8 Activities You Must Do With Your Toddlers and Preschoolers This Year
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
With my first son, I planned activities for him every day when he was a toddler—walks, playdates at friends' houses, visits to indoor gyms, toddler-friendly crafts, spontaneous picnics on the living room floor, and swimming--just to name a few. I was fanatical about filling all his waking hours with something.
Is it a second child syndrome? My second child, now 20 months old, has had a few playdates, plenty of food messes on the floor masquerading as "craft" (more a result of baby-led weaning where he fed himself yogurt, fruit, rice, pasta from a young age), and has gone swimming once. He spends most of his day playing cars, trucks ,and trains with his brother, riding the bike, going up and down the slide at the playground, and occasional trips to the toy store, but this is nowhere near the kinds of things we did with his big brother.
As a family, we have been to zoos, gone bush walking in Australia, visited a science museum and an aquarium, and run around in plenty of parks, but vacations are not an everyday occasion.
So for 2014, I am putting together a list of things I'd like to do with my toddler (and as a family). If I write them down, from the simple to the more involved goals, I feel like I will reach that goal of making quality time the focus of the new year while also engaging my toddler as he begins to become even more aware and interested in his surroundings.
1. Go to the beach.
Play in the ocean in the summer and build sand castles in the cooler months! Enjoying the beach in each season is possible. As long as you bundle up and talk ahead of time as to expectations for the visit. Take them on a seashell hunt one afternoon and host a fun toddler version of relay races or soccer on another visit. Think ahead, keep it simple, but have a plan ready to go to make it fun each time. Leave your books and e-readers at home to ensure you engage with your child.