As most parents know, there really is such a thing as the terrible twos, I've spoken about it recently on the blog and it really can be a shock to the system to see your baby transform into a tantrum-throwing toddler - I know it certainly has been for me. During this stage of development it can be hard to know how to calm and amuse your little one. Being a stay at home mum it can be a struggle to come up with new activities to entertain my little one day in and day out, he's such an active little boy that he can get bored so easily! To help your toddler settle – and to help maintain your sanity! – here are some fun games and activities to keep your two year old entertained and happy.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Hunting for chocolate eggs at Easter is a great family activity, it's something we did a lot of this Easter, in the woods and on Easter Sunday itself, but it's something you can recreate any time of the year, in the home, if it's raining or the garden. Use this as an opportunity to help them learn, too. Hide plastic animals from their toy collection, hunt for numbers or shapes, or search for coloured objects. Two year olds will love the novelty of finding things that are hidden and will love repeating the colour, words, numbers you have hidden too.
Sit in a circle with your partner and your child's toys, then create a game out of sharing crayons, food or toys. Say things like 'one for you, one for mummy/daddy' and offer encouragement. This is an important skill as it teaches them how to interact with other children and introduces them to numbers.
Play with Bubbles
Let's admit it, bubbles are fun at any age, but this form of sensory stimulating play is especially great for toddlers. Blow bubbles and watch as your child tries to touch, catch and chase them, and teach your child how to do it themselves. Alternatively, buy a bubble blowing machine, these are great for bath time or to have in the garden and enjoy them together. I know I still love popping bubbles and I'm twenty-five!
Most toddlers love to use crayons or paint but it can be messy – we've probably all found coloured spots on the wall, floor or sofa (my poor couch is ruined!). Instead, make the most of the sunshine and paint with water. Fill pots, grab paint brushes and draw shapes or swirls on your decking or path. Little ones will love being able to paint on things they're usually not allowed to be creative on and it's a great outdoor activity for them to enjoy too.
Start Gardening and Explore
Gardening is a term that should definitely be used loosely with two year olds! While a toddler probably won't appreciate planting seedlings and watching them grow, they can have fun digging in the mud with a trowel, playing with leaves, picking up bugs and watering plants. We recently planted some seedlings with our son and his favourite part was watering them and all the other plants in the garden. Oh the fun a two year old can have with a €3 watering can and some water!
If you have older children, your toddler probably wants to copy what they're doing, which can be difficult. If they want to use a skateboard, then sit and hold your toddler as you gently roll them back and forth. Or if your other children enjoy football or ballet, help them kick a ball into the goal, or have fun and dance. My little one loves dancing and as he has no older siblings it's his daddy and I who have to be the dance partners - at least we all get a great work out!
Do you do any of these activites with your two year old? Would you try any of these things to amuse them?