Family Time With Toddlers

Toddlers are an awesome age

Toddlers seem to have boundless energy, and while it can be exhausting, toddlers are so much fun to play with.  Your toddler is now an active member of your family and can really play with your older children or with you.  There are so many activities that are both appropriate and enjoyable for your toddler to do during family time.

Fine Motor Skills

Art time is a very fun activity for your family to do together.  This fine motor activity is great for your little one because it helps him practice his dexterity and gain more control over his smaller muscles.  Stringing beads to make anything from necklaces to holiday garlands is a great activity for the whole family.  Your toddler can string larger beads or cannelloni pasta while your older kids use smaller beads to make fun keepsakes of the time you spent creating together.

Even an activity as simple as coloring is great for the whole family.  Your toddler can use washable markers or crayons on a coloring book page while your older kids draw their own pictures on drawing paper with colored pencils.  An adult coloring book can be relaxing for you as well and a great way for you to play side by side with your kids.

Your toddler can feel involved in dinner preparation by washing the vegetables or making a salad.  Or, while your older children help you cook, your little one can play with some safe kitchen utensils.  My toddler loves pushing uncooked pasta through the holes in a colander and whisking imaginary ingredients in an empty plastic bowl.

Gross Motor Skills

We know toddlers love running around the house.  Whether they’re chasing the dog or chasing their older siblings, toddlers are always working on improving their gross motor skills.  Their balance may develop slowly, but that doesn’t prevent a toddler from slipping, sliding, and falling around the house.  To encourage gross motor development with less danger, a great activity is to use painter’s tape on the floor.  All of your kids will love to play hopscotch inside, or even just walk one foot in front of the other on a zig zag line that goes all around the living room.

Kicking or throwing a big, plastic ball around the backyard is another easy activity for the family that your toddler will also love.  An indoor or outdoor mini bowling set is also super fun for the whole family and less expensive than going to a bowling alley.

Sensory Play

Kids of all ages love sensory play.  Whether the family spends time together finger painting, making salt dough ornaments, or crafting playdough creations, experimenting with different textures is a great learning experience for your toddler.  A sand and/or water table can provide hours of fun for the kids or even something as simple as shaving cream and food dye can get all of your kids playing together side by side.

With these activities, your older kids won’t feel like they are playing games that are only fun for the “baby” and your toddler won’t feel left out of the activities.  When all of your kids are happy and engaged, you’ll enjoy these family moments together more as well.