Expat Magazine

Fun Play with My Toddler

By Tasneem Rajkotwala @tasu0704

Two year olds are the most curious species I have ever seen. Little A is 27 months now and love to soak everything around him. He keeps exploring the house, cupboards, drawers, kitchen etc to let his imagination take over. I am one those guilty parents who keep spending loads of money on his toys that hardly keep him entertained – just a day or two and he is super bored playing with the same toy everyday. Since he also doesn’t go to a play school yet, it becomes a little difficult to keep finding new activities for him so that he doesn’t get bored and run towards a television. It should be learning at the same time! And then when I was browsing over the internet for activities for toddlers of his age to do at home, I was amazed by the articles and posts on other blogging sites to keep them engrossed with such basic things available so easily in our house. Go and dig your kitchen, you are sure to find umpteen tools to keep a toddler busy! It also helps in building their sensory skills, fine motor skills, eye-hand co-ordination and works out their hand muscles.

I stumbled on this website which has now become my bible. There are numerous craft and playing activities for both mom and children to go through the day, weeks and months. So I left all my house work, cooking et all to get down to some serious fun play with Little A. And boy ask me what fun it was!  First thing we started with from the whole list was the colored rice play. I emptied 4 cups of rice in a ziplock bag and put about 4-5 drops (you can add any food color you desire) of red food color (that was the only color available in my kitchen) and mixed it well with the bag closed so that rice is evenly colored. Then poured all the red colored rice in a box and gave it to Little A. Keep an eye so that they don’t put them in their mouth. Next time I am going to a super market I will be buying different food colors for more fun like making rainbows from them.  I then let him transfer rice from a tub with a spoon in a small little glass, paper cups, a sipper he doesn’t use anymore and ice-lollies mould.

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That kept him busy for over an hour. He then ditched all of those tools and digged his hands straight into the tub and loved the feel of texture on his skin. He loves this activity so much he keeps asking for it every now and then. So rice play has become our favorite game everyday. What he mainly love doing is -  running the rice through his fingers; pouring rice in a sipper and shaking it vigorously to listen to the sound it makes; passing rice through the funnel in a sipper ;hiding his animals shapes inside and then searching for them.

Next day I wanted to see how he reacts to a messy play. I got down to making some home made paint from a flour, only food color that was available and water. You can find the recipe for it here. Be sure of doing this activity on a plastic sheet because that is easiest to clean. I layered my tile floor with disposable plastic sheets and taped from all the corners. After giving him a sheet of paper and color , what surprised me was that he wasn’t much interested in getting messy and gave up too quickly. Next time we are going to try a paint brush to make designs instead of dipping hands or fingers right into the wet paint.


We also did another activity  with cotton balls and tong where I scattered cotton balls on the floor and let him pick them up with a tong to put it back in a tub. After a while, tongs were a little tough for him, so clothes pin did the trick which was much easier and fun.  Every success was followed by loud claps of encouragement and that would excite him more.  This activity is great for improving eye-hand co-ordination. By this time, realization dawned on me that he was really not loving his mom taking so many pictures. I ditched the camera and got more involved with him in the whole process but letting him take the centre stage and asking him to do things on his own.

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There are also numerous other activities we did like shape cutting on a clay, making characters from a clay, house for animals from foam mats, searching for shapes in a foam mat house, sponge bath tub and many more.

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Drawing shapes on a clay

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Mommy and son’s version of an angry bird!


Searching for shapes in a foam box


Hiding animals and shapes in the same multi purpose foam box

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Making a house from foam mats for animals to live in!

Little A and I are loving this phase of doing something different everyday and letting go of his regular store bought toys to some new ideas. What activities do you carry out with your toddler to keep him entertained? I would love to hear them from you and infuse them in our life.

This post has been linked to Let Kids be Kids.

And also linked to Creative challenge .

Creative Challenge

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