Your baby’s first birthday is a significant milestone, of course. All your good friends and family members are here to celebrate this wonderful day with you.
And, there is one more reason for this momentous occasion – your baby is a toddler now!
Growth milestones for Toddlers:
From the age one to three – your toddler will have tremendous physical growth. You will see your baby grow 50% over birth length!
You will see some exciting development milestones during these toddler years. Motor skills, vision, speech and the ability to understand and learn language. Your toddler can communicate with you now!
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as you might expect, has spent some time considering early childhood development and how best to encourage it in your child. They have great suggestions which we’ve turned into concrete activities.
Outdoor Activities for Toddlers:
- Take a walk. A walk is great exercise for both you and your toddler, and a chance to interact one-on-one.
- Play in a local park – preferably one with designated children’s play area.
- Take a field trip to a museum, aquarium, botanical garden, butterfly garden, etc.
- Visit a farm, ranch, or zoo.
- Join a parent/child fitness class at your local community center or YMCA.
- Join a play group to meet new friends (both adult and child).
Indoor Activities for Toddlers:
- Creative play. Let your toddler play with boxes, spoons, pots and pans, etc. to develop their imagination.
- Make crafts projects in a child-proof area.
- Tip: Safety is always the priority. Now your curious toddler is walking – he or she will be exploring every corner of your home given the opportunity. So, you want to limit access to non-child-proof areas in your home.
- Cook things together: bake cookies, make pancakes, make popcorn.
- Learn a new language: When we are young, we are uniquely able to learn to make sounds—an ability we soon lose. You may be doing your child a real favor by exposing them to other languages (including singing) at an early age.
- Do puzzles.
- Go to the library: listen to stories, read books, check out books for home.
Sensory activities for toddlers:
- Visit A Nature Center Or State Park. Stimulate your child with the sights, sounds, and smells of nature by visiting a nature center or a State Park.
- Go to a farmer’s market. Sight and smells of fruits and vegetables.
- Visit an aquarium. Your toddler will enjoy the sight and movement of beautiful sea creatures.
- Smell the flowers, listen to the birds and other animals, and see all the wonderful colors of nature.
Learning activities for toddlers:
There are obviously many learning activities for toddlers. In a general sense, trips to the zoo or to the park or even shopping are all learning activities.
- Here are a few specialized learning activities for toddlers that you may wish to try:
- Color sorting: make a game out of putting all the objects of a given color into the same color bowl, such as crayons or pom-poms.
- Shape sorting: using a board or bowls or even pieces of paper, have your toddler sort objects of the same or similar shapes.
- Use cardboard boxes to let your imagination run wild. Build a fort or a car out of cardboard boxes.
- Make a necklace out of large, hollow pasta.
- Tape some lines or a maze on your floor and have your toddler follow it.
How do I entertain my toddler at home?
As I have learnt from our local Pediatrician in our parent-to-parent group, the American Academy of Pediatrics has spent some time considering early childhood development. These pediatricians suggest using play to make developmental activities interesting to your child.
In addition to our lists of indoor activities and outdoor activities above, we really like toddler activity centers.
These darling activity centers provide toddlers with entertainment while aiding their physical and mental development.
Here are of our list of top three activity centers for toddlers:
|Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center||$99.99 $69.99||View on Amazon|
|VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (Frustration Free Packaging)||$54.99 $47.89||View on Amazon|
|VTech Smart Shots Sports Center||from $40.92||View on Amazon|
1. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
- Hands-on learning fun: The tree top adventure wooden toddler toy is packed full of...
- Activity center features: with gliders, springy flaps, spinning dials, bead runs, and...
- The details matter: colorful, highly detailed graphics abound on this activity stand,...
Reasons to buy:
This Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center(view on Amazon) is well-constructed from wood with non-toxic finishes.
Your toddler will have fun playing in this Toy Tree while sneaking in a healthy dose of mental and muscle stimulation.
This Manhattan activity center has four quadrants. Each section contains a set of colorful and stimulating activities. We are not surprised that this adventure center was awarded as a Gold Star Toy by Scholastic Parent and Child.
Both Jenny’s boy and mine love this activity center. Jenny’s Dad concludes that this activity center promotes logical thinking and demonstrates object permanence. That’s good enough for us to vote this Manhattan center as our number one on the list.
Read our full review of the Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center.
2. VTech® Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (Frustration Free Packaging)
- The Touch and learn activity desk deluxe is an interactive desk and includes five...
- Extend the fun with expansion packs (each sold separately) that include a wide...
- Transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with storage space for art...
Reasons to buy:
This VTech® Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (Frustration Free Packaging)(view on Amazon) supports a variety of toddler learning activities in a three-in-one desk. You get a learning desk, a chalkboard and an art station – all in one.
It comes with five activity pages. These pages engage your child with letters, numbers, colors, music, and other activities. This is an excellent reading and writing toy for preschool.
Tip: This VTech® Touch & Learn Deluxe is expandable with additional activity pages. Each expansion pack focuses on a specific topic like animals, numbers, reading skills, and nursery rhymes. Check out VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe Expansion Pack – Get Ready for Preschool (view on Amazon)
The Activity Desk also has an LED display used as a learning aid for basic drawing and number shapes.
The desk includes storage space, a music player, and a toy telephone for hours of fun and learning.
Read our full review of the VTech® Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe.
3. VTech® Smart Shots Sports Center
- 2-in-1 kids basketball hoop sports center; play on the toddler basketball goal or...
- Animated light up LED scoreboard counts baskets up to 10 and plays encouraging...
- Shape buttons introduce shapes, numbers and sounds; early learning center comes with...
Reasons to buy:
Jenny and I played soccer from elementary school through high school. And, Madison was our famous point-guard in our high school. It’s not a surprise that we are attracted to this VTech® Smart Shots Sports Center (view on Amazon) for our kids.
This VTech Smart Shots Sports Center also checks the boxes for preschool number learning and toddler coordination toys.
This Smart Shots center provides immediate feedback to your toddler:
- When your toddler kicks the soccer ball into the goal, the sports center provide a variety of audio responses.
- The LED score board counts the baskets, and provides fun animations.
The shape buttons introduce shapes, numbers and sounds; the Smart Shots Sports Center comes with 50+ songs, sounds and phrases for your toddler to learn.
Read our full review of the VTech® Smart Shots Sports Center.
Jenny, Madison and I have so much fun creating these sets of activities for our toddlers in our communities. A special thanks to our local Pediatrician, Amanda, for her valuable inputs.
Please drop us a line if you would like to add any activities to our lists.