My almost 2-year-old and our amazing childcare provider last week came up with a great way to recycle old cereal, particularly the fruit loops I had craved for one night in my second pregnancy.
I hadn't touched them since June and did not have plans of bringing them out to eat again.
So, they coated some pipe-cleaners with peanut butter and stacked those loops on!
Next, they hung them up by some old yarn I found in the craft bin.
This was a great fine motor activity full of bright colors and fun!
My toddler gets so excited to watch the birds peck at them now.
Every time the birds are done eating them, we plan on making more.
In this day and age with all the technological devices, it can be hard to motivate your kiddos to go outside.
What if we were to do a scavenger hunt for some leaves on a walk? Sounds great, but there is more!
We keep those leaves and make leaf prints.
So what you do is first get big enough leaves that your toddler won't struggle to hold or color over.
Next, put a piece of white printer paper over it. Lastly, your toddler can pick the crayon of their choice and color over it.
You will then have a gorgeous leaf print that looks like they drew it! Your toddler is going to feel extra proud.
This goes without saying as a fun Fall and or Halloween activity but maybe we can have your toddler work on numbers, geometric shapes, or colors with this too!
We could have them help carve out a number, or an easier shape, and then paint the pumpkin whatever color of their choice.
There are kiddo-safe pumpkin carving tools one can buy but if you choose to use a knife, have your toddler 'instruct' you on where to cut so they can feel like they are contributing more.
An additional idea is to write on the back of the pumpkin daily gratitudes.
For every day up until Halloween or for a few months we have Fall in Colorado, something they are grateful for that day!
Baking anything is a fantastic fine motor skill activity for toddlers.
Additionally, it helps their confidence grow by practicing independence and helping abilities.
Depending on their age and developmental level, they can help with pouring, mixing, and maybe even cracking the eggs!
Plus, a delicious treat they helped make that everyone can enjoy. Here is a link to one of the recipes I just used and it was DELICIOUS!
A reoccurring theme of parenting in 2021 is that we don't see kids playing outside enough anymore, let alone using their own creativity and imagination when playing outside.
Have a ton of leaves to rake? No problem.
Have your toddler help you sort them into a pile whether they use their hands, a mini rake, or help you with your rake.
They may want to scatter them about the yard as well as sorting into a pile and that is perfectly fine too.
They are practicing the development of fine motor skills and sorting abilities. If you are able to make a pile, now it is time to JUMP IN!
I discovered this activity one day when my toddler kept eating the finger paints.
Granted, they were non-toxic and washable so I wasn't too worried, but still, technically inedible.
I thought about, what if she were to finger paint with ketchup next to her chicken nuggets?
Or, ranch dressing next to her carrots?
This one is a great sensory activity that allows your toddler to potentially explore more foods with the fun of finger painting.
I have successfully gotten her to try some new vegetables using this method!
One of the joys of experiencing Fall is watching all of the pinecones 'fall' to the ground.
Toddlers around the age of two are beginning to learn how to count and collecting pinecones on a walk to later count can be a great activity.
Bonus activity too is coating them in some kind of nut butter, rolling in birdseed and hanging up outside for the birds similar to the cereal activity!
A great way to reduce and reuse.
I have made ordinary sensory bottles before with my toddler.
The combination usually includes some kind of water/oil combo, glitter glue, maybe some pom poms, etc. where your toddler can shake it up to look at, or even use as a calming strategy when they are experiencing a meltdown or tantrum!
If we have excess leaves collected on a walk or in the yard, this is a great added ingredient.
The leaves can get sparkly and their colors may look different or more mesmerizing!
So we are done carving or painting pumpkins and have all the leftover 'guts' but your toddler is too young to eat the seeds (choking hazard).
What can we do with the guts?
Let's make a sensory bin!
Even more fun, we could dim or turn out the lights and ask them to close their eyes and describe the feeling.
This is now engaging some of their senses which can be very relaxing, especially for those sensory-seeking toddlers or ones who are on the spectrum.
So I recently ordered over 3000 pompoms on amazon for our arts and crafts bin.
We used them to make self-portraits, plant pictures, and collages.
What can we do with the leftover 2950? Hah! Let's paint with them.
This helps your toddler continue to develop their pincer grasp which will later help them hold writing instruments easier.
It is also similar to sponge painting but easier for those little fingers.
There are tons of excellent Fall festivities to be had, some indoor and some outdoor.
The most important thing to remember though is not that the activity goes as planned or that your toddler follows directions well, but that quality bonding time was had.
Let's all remember to HAVE fun!
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