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I make a lot of felt crafts and the other day my son found my pile of scraps. He wanted them so I gave him a few, and after awhile he returned for the whole pile. He uses them with his little bulldozer and other heavy equipment vehicles. As he plays with them we can work on learning his colors.
Toddlers seem naturally attracted to pom poms! Those fuzzy, colorful pom poms can be used for many things other than crafts. My son loves to use them with his toy dump trucks. He loads them up and dumps them out over and over again.
I found my toddler on the floor playing with a chip clip the other day. He was using it like a pair of tweezers, picking up small toys, and putting them into his trash truck.
I had extra breastmilk storage bags. I turned one into a fun toddler toy for on the go, by adding sequins and some water.
Instead of buying expensive decorations for a toddler birthday party, put your child's crib mattress inside a small tent for a play area. For safety reasons, don't zip up the side door.
We have a lot of toys for my 16 month old son. He's really rough on them, throwing them around and stepping on them. While we have bought a few toys brand new, we prefer to buy them used.
This makes a cute gift for a toddler. By one 2 by 4 and cut into blocks. Sand and stain blocks. Fill a plastic dump truck with the blocks and wrap it in clear plastic.
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I recently became a stay-at-home mom of a 2 1/2-year old and a 5-month old. I'm looking for inexpensive things to do with them, especially things my 2-year-old can do with other kids.
Check out local library. Most have story hour for toddlers. Also some of the big bookstores have story times. If there is a children's museum in your area, a membership will be well used.
crafts, crafts, crafts..............if you want to private mail me I can send you a bunch of craft sites for her age!
Check out a MOPS group in your community! I too am a stay home mom and have found the best support group for myself and my kids to have friends that they have been playing with for years now. We all get together during the day and have play groups. Our MOPS group meets 2x/month so we do other outings during the off weeks. Check out gymnastics for "field trips", our community has a Senior Center that hosts KinderGym within for a small fee 3x a week.
Often local community or technical college have parenting classes covering exactly what you are asking. It is also a way to meet other people the same ages and circumstances as yours.
BTW we lived at the library. We would read there, we would check out piles of books to take home. Always being sure to get enough to "last" until we came back again.
Riding the bus is also a lot of fun in any weather. You don't even have to have anywhere to go..."the wheels on the bus go round and round..."
Several of our local malls now feature an indoor play area for the kids! You take their shoes off and let them run around and climb on these indoor playgrounds for free!
I cannot over-emphisize this: read to them. Read your tiny children poetry, even though you know they won't really understand it. Read them children's poetry that they will understand, and then teach them to read it themselves. Have them reading proficiently before they begin kindergarten. They will amaze you! I have a nephew who was studying his mom's medical encyclopedia before he started kindergarten, and he amazed his doctors too. They would render their diagnosis, and Corey would question it or affirm it based on his knowledge. He was five years old at the time.
Children are born with starving minds, and most of what they'll ever know will be learned before they're six years old. Take the time and talk with them, read to them, and give them a passion for knowledge. Teach them to read, and try to build within them a passion for reading. They WANT to learn and anything you can do to assist them will be with them for the rest of their lives. The big thing is, give them yourself. Give them your knowledge, and then direct them on a path to learn more than you'll ever know. And yes, you can.
Wow...what great ideas. Also, go to pbskids.org and disneychannel.com and you can print off coloring pages and worksheets that are fun for the kids. And they are free.
There are lots of indoor activities to do right in your home. You can play active games like Mother May I, Red Rover, roll a ball back and forth, do stretches and exercises together, active songs that require listening skills, Twister, jumping, treasure hunts, and more. If you had a covered patio available for play on wet days, that would work well. Children still need to get out, even if it is cold, above 30 degrees, if only for 10 minutes at a time. In our area, we have heated swimming pools, and a gymnasium just for kids to run and play and jump. Stay active!!
Check out www.meetup.com its a wonderful website with tons of parenting groups for every location. The group I belong to has a calendar cram packed with all sorts of get togethers that are usually free. You can find every kind of group possible. I highly recommend it!
See if they do annual passes to your local zoo or aquarium. This allow you to go as much as you want for 12 months, that way you have a fun adventure and if your toddler gets tired you can always come back another day.
At my local zoo children under 4 are free and if you go 3 times during the year you've paid for your ticket. I know people who do monthly or fortnightly visits.
This is a page about toddler water play ideas. Kids love to play in and with water.