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There are so many pretend play ideas for toddlers out there. A toddler’s imagination is a brilliant thing and one of the ways that they learn is through pretend play (sometimes called dramatic play). You’re probably already encouraging this kind of play at home, but if you’re looking for some ways to extend on the pretend play, we’ve got some ideas for you. 

Pretend Play Ideas for Toddlers (that you can do at home)  Why is pretend play important for toddlers?

Did you know that research has shown that “pretend play and that pretend play in childhood affects the development of creativity in adulthood.” There is so much research out there that talks about the benefit of pretend play, especially for the toddler age group. Pretend play can be as simple as pretending to answer a toy phone, or a more complex setup like playing restaurants at home. You’ll notice that most toddlers will naturally engage in pretend play but there are ways we can encourage this more. 

Here are just a few of the many benefits of encouraging pretend play for toddlers.  For a more in-depth read about the importance of pretend play THIS article from Psychology Today is worth a read. 

  • Increased language skills – increased vocabulary including expressive and receptive skills
  • Pretend play encourages a child to express their feelings more
  • Taking on different roles allows them to see the world from different perspectives (which leads to an increase in self regulation, communication and empathy) 
  • Pretend play while young sees a correlation with increased imagination, creativity and curiosity as they get older

How do you encourage pretend play at home?
  • Talk to your child when you are out and explain what is happening while you’re in different situations – the shops, the bank, on the bus etc. You’ll find that they will naturally start to recreate these scenes in their play. 
  • Read lots of stories! I’m sure you’re doing this anyway, but often the pretend play that children naturally engage in replicates the stories that they have been read. Now while you won’t see this in younger toddlers immediately, by two and three years old they’ll definitely start to do this. If you need some great toddler book recommendations you can find our favorites HERE. 
  • Play with them – pick up the pretend phone, order the pretend food. Join in and get involved! 
Do I need lots of toys to encourage pretend play with my toddler? 

No! While there are some great toys out there, if they are not in your budget don’t stress about it. While it’s nice to have the gorgeous play kitchen, some pots and pans on a table with some plastic plates will still do the job just as well. If you do want to buy some items 

What pretend play toys do you recommend for toddlers? 

If you are keen to go out and purchase some toys for pretend play, I highly recommend the following 

These are the main two that I would start with and then follow your child’s interests to see what else would work. Second hand stores and dollar stores are great places to pick up items for toddler pretend play too. 

Now let’s get inspired with these fun at home pretend play ideas for toddlers! If you try one of these, or do an activity of your own I would love to see a photo. Share it on Instagram (tag @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler) or share it in our Facebook Group. 

Pretend play ideas for toddlers at home 

Popsicle Stick Vanity Set for Pretend Play – Crafts by Ria

Flower Market Dramatic Play – Teaching 2 & 3 Year Olds

DIY Doorway Puppet Theatre – Gluesticks

Pretend Play Hair Salon – Childhood 101

Postman Games for Kids – Here Come the Girls

Printable Finger Puppets for Pretend Play – Kiddy Charts

Picnic Pretend Play – Fun with Mama

Easy Glitter Sponge Cakes for Pretend Play – The Craft Train

Community Helpers Printable Paper Hats – Totschooling

Bakery Pretend Play Set – Pre-K Pages

Rainy Day Campfire Pretend Play – One Time Though

Pancake Pretend Play – The Imagination Tree

Astronaut Pretend Play – Best Toys 4 Toddlers

Vegetable Garden Pretend Play – No Time for Flash Cards

Alphabet Fishing Activity – Fun Learning for Kids

Laundry Day Pretend Play – The Resourceful Mama

Don’t forget to share your own pretend play ideas! Share it on Instagram (tag @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler) or share it in our Facebook Group. 

Some other toddler activities that you might enjoy are: 

Toddler Activities to Do at Home

Playdough activities for toddlers 

The post Pretend Play Ideas for Toddlers appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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Are you looking for baby play ideas? If activities for 6 -12 month olds are what you are searching for we’re here to help! While our toddler activities are always popular, I’ve been getting a lot of requests in our Facebook Group for activities for younger babies (and activities that babies and toddlers can do together too). 

