During fall, when the weather gets cold and wet outside many parents and daycare providers need to find good indoor activities for toddlers. They have a lot of energy and are at a stage where they learn so much. Finding activities for toddlers that help them be creative, learn new skills and feel that they can accomplish something is a wonderful way to support their development. Here are a few ideas.
Collect leaves from different trees in various sizes and colors. Let your toddlers tell you what colors they see and have them pick crayons or colored pencils that match. Place a few leaves on a table and put a white paper on top. You may want to tape down the paper so it won’t move out of place. Take a colored pencil or crayon, hold it sideways and start rubbing it over the paper. Your toddler will be amazed at the leaf that will appear like magic. Now let him or her have a try. They will be so proud of themselves for having created such a masterpiece! This will not only be fun but is also an excellent opportunity to learn colors. The same method works for using coins instead of leaves and can be a helpful learning tool when teaching children about money.
Make a placemat
Let toddlers create their own placemats. Provide some colored paper, preferably some heavy card stock. Allow the toddler to glue things to that paper or to draw on it. You can supply them with cut out shapes, letters or pictures. Maybe you want to decorate in a theme by providing items that go with it. For a fall activity you can use pictures cut out from magazines that have trees or pumpkins on it or punch outs from craft stores or even the leaf rubbing picture. Fall is also a great time to prepare for Christmas. Another great thing to do is to provide all the letters of the toddler’s name and trace them onto the paper. Let the child find the letter and glue it into the right place creating his own signature and marking his placemat. When the project is finished you want to place it upside down onto the sticky side of clear contact paper. Do this to front and back and your toddler will have his own placemat that you can wipe off after a messy meal. Individual placemats are easily identifiable by small children and will enable them to help set the table come lunch time.
Hands and feet
Using card stock paper cut out hand and foot shapes in different colors. Place a foot or a hand in different places. For example, put a red hand on a chair. Have the toddler go and touch the hand and say “red hand on the chair”. Let the toddler put a blue foot somewhere and then you or another child go and step on it and so on. This is great fun and very educational because during this activity toddlers get to run around and focus their mind on different objects.