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5 activities for toddlers that are quick and easy!

Try these 5 activities for toddlers using what you already have in your kitchen!

activities for toddlers

All of these activities for toddlers promote and encourage the development of fine motor skills and/or strength in tiny hands. Fine motor skills are what you use to manipulate drawing or writing implements, utensils and tools. Even though the start of their school journey is years away, (and I personally believe you should ignore that looming deadline for as long as possible!), encouraging your child to use and develop their fine motor skills is a non intrusive way of helping prepare them. It can be physically uncomfortable, even painful for some little ones, so, as with any new skill your child learns, go slowly and follow their lead.

1. Pasta threading

Does your little one need some quiet, focused time? Let them thread pasta on a piece of string. Rotelle or penne pasta are ideal for this activity, and it’s worth letting tiny hands experience using both. One is long and narrow, the other is short, fat & round. They’ll need to hold each type differently, engaging different muscles. You can also let them thread pasta onto different objects – straws, pipe cleaners even strands of spaghetti. Threading activities like these help promote fine motor skills and threading onto different objects will let them experience the different levels of force or strength required.

2. Use tongs to grab fruit or food from a platter

Make a platter of fruit for morning or afternoon tea and encourage your little one to use tongs to move food from the platter to their own plate. Squeezing the tongs helps build strength in your kiddo’s hands. For a couple of bucks you can grab a pair of mini tongs (much easier for tiny hands to control) next time you’re doing the groceries and add them to your little one’s toy box, cooking set or even their car box. Encourage them to move toys or blocks from one container to another using the tongs. (While we’re talking food and kids, have you seen these gorgeous new bamboo plates from Emondo Kids?)

3. Picking up lentils (or chickpeas or popping corn etc etc!)

Pour a handful of lentils, chick peas or popping corn onto a baking tray and let your little one pick them up and transfer them to a bowl or jar. Encouraging toddlers to pick up small objects like these force them to use their pincer grip and helps promote fine motor skills. (I realise it’s stating the obvious but I feel it would be remiss of me to not point out that kiddos should be supervised while doing any activity that includes small objects that may make their way into little mouths.)

4. Sensory play

Give them a bowl of rice or flour and let them play! Let them run their fingers through it, experience how it feels if you squeeze it or pour it from one hand to the other. You can even combine a few of these activities together and have your little one use mini tongs to pick up dry pasta out of a bowl of flour or rice.

5. Chop up a banana!

Encourage your little one to help prepare their snack by letting them cut up a banana with a butter knife. One quick and easy activity, so many benefits! An activity like this fosters independence, develops positive self esteem, self worth and self reliance, on top of building strength and fine motor skills. It allows your toddler to see themselves as capable and a valued member of the family who has skills and abilities that are useful and appreciated. Extend this activity by letting them try other foods – cooked sweet potato, kiwi fruit, pear, etc, will all have a different texture for them to experience, as well as letting them feel the differing amounts of pressure and strength they’ll need to use.

Here at The Smallest Tribe HQ, we are always thinking about how your little ones grow and develop when designing each collection. We help your tiny kiddos feel comfy in their clothes so they can spend their days playing and exploring. We don’t want them worrying about scratchy tags or hems that try to trip them up. You can find the current collection HERE.

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