I’m forever looking for new ways to entertain my toddler, especially when he’s teething and needs a lot of distraction. He loves making noise – the louder the better – and he’s at the stage where he’s really interested in everything adults are doing and using…including kitchen utensils!
Usually he plays with his toys while I prepare his lunch but since he’s discovered what’s behind the kitchen cupboard doors, he definitely more interested in those!
So last week I came up with a few games and activities we could do using objects from the kitchen. This way he can investigate the items he’s so interested in – in a safe way – and I managed to keep him entertained for hours on rainy days without the help of CBeebies!
Kitchen Drum Kit
This is super easy and a lot of fun for little ones. Just get whatever you have that they can make noise on and let them go at it! Saucepans and wooden spoons make great noises, but Ollie is a bit boisterous and I didn’t want him waving around anything too heavy so we used plastic spoons and lunch boxes.
Ollie really loves playing with balls at the minute and his dribbling skills are pretty impressive! To make things a bit different I got a spatula and a plastic spoon from the kitchen and we hit a ball around the living room together. Not only is it great for developing hand-eye co-ordination, but it helps with large muscle development and social skills (taking turns). Ollie had loads of fun and so did I!
Sensory bottles are a great way for babies and toddlers to investigate new objects, colours, shapes and noises. They can safely play with small items like sequins or beads without them being a choking hazard.
You can use them at all ages and your child will enjoy them in different ways. Newborns will benefit from listening to new noises and looking at the colours and movement. When they get older they will learn to grasp, shake and roll them – learning about cause and effect. When they’re a bit bigger you could even get them involved in making them! Let them choose their own contents and see what happens when they shake them up.
Just fill a plastic bottle with any items you like, superglue the lid shut and off you go!
I used rice to make a noisy bottle – next time I’ll use rainbow rice to make a colourful version. The liquid version was just warm water, glitter and food colouring.
Plastic cups make a great toy as they are SO versatile. We’ve used them to hide objects, carry toys around, stacked them up and played in the sand pit and the bath with them.
The best thing about these activities is that they’re all completely free! They also give toddlers a chance to investigate everyday items and test out new skills. It doesn’t matter what you use or what you play, just have fun!