Baby Play Ideas – Activities for 6 -12 month olds 

Entertaining a baby all day long is a lot harder than it sounds. I remember feeling like the days were soooo long. While it’s easy to spend a lot on baby toys, you really don’t need to. It’s normally the simple items that will keep your baby happy and entertained. I’ve put together soem of our favorite posts on baby play ideas that should keep you and your baby busy! These activities are aimed at 6-12 month olds. If you have an older child you might like our activities for one year old page. 

Easy Baby Play Ideas

Sensory play is great for the baby age range as well. From 6 months old babies are loving exploring and learning about their environment and sensory play is a great way to do this. You can find some fun baby sensory play ideas HERE. 

Water play is another fun activity idea (supervised of course). This post has some activities for babies and toddlers using water play – trust me, babies love splashing in water! See the baby water play ideas HERE. 

Singing is a great baby activity and they love the repetitiveness of the songs and the actions. At this age, they might not be able to join in the actions but they love watching you do them. You’ll be amazed how much they take in.  If you’re struggling for nursery rhyme ideas this post will help (there’s even videos of the actions in case you need a quick refresher!). See the action nursery rhymes HERE.

I hope you enjoy these baby play ideas and activities for 6 -12 month olds. Make sure you join our Facebook group for more fun baby and toddler ideas. You can also follow us on Instagram or Pinterest

Some other baby posts you might enjoy are:

Tips for dealing with a newborn and a toddler 

How to survive if your baby has infant colic 

If you enjoyed this post why not PIN it on Pinterest – you can also follow our Baby Play Ideas Pinterest board HERE. 

The post Baby Play Ideas – Activities for 6 – 12 month olds appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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My Bored Toddler by Carol - 1w ago

Do you have a toddler rainy day box? If not you need to make one NOW! If you’re ever stuck inside for too long with a toddler you’ll understand my frustration! When it rains for days on end, even the best toddler crafts and activities don’t seem to work. That’s when we bring out our extra special rainy day box!

There’s nothing worse than being stuck indoors unexpectedly, especially with a toddler. That’s why a rainy day box is such a good idea. We have just had 5 days in a row of rain so this has been a life saver!

What is a rainy day box? 

A rainy day box is a collection of activities that are ONLY for a rainy day. You keep them in a special box and they come out when you desperately need them. The idea is that you don’t need to leave the house or hunt around for something to do – you pull out the box and your day is planned. 

I have one that I store in the garage, so that the toys don’t get played with at any other time. It makes it a little bit more special when it only comes out occasionally. I like to include 5 or 6 different activities in the box for a bit of variety.

Packaged nicely, these also make great presents for toddler birthday parties.

What to put in a toddler rainy day box 

You can choose any activities that you like for your rainy day box,  but in my rainy day box we have

1. DVD and microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn is a bit of a treat (we normally buy the healthy air popped ones!) but this box is about convenience and there’s something about the smell of freshly popped popcorn. To make it fun we have these special popcorn cups to serve them in! 

We also have a DVD saved in here too – not one that is in our regular rotation. Once we have watched it I swap it for another one. At the moment I’ve got this Wiggles DVD in there. I have to admit that we’re moving away from using actual DVD’s so will probably substitute this with a new movie from Amazon Prime (you can always use the 30 day free trial on your first rainy day!

2. A sticker book.
I LOVE sticker books. You can normally pick them up for around $2 at most department stores (a little more if you want themed ones like Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol). They are a great activity to sit and complete with your toddler.


3. A new book
My toddlers normally get a lot of books for Christmas and birthdays so I put 1 or 2 aside in our rainy day box. You can see all of my favorite toddler books HERE.  We currently have The Smiley Shark in ours. 


4. A puzzle
Puzzles are such a great learning tool and lots of fun too. The puzzle doesn’t have to be a new one, just one that they haven’t completed for a while. I highly recommend the Melissa & Doug puzzles. You can find the ones pictured below HERE on Amazon. 

5. A cake mix
I prefer to make cakes from scratch (our favorite baking recipe is our easy banana bread)  but the chances are that on a rainy day you haven’t planned to bake and are missing a few ingredients. A simple cake mix is a great way to spend an hour and you get to enjoy the cake later!


6. A paint with water book
If you’re like me and prefer to keep the messy painting as an outdoor activity, paint with water books are great. They are not too messy (tip: don’t put too much water in the container in case it spills) and they tend to entertain a toddler for at least 20 minutes. You can find the Sesame Street ones HERE on Amazon. 

