Toddlers are always on the move, exploring and looking for new things and new experiences. Sometimes they need a little guide to keep them active, moving, happy, occupied and to assist them burn that extra energy they have. After all, our goal as parents is to raise happy toddlers!
It’s important to keep toddlers active during their wake hours because it will help them fall asleep easier and faster and stop some of the bedtime battles you experience daily.
I have found the best way to burn off toddler energy is to get them outside. Spending time in the fresh air, climbing, running, and exploring nature is by far better than anything we do. I definitely notice an improvement in their sleep when we’ve been able to spend time outdoors. When the weather doesn’t permit outside play, I like to invent simple games using things we have around the house to keep them entertained.
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I like to give choices of activities that would be “good” from my perspective. “You could play in the playroom or go out on the deck.” Also, the night before, I’ll typically talk about “tomorrow” with my toddler. That helps him visualize his day and focus on the different things he can and will be doing. Open-ended play is our favorite kind, as is helping in the kitchen. Last night we made pizza, and my toddler was thrilled to have made his own dough, rolled it out himself, and put all the toppings on too. Kept him entertained while I had to make dinner!
I always found that going on little “mini-adventures” kept my guy stimulated and happy as a toddler. I compiled a little list of inexpensive and fun ideas for young kids – and shared some of our best experiences to help other moms.
I hide toys away and save them for a day when all other toys have been exhausted or no longer hold a toddler attention. As we have the majority of our toys out on shelves it is something I do every couple of months. Having long forgotten toys back..,well its like birthdays and Chritismas all over again.
author at The Adventures of Meemoo and Pook.
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My tots benefit a lot from their 7am to 7pm routine. Through the morning, I let them play as they like but we have structured play in the afternoons. I have found that the right activity for them, together with fixed meals and nap times makes all the difference. Usually the 3-5pm slot is when they are restless and I have found that giving them my undistracted attention works best. We have all our creative and crafty sessions at this time and I make sure none of us get any technology during this time too.
A change of scenery. There are days that I find my toddlers are really grumpy at home. I take them out and it’s like magic. They love going out and about. Either to the park, or if you have play dates or groups. They can run around, explore and burn off some of that energy.
and a girl (2 year old), author at Snotty Noses.Follow Orlena through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
We are big fans of getting out into the fresh air to burn off excess toddler energy and if it’s raining we love to switch on some music and have a disco inside! Playing music is an excellent way to distract my toddler before a potential mid-afternoon melt down and having a good old boogie does wonders for us mummies as well.
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Routines. I find keeping to our routine keeps my kids happy. Right now I make sure that we spend lots of time outdoors. I try to run as much of their energy out as I can. I let my kids keep themselves occupied, I provide the items and maybe some kind of activity but it’s ultimately their job to keep themselves occupied during our downtime.
Physical play is important, of course. My toddler also loves sensory play too, as it calms him down. Sensory play doesn’t always have to be messy if your child doesn’t like it. But it helps them in many ways. For other crafts and activities, I find that morning time is the best. Above all, let them make up their own games and encourage their creativity!
Let your kids play in the bathtub in the midle of the day! Who ever said that bathtime has to be in the morning or in the evening? My girls have enjoy playing in the bath in the middle of the day for over an hour at the time! Water has a calming effect and they adore playing with bubbles, bathtime toys and each other.
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