Parenthood

What To Do With Your Toddler All Day Long

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Since everyone enjoyed What To Do With Baby All Day Long, I decided to write the sequel: What To Do With Your Toddler!

Because just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing figured out, your child gets older and everything changes.

Toddlers are interesting little creatures, and no two are quite the same.

If you’re a SAHM to a toddler or just looking for some inspiration for what to do with your cute little monster at night and on the weekends then this guideline is for you.

What To Do With Your Toddler All Day Long

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What To Do With Your Toddler All Day Long

Establish A Routine

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again. Children THRIVE on structure.

Being so young, your child is constantly being introduced to new things.

While that is good, the familiar gives your child a sense of security that they need in their rapidly changing world.

Everyday can’t and shouldn’t be exactly the same, but establishing a general routine really helps the day with your toddler go by more smoothly.

A great place to start is keeping wake up time, meal times, nap time, bath time, and bedtime the same everyday.

In a lot of families hectic lives that is the best we can do, and that’s still good!

If you can, you might also find it helpful to add an outing at the same time everyday and allot a time for play together.

Heres an example:

7:00 Wake Up

7:30 Breakfast

8:00 Free Play

9:00 Bathtime

10:30 Outing (Playground, Library, Grocery Store, etc.)

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Nap

3:00 Play Together (Toys, Books, Puzzle, Craft)

4:00 Free Play

6:00 Dinner

7:00 Family Time

7:30 Bedtime Routine (pj’s, brush teeth, etc.)

8:00 Bedtime

Is this the schedule every family should follow?

Absolutely not.

You have to adapt it to fit your families needs. It can take some trial and error, but find what works best for your family and try your best to stick to the routine for a better day with your toddler.

Related Reading: How I Do More For My Toddler By Doing Less

Finding Balance

Finding balance between all of our adult responsibilities is hard. 

But it’s important.

My daughter would be over the moon if I spent 100 percent of my time playing with her, and ignored the laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.

Getting her to be content playing by herself for the longest time was a challenge. Some kids are like that, while others are perfectly happy playing by themselves for long stretches of time.

Establishing a routine for yourself, not just your toddler, can help you find balance between all of your responsibilities.

When you’ve allotted time for your toddler to play on their own, that’s your time to do what you need to do.

Plus if you have an established routine where your toddler knows after nap you’re going to play with them for an hour, they’re more likely to leave you alone knowing that that one on one time is coming.

Provide A Creative Learning Environment

Some toddlers find it very easy to play on their own. A few toys, books, and puzzles, and they’re good to go for a while.

Other toddlers could have every toy in the world at their disposal, play for five minutes and them come find you.

Creating a creative learning environment can help those clingier kids self entertain for a little while longer.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

Less is more

Too many toys in a play area can be a little overwhelming.

Try putting out four or five toys and you may find by putting a focus on just a few sparks your child’s interest and they’ll play longer.

Rotate

Now, when your toddler goes down for nap, and/or bed at night, switch out those toy with a few of their other toys.

When they wake up they’ll be excited to play with the “new” toys they haven’t played with in a while.

Set up the toys

If you have the time, you can set up your child’s toys in a way that kickstarts their imagination.

For example, put a shopping cart next to a shelf with play food on it with a cash register near by.

Or stack a few books and lean another book on the stack to make a ramp and put out a few toy cars

Pick the right toys

This is a little easier said than done. I have definitely gotten a few toys for my daughter that have been big hits and other that have not.

It’s always disappointing spending money on something that doesn’t get used.

Picking the right toys for your child is a trial an error experience. I try my best to pay attention to what my daughter plays with and find a theme.

What I have noticed with her, and with other toddlers that I have cared for in the past, is that they enjoy toys that they have to use their imagination with a lot more than a chunk of plastic that lights up and screams songs and information at them.

Here are a few of the biggest hits I’ve seen with toddlers:

Play Kitchen

Play Kitchen

We got Alexa this kitchen for Christmas a year ago and it is by far her favorite toy. She plays with it everyday.

Shopping Cart

Shopping Cart

Someone just got her a shopping cart for her birthday and it’s been a big hit. Plus if something has gone missing in our house, we check the shopping cart first and it’s almost always there.

Play Food

Play food

Play food takes these imagination toys to the next level. I’m a huge fan of Melissa & Doug and I’ve had my eye on a lot of the handmade crochet and felt creations from small business crafters.

Related Reading: Surviving Winter With A Toddler

Get Out Of The House

Getting out of the house is important for your toddler, and you as well. Even if it is just outside in your yard to play.

Here is a list for inspiration:

Playground

Library

Run errands

Family or friends house

Church

Playgroups

Toddler Activities

Here is a list of fun activities you can do with your toddler!

Make A Fort

With just a few couch cushions and some old sheets you can create a castle to explore with your toddler.

Stroller Ride

Putting your toddler in the stroller and going for a walk is a great calming activity for both of you.

Make A Craft

Crafts are great bonding activities for parent and child. Alexa and I just did a Thanksgiving craft/activity that was a lot of fun for both of us!

Cook Together

Toddlers may be messy but they can handle simple tasks like pouring, stirring, and cracking eggs with your help.

Read A Book

Reading helps promote your child’s speech development and instills a love of reading in them that will benefit them for life.

Fold Laundry

Getting your chores done while entertaining your child is a win, even if it takes twice as long to finish. Alexa loves when I ask her who’s clothes are who’s and she’s almost figured out how to fold them too!

Empty The Dishwasher

I’m not even allowed to do this one by myself without her getting mad at me. Just make sure to get all the knives out first!

Dance Party

Almost every time I put music on Alexa stops what’s she’s doing, yells “I’ve got to dance!”, then runs to her dresser to put a dress on, and then we dance. It is my favorite thing that she does right now 😂 I don’t think I have ever met a toddler that doesn’t like to dance, so try having a dance party with your toddler today.

Go To The Beach

There is so much fun to be had at the beach. Even if your little one isn’t crazy about the water, they’ll sit and make sand castles for hours.

Go Sledding

We’ve gone once already this winter and Alexa LOVED it! Plus it’s great exercise for me!

Play With Balloons

They’re a great object to start with for playing catch or work together to keep the balloon from touching the ground.

Jump On The Bed

If this is allowed at your house of course, I’m not judging. I’m actually trying to ruin mine so my husband with get on board for buying a new one! Jump Alexa! Jump!

Have A Picnic

It doesn’t matter if you go to the park or just out in your front yard as long as you pack a lunch and a blanket.

Blow Bubbles

Bubbles are so much fun! Alexa and I loved making them as big as we could with a giant bubble wand, then run up to the big bubble and blow on it to make a bunch of little bubbles inside of it!

That’s What You Do With A Toddler All Day Long

  • Establish a routine for a smoother happier day with your toddler
  • Balance your time between all of your responsibilities
  • Provide a creative learning environment for your toddler to self entertain
  • Try to get out of the house once a day for a change in scenery
  • When in doubt, come back to this post to see activities to do with your toddler

What do you do with your toddler all day?

I want to know all of your tips and tricks for entertaining your toddler all day! Let us know in the comments below.

And if you found this post helpful please share it with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest! Thank you!

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What To Do With Your Toddler All Day Long


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About Sierrah Rafferty

Hello, thanks for stopping by! I’m Sierrah, mother of one, soon to be wife, and just another mommy blogger sharing what I love with the rest of the world.
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