Toddlers are often a whirlwind of activity. They bounce around from spot to spot, game to game exploring their world and absorbing everything they can while they’re at it. Following their adventures can be tiring and leave little time for other tasks that need to be completed throughout the day.
Making sure you have time to complete any prep work or keeping kids busy while you work with others is essential to keeping your childcare operation running smoothly with no tears. Here are 4 of our favourite types of quick play activities that can help keep you kids engaged for 10 minutes or more
Music can have multiple positive effects for toddlers. It helps them with their sensory development, helps improve coordination and can bring a smile to any kids face. Having musical toys available is a way for kids to develop core skills while feeding their creativity and independence. Having musical instruments around the classroom allows kids to find their musical side, while ensuring you get some free time for you.
Band in a Box (left) and the Stacking Music Set (right) are both great for inspiring young musicians.
Building and block activities are essential in the early years of child development. Blocks are a fun toy for kids to play with and can engross them for extended periods as they build and create in their own world. Aside from being a fun activity, block play can stimulate kids and help them develop better motor skills and improve their creativity. Block play can also increase vocabulary and math skills as children learn about the block colours, shapes, and decorations that often include numbers and letters. Blocks and building toys are quick to set up and put away and can keep kids engaged while you handle your other tasks.The Giraffe Activity Center (left) and the 50 pc. Maple Block set by Hape (right) are great building sets for toddlers of all ages and sizes.
Dramatic PlayKids love to make believe. It gives them a chance to create something fun and original and can often be used as a way of dealing with and expressing their emotions. It is also a great way for kids to improve self-control as they act and play within the rules of their make believe activates. From pretending they are mommy and daddy to creating their own puppet skits, dramatic play is an amazing tool for building social skills and learning about conflict resolution. Dramatic play activates are quick to start and can engage children on a deep level for extended periods.
The Let's Play House set (left) and the Jolly Jobs hand puppets open up opportunities for emotional development during play time.
Literacy and Numbers
Learning language and math skills are an essential part of the early development stages for toddlers. Being able to incorporate lessons that kids have already been learning into other types of play is an excellent way of reinforcing important concepts. Blocks with numbers, counting change while playing store, or letter puzzles are all great ways of bringing language and math into other activities.
The Roll & Play cube (left) and Pyramid of Play (right) are grate toys that bring letters and numbers into activities that kids already love.