If you're here, then your probably sitting at home with your kids who have been released from school, wondering how you'll ever survive...not the virus...but your toddler. It's ok, I got you. Check out so of the things you can be doing to bust the boredom with your toddler.
Read a favorite book: Read 1 or read 15, as many as they'll let you. Let them join in by asking them what's on the page, having them search for and identify things they may recognize. Let them finish your sentence. Encourage them to tell you what the story is about even if its not the right order or only loosely depicts what's going on. Just go with it.
Read a book about the world: What a great time to pull out those books that may have a map or atlas. Learn about countries all over the world. Explain how you can travel from place to place. Show them where they live in relation to the globe. Tell them about the different languages people speak, the climate in each continent, population, indigenous animals, foods found in certain areas. The possibilities are endless.
Read a hand me down book: Dust off one of your childhood favorites and read them to your child. Books don't have an expiration date. Which was your favorite as a kid?
Write a story: Encourage your toddler to tell you a story, the best they can. Help them put it into words and sentences. Let them drive the narrative with little control or judgement from you. Read the story back to them and show them praise and support for their effort.
Write a poem/short story/song: I'm not saying it has to be good. I'm not telling you to share it on your social platforms. I'm permitting you to let go of your fear or embarrassment and write what comes to mind. Have fun. Be creative. Spend some time on it. Write it, re-write it, refine it. You may hate it....or you may love it!
Watch a favorite movie: It may not be your favorite, and you may have already seen it a million and one times, but it's their favorite and it provides them comfort, so go on...let em' watch it.
Watch an educational video: YouTube a video that's an area of interest or is age appropriate for your toddler. Encourage them to join in with the lesson and help them comprehend the message.
Facetime family: Chances are you may not see each other for at least a couple of weeks, so facetime! Your toddler will think it's so exciting to see nanny and papa on your phone and it's a way to still stay connected and social.
Organize toy bins: With your toddlers help, organize toys by category, material, use and size. All the cars and trains in one, the soft animals in another. You get the point.
Make donation piles: While you're organizing your bins you may come across toys your child no longer plays with or has outgrown or even broken. Make piles for what can be donated, what should be stored and what should be thrown out or recycled.
Organize craft bins: These bins get crazy! Separate the paints from the pom poms. Make it easy to bring out one bin at a time to complete a craft rather than one big pile you have to sift through.
Organize drawers/closet: With your toddlers help, sort through drawers and closets for what still fits and what doesn't. Make sense of seasonal items and make it easy for your toddler to assess their options for getting themselves ready in the morning. Encourage them to pick out their own clothes by giving them a couple of choices.
Play in the bath: It doesn't have to be bedtime to have a bath. Get out the bubbles, throw in some toys and supervise your toddler having a little splish splash. This is the perfect time for a sing-a-long!
Go for a walk: We all know toddlers need to get out of the house and fresh air is the best thing for them. Take them to the park, the beach or an open area where they can kick a ball, run around and burn off some energy without the risk of contaminating or being contaminated.
Make a fort: Pull all the pillows and blankets off the couch and make a fort! Get carried away, hang some string lights, add some soft toys and books. Help make your toddler their own little getaway.
Dance/listen to music: Got an alexa? an old school record player? a spotify account? Get on their favorite kid-friendly toons and let loose. Make the living room your dance floor. The sillier the better.
Learn Sign Language: This is the perfect time to find an app, youtube video or flash cards to teach your kids sign language, no matter what age they are. Our toddlers are always trying to communicate their needs and wants with us, help them by giving them a new way to express themselves.
Learn a new language: While their minds are still a little sponge, get them learning foreign words for everyday items they see and interact with in the house. Make labels in another language and tape them to the item.
Practice the alphabet, colors, words, math etc: Decide what is age appropriate for your toddler and find a fun and creative way to practice these very important educational skills. This is where I turn to pinterest for ideas!
Use flash cards: Make your own or order some from amazon. Encourage your toddler to pair like images, play a memory game, or simply use them as flash cards.
Teach household chores: Teach your toddler how to sort the laundry, unload the dishwasher, wipe down surfaces, sweep up...anything you feel is age appropriate and safe. They'll love to feel a sense of purpose and thrive on encouragement and praise...its a win win.
Create a game: Chances are your toddler as a wild imagination. USE IT. Make up a game. It can be a board game, a ball game, anything! Get into it!
Build something from boxes: We know you've got amazon boxes in spades. Let's build something! But don't stop there. Get out the paint, the crayons, the stickers and deck this creation out!
Use household items for open-ended play: Get out bowls, kitchen tongs, dry rice, anything you can find and let your toddler explore them in different ways. Again, this is where I turn to pinterest.
Make a card/art: While we can't physically go see friends and family, it's still nice to let them know you are thinking of them so why not make a card or art that you can mail to them! Use scrap paper, old mail, pieces of ribbon and anything you can find to make it fun and creative!
What are you doing to keep yourself and your toddler sane while practicing social distance? There are a million-and-one ways we can make it through this so share your ideas in the comments and share this checklist on your social!