Thursday, 13 August 2015

Keeping an Eighteen Month Old Entertained Indoors- Ten Fun Activities

My little Squish is growing up at lightning speed. He is learning to talk in caveman-like sentences, sing nursery rhymes and to engage in imaginative play. With all this rapid development, he needs more and more stimulation to keep him busy while I attempt to get some work done.

Here are our favourite indoor activities at the moment:

1. Tiny books

We have a big basket full of tiny toddler sized books. These are great for mommy to read to tiny sized toddler. However, their primary use in our house is different- the books get stacked, lined up, scattered or arranged in various other patterns. Emptying from the basket and throwing back in is also a favourite activity (though mommy does most of the re-packing).

2. Little plastic corner pieces

These little plastic bits came as protective covers on a new lounge suite (now an old lounge suite). They now get stacked and un-stacked and also get used to create obstacle courses.

3. Play dough

This is great for when I need to get some work done. I use an edible, home-made version. 

4. Wooden blocks

Building towers is a favourite at the moment.Breaking down towers is even more popular.

5. Camera phone

Ocassionally, I let my little man take selfies from my phone. You cannot tell that this is a blurry version of his tracksuit top and possibly his face, but aren't the colours pretty?

6. Bag of tricks

This one is always a hit. Fill a bag with random objects- an empty container, an old set of keys, a broken watch, some paper, a cloth, a calculator, a bangle or any other non-toys (adult stuff is way more fun apparently). Let toddler explore. Change items in the bag each time it is produced. (P.S. Old set of keys can be listed as a separate item as toddlers will find a myriad of uses for these.) 

A variation of this is to fill an old purse or wallet with business cards or other cards that you are no longer using (like those store cards that keep arriving in the mail that you have no intention of activating).

7. Cooking

Squish loves playing with Noodle's toy pots, pans and plastic toys. He whips up delicious meals for me- like this one. Sausages and cooked gherkin anyone? Real pots, pans and spoons are also very popular at the moment.

8. Pegs 

Yes, regular clothes pegs make great toys. I give Squish a little rod and he tries to pin all the pegs onto the rods. (This activity normally happens while I am hanging washing). 

9. Large buttons and a money box

Squish loves throwing coins into the slot of a money box and this is great for building fine motor skills. However, due to the choking hazard, I let him use large buttons, slightly bigger than a R5 coin.  

10. Sensory jars

Squish loves this at the moment. Read how to make it here.