. Regular practice is needed, since child may take some time to learn this.

Once he as learned this properly, he may also open and fasten a zip. This activity develops:

  • An awareness of fastening clothes
  • Confidence and Independence
  • Eye-Hand Co-ordination

Age 1 year – Week 52

Open and Close the Door

You open the door and close it, in front of the child. See that door knob is easily accessible. Allow the child to practice turning the knob. The child will be interested and may enjoy exploring it independently. The child should be allowed to open and close different types of doors.

Child will develop:

  • Skills in turning knobs to open and close a door.
  • An awareness of the concepts of ‘open’ and ‘close’.
  • Confidence

Hide and Seek

Encourage your child to cover his eyes with his hands and when you are hidden say ‘Find me’. Help your child to find you by following your voice and let him enjoy his success. When the child gains confidence, hide at a different place.

Next time ask child to hide. Note that whether he selects the same place or a new place for hiding. Finding a new hiding place shows he has picked up the game. Two-three children can play this game under the guidance of an adult person.

I remember my son used to find a new place to hide but he used to make so much sound that its so easy to catch him, it took me quite a while to make him understand to be quiet when someone is trying to find him. I think its one of the most liked games of kids.

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