Children learn and get new skills by playing, trying things, doing it themselves, and being praised. Play teaches them to think and discover how things work through touching, feeling, and moving things. There are many safe activities you can do inside and outside to help them develop.
Things to remember when playing with your toddler:
The simplest things can be fascinating to little children.
Toddlers need different things to keep them entertained.
Children are watching and learning from you the whole time (the good stuff and the bad).
You play a big part in how your child understands the world.
If you behave well, your toddler is likely to also.
Encourage your toddler to join in your activities - it gives them a feeling of importance and belonging.
This can mean some jobs take a little more time, but if you can make that time, it’s worth it.
swing, spin, and rock gently to help develop their sense of balance, and their eyes
roll on the floor with them
build towers with boxes or blocks, then knock them down
push and pull or stack toys—they help a child learn balance and building skills
bang kitchen things like pots and pans with wooden or plastic spoons
play in large cardboard boxes.
play with bubbles when they’re in the bath
have things they can put inside one another, such as blocks, or coloured pegs inside an ice-cream container
make things with play dough
paint and draw
dress up - this encourages their imagination and interaction
listen to music, sing, dance and play with musical instruments.
roll down a small hill
spin slowly on merry-go-rounds or swing on swings
learn to throw and kick balls
walk along low walls, holding their hand or supporting them
climb in safe places
go for walks and stop to pick up things like twigs or leaves to help their movement and balance
walk barefoot on surfaces like sand, grass, dirt, and mud
splash and jump in puddles
go for a drive, find a park and throw bread to birds and ducks
play with a bucket and spade.
Remember: children are watching and learning from you the whole time.