7. Playdough

I know you probably already have playdough at home (we have HEAPS) but there’s something about a new pot of playdough that makes a toddler excited. I have this little pack in our rainy day box and it’s always a hit. You can find some fun playdough activity ideas HERE. 

Do you have a rainy day box? We would love to hear what you have in yours! Pop into our Facebook Group and let us know or show us on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler

Some more fun ideas you might enjoy are: 

Playdough Activities for Toddlers 

Sensory Bins for Toddlers 

Dinosaur Activities for Toddlers 

 

The post Rainy Day Box appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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Have you tried these fun toddler activities for bath time? Bath time is a great learning and play opportunity and it can be a nice way to destress (both you and your toddler) after a long day. I’ve put together some fun (and easy) ways to make your toddler’s bath time fun. 

Bath time activities for toddlers – easy activities to make bath time fun! 

My toddlers LOVE the bath. They love it so much that they can’t wait to finish so that they can get in the bath and would stay in there all night if they could. They probably spend a minimum of 30 minutes each night in there, maybe even more. Lately, I have started adding some educational activities to our bath time routine, and the girls are loving it.

Here are a few simple ways you can turn bath time in a learning opportunity (without them even knowing it!).

1. Add foam letters and numbers to the bath.

If you don’t have foam letters and numbers already, you really should get some. They are a great way to introduce letter and number recognition, and if you put them in the bath you can do a few activities with them. We like to ‘fish’ for letters (find me the letter S) or numbers, we spell out names on the side of the bath (they stick well to a wet bath) and we even sort them into colors. These foam letters and numbers are also great for literacy and numeracy activities. 

2. Explore floating and sinking


Bath time is the perfect opportunity to explore the concept of floating and sinking. We add some extra toys to the bath (most traditional bath toys float (you can find the set in the image above HERE) so you do need to raid the toy box for a few heavier ones) and see if they sink or float. You can extend this activity by guessing what will happen, and discussing why they sink or float.

3. Plastic Stacking Cups

I’m sure I’ve seen some variation of these cups in every household with a child. They are so versatile, and make such a great bath toy. You can use stacking cups (I really love this set) for so many things including:

  • discussing full and empty
  • discussing which one holds more, which one holds less, which ones hold the same amount
  • counting how many smaller cups it takes to fill the large cup
  • sorting the cups from smallest to largest and largest to smallest
  • choosing cups based on color or size 
4. Sing!

The bath is the perfect time for a sing-a-long, and I’ve yet to meet a toddler that doesn’t love to sing. Our bath time favorites are “If you’re Happy and You Know It” (splash your hands, kick your legs) and 5 little ducks (use rubber ducks and take one away each time – singing and math!). If you need some song ideas check out our favorite action nursery rhymes – these can easily be sung in the bath too! 

 5. Washcloth puppets

Kids love puppets and if you buy the wash cloth variety you can use them in the bath too. Trust me, this one will be extremely popular! For the younger toddlers, they will enjoy watching and listening to you use the puppets, and as they get older they will begin engaging in pretend play with the puppets and make up stories of their own. Another fun activity that is excellent for language development.

If you love the puppets you might also like bath finger puppets – I’ve just discovered these cute Paw Patrol ones which are a hit in our house! You can find them HERE on Amazon. 

6. Bath Crayons

Bath crayons are amazing! So much fun and they wipe off easily (they really do!). The learning opportunities are endless with these. Fine motor practice, drawing, writing etc. These are pretty cheap and definitively worth the investment. You can even extend on this by making the water colored (to be fair, this is probably a bit more for a fun bath than a ‘getting clean’ bath! You can get the set pictured above HERE.

7. Read in the bath! 

I believe that any opportunity that you can give a child to read is important. Bath time is no exception. They make great waterproof bath books, and kids love flipping through them. Some of them even come with toys to go along with them like the penguin book above (available HERE from Amazon). We also sometimes put on an audio book during bath time.

8. Puzzles

Did you know that you can buy bath puzzles? I didn’t until we were given one for my daughters birthday. What a hit! We have the Sophie the Giraffe one pictured above (available HERE) and it’s great. The animals also squirt water so it’s like two toys in one.

I’ve since discovered that there are different kinds of bath puzzles, including wall puzzles like the one featured below (available HERE). Puzzles are a great learning tool, and if you can do them in the bath  – why not!

