Today I’ve got a guest post from Fundamentally Children all about different activities and games you can try with your toddler this Christmas. This post isn’t sponsored or anything, I just really like the company as they have a great ethos and share tonnes of great ideas and reviews. Seriously do keep reading because there are some excellent ideas below, I’m definitely going to give ‘Blizzard’ and ‘Snowball Sorter’ a try with Lu.
Fundamentally Children is an organisation dedicated to helping children develop skills through play. We provide independent expert advice on a range of topics including play, toys, apps, children’s tech, e-safety, child development, special needs and other parenting issues.
Young toddlers might not ‘get’ what’s going on just yet, but you can still make Christmas magical for your little one. Why not try these seasonally themed play ideas with your son or daughter?
Please keep in mind that some of these activities use messy materials and small parts – we recommend staying with your toddler at all times.
Pom-pom Christmas tree
Start by cutting out a Christmas tree shape from some green card and sticking it to the wall. Stick some velcro along the branches and voila – you have a ready-to-decorate Christmas tree!
Give your toddler some colourful pom-poms and show her how to attach them to the velcro (so they look like baubles). She’ll have lots of fun putting the pom-poms on and off the tree. This is a good way to strengthen her coordination and hand strength (known as fine motor control).
Start with some cotton wool ‘snowballs’. Give your toddler a muffin or ice cube tray and show her how to put the snowballs into each section of the tray. Older toddlers can be encouraged to put only one snowball into each section, to start teaching them some simple Maths skills.
Instead of a tray you can also cut a small hole out of a cereal box and let your toddler pop the snowballs into the box.
Find Santa’s Reindeer
Toddlers love a good game of hide-and-seek! Using either a reindeer soft toy or a printed cut-out, hide the reindeer somewhere in the house, then get your toddler to find it. Depending on how sharp her hide-and-seek skills are, you may want to go around with her to help out.
This is a useful game to develop your little one’s logical thinking skills (e.g. I can’t see it in this room, so maybe it’s upstairs).
Frosty Finger Tracing
This is a great mess-free activity. Fill a zip-lock freezer bag with a small amount of blue paint, silver glitter and some sequins to make a sparkly sensory bag (make sure the bag is sealed! You may want to double up on the bags).
Lay the bag flat on the table and let your toddler poke and squeeze away! You could also demonstrate how to draw different lines in the paint. This is a lovely way to let your toddler experiment with her creative side.
Fill a shallow tray with white rice ‘snow’ and then hide some objects underneath for your toddler to find (these could be toys or recycled items, such as plastic bottle caps). You can also add spoons and old yoghurt pots for them to experiment with digging and pouring in the rice.
This is a brilliant sensory activity and also helps your toddler learn how materials move and act, as well as how containers can be filled and emptied.
Toddlers are very stimulated by sensory activities (e.g. different textures) and mental challenges (e.g. sorting and finding), so these play ideas should be engaging and great for supporting their development through play too! Whatever you and your toddler get up to this Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful time.