Having a toddler that is busy can make entertaining them hard. They are ready to be on the go, and sometimes that just isn’t possible. Right now their minds are absorbing all of the things around them, and they are eager to learn and explore. There are many inexpensive ways you can keep them entertained at home, you just have to think outside of the box. My boyfriend and I are not blessed with a ton of money; we live paycheck to paycheck. We have come up with some fun things to do with our toddler that he loves, and we appreciate. These are a few fun ideas we came up with, and why they work so well.
Flashcard association with letters
My son absolutely adores trying to point out letters and guessing which ones are which. When we wear lettered t-shirts or anything with a logo, our son tries to spell out what he believes it says. After some thought, we ended up at one of the local dollar stores. They have an awesome section of flashcards for children of all ages. We chose to grab the ones with the letters on them because that is what interests him the most. We lay the cards out on the coffee table and play games with them using letter association. Right now our son is 21 months, and he can recognize about 50 percent of the letters consistently. It is a game he loves, and it is helping him learn in the process. If your child is more into numbers or shapes, the store had those on flashcards as well. Choosing something they like will help keep their attention longer than something they are only half-interested in.
My child loves music. Anything that has a beat will suffice. We often spend 30 minutes to an hour on the YouTube website. We search various things and listen to a wide genre of music. Sometimes we stick to things like Elmo clips, and other days it is Adele’s music. You see, I actually get up and dance around with him. The people that walk by outside probably think I am a nut, but we both really enjoy our dance time together. I get to be silly and burn some calories, and he gets to try and mock what I am doing. Sometimes I catch him trying to sing along, especially to some of the more popular music. This costs us nothing, but we end up with some much needed exercise and memories!
When the weather is on the nicer side, I like to take my son out in the front yard and play. Sometimes we take the stroller and go around a few blocks, and other times we run in the grassy opening next to our apartment. He is still learning about the different textures of things, and I let him touch what he wants. From grass to leaves, he touches it all. I watch carefully what he is trying to touch in case there are foreign objects. Sometimes he comes in the house and immediately needs a bath. He enjoys it, and I love seeing him smile. Nature is truly a fun way to learn.
Not everything fun has to cost money. With a little imagination and some cheap props, you and your toddler can have a world of fun. Seeing your child smile over something so small makes your job as a parent all the more worthwhile.