9. Talk!

I love to use bath time as a chance to talk about what happened during the day. When I have worked in early years classes at school, a lot of children seem to have trouble retelling a simple event. By asking your toddler what they did today (use words like first, then, after, finally)  you are informally teaching them this skill. If your toddler is older, ask them further questions including, ‘What was your favorite part of today?’ ‘Who did you play with? and similar follow up questions. Even if you are doing most of the talking (and answering for them if they are too young to talk), you are still teaching your child valuable vocabulary skills.

Do you have any educational activities or games that you play in the bath? Share them with us in our Facebook Group or over on Instagram. 

If you’re looking for some more great toddler bath toys you can find my favorites HERE. 

Easy Activities for Toddlers

Sensory Bins for Toddlers 

Water Play Ideas for Toddlers 

If you enjoyed this post why not PIN IT on Pinterest 

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If you’re looking for some of the best apps for toddlers in 2019 then you’ll love this collection. These apps have been tested by myself (teacher and mother) and approved by my toddlers. They are apps that I would happily let my own toddlers play (in small, supervised sessions of course) and that I highly recommend.

Best Apps for Toddlers 2019

This post has been updated to include the best apps for toddlers 2019.

Are you looking for the best apps for toddlers? We have found some of the best toddler apps  – all tested on my very own toddlers! I’m also an early years teacher so these apps get the educational tick of approval as well.

I don’t advocate letting your toddler spend a lot of time playing apps on tablets and phones, but as an educator and parent, I can definitely see the value in supervised play with some of the fantastic educational apps that are available. The biggest problem is finding the best apps for toddlers among the thousands, if not millions of toddler apps out there.

After being overwhelmed with the options available (a large percentage of which were low quality, filled with ads or had very little educational value), I recently asked for YOUR favorite toddler apps in our Facebook group and have included many of those in this list. There were several apps that were recommended many times, along with some great new suggestions. After having a closer look at your recommendations I have compiled a list of Apps your toddler will love!

You will notice that the list contains a mix of free and paid apps. While I could have focused on only the free apps, I feel that there are some excellent toddler apps that are worth paying a few dollars for (especially if it means no adds and excellent content). If you are looking for only free apps I have put together a list of the best FREE ipad apps for toddlers.  Please be wary of the free toddler apps as I’ve found that the developers of many of them (not the ones I’ve listed) are very sneaky with their ad placement and it’s really easy for your toddler to download all kinds of things. Sometimes it’s worth the dollar or two to avoid that. 

What tablet is best for a toddler? 

If you’re worried about your toddler dropping or breaking your own phone or tablet (I’ve had that happen to me!) then it can be worthwhile buying them their own one. While this seems a bit extravagent I’ve found that it’s much better than letting them drop your $600 tablet. The tablets for the kids don’t need to be anywhere near as powerful as your own one either as you’re not running many programs on it. 

My recommendation for a tablet for your toddler is the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition tablet which you can get HERE.

Some of the main reasons that I recommend this tablet for toddlers is: 

You might also want to look into headphones as well. I really like the volume limiting ones (for obvious reasons!).  These ones are available HERE. 

Teacher recommended apps for toddlers ABCmouse

Get your 30 day free trial HERE.

"I think all kids should use ABCmouse...all kids!" - Kid Testimonials by ABCmouse.com - YouTube

This app is part of an online learning package that is extremely popular with early years teachers and you will find it used in lots of preschools and kindergartens. The program caters for children from 2 years of age and can be played on a desktop computer and via the app. Whilst this is a paid program they do offer a 30 day free trial which I highly recommend. I am a member of many parenting and teaching groups and this program is one that is consistently recommended for early learning. You can start your free trial HERE.


PBS Kids – FREE

Download iTunes or Download Android

This completely free app allows your toddler to view all of their favorite PBS shows in a really easy, child friendly app, and was the app that was recommended the most by our readers. Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Dinosaur Train are just a few of the great kids shows that can be streamed.

They also include weekly video features focusing on an educational topic, and have a great parent control panel which allows you to add particular shows to your toddler’s favorite list. For a free app, you can’t really go wrong this one.

Download iTunes or Download Android

ABC Kids Iview – FREE

Download iTunes  or Android *only available in Australia and New Zealand.

Similar to the PBS Kids app, the ABC for Kids app is the Australian equivalent. It was also the most recommended app from our Australian readers. I have a feeling it can only be downloaded in Australia and New Zealand, but if you are outside of these countries and can access it please let me know. This app lets you stream all of the great ABC for Kids content