Guess what? I have been doing this for a long time now. Writing and sharing ideas in this space. So long in fact, that I am re-using my own ideas! This post on independent toddler ideas I wrote when I had a new baby. Now that new baby is well into toddler-hood himself. And while I don’t have a new baby to keep me busy, I still love a little toddler independent time!
We do use our Quiet Bins for this a lot – but these ideas are great too. Here is my original post, written for little Sammy (who is now 7 … look how little he was!)
Independent toddler activities – do these really exist? Can you really put the words ‘toddler’ and ‘independent’ together?! Well … rarely … and not for long … but yes!
Trying to get anything accomplished with a toddler in toe is fun, but tends to take ten times longer then doing it on your own. When you need a few minutes on your own, here are some independent toddler activities. Each activity uses only one common item that you likely already have on hand.
Pipe cleaners. Really – that could be enough said right there. My Sammy has loved pipe cleaners since the age of two. He still plays with them, very engaged, independently. For more independent toddler activities using pipe cleaners have your wee one:
- thread pipe cleaners through straws and bend into shapes.
- Poke in and out of colanders or cooling racks
- Attach them together by bending to form the longest pipe cleaner in the world.
Sticky Notes. If you have a toddler, you simply must invest in pads and pads of sticky notes. The games and enjoyment and hours of independent toddler activities my wee ones have enjoyed from sticky notes! I suggest giving your toddler a pad and see what he comes up with all on his own. They can be stuck pretty much anywhere without damage. Here are some independent toddler activities we use sticky notes for:
- Stick them on anything blue
- Stick them on anything hard/bumpy/smooth/or soft
- Line them up to make a road on the floor for play cars
- Hide them and then try to find them all – these wee ones, they forget so quickly!
Plastic Cups. These gems you likely have up in a cupboard right now. The enjoyment a toddler can get from plastic cups is remarkable. Here are some independent toddler activities using plastic cups:
- Stacking them
- Trying to fit things inside them
- Lining them up and knocking them down (again and again and again and again) with a ball or toy truck
For some wee ones these independent toddler activities work best when you introduce ideas to your child first. Others play very well, and amazingly creatively with these simple items all on their own.
Most little ones like to be in sight of Mama, so try these independent toddler activities while you are in sight. If you are trying to get dinner ready, try these activities on the floor of the kitchen. And for Heaven’s Sake – don’t look as though you are having fun – or move too quickly – or even breath loudly while making that dinner!
*** Edited to add:
And since I no longer have a new baby, I have put all my quiet time to great use. I have written Two Quiet Bin books for new Mom’s with toddlers!
They are available as eBooks so you can get to that Quiet Time straight away! I hope you love them (and your new found quiet time)
Hope you are having a lovely week friends, please visit again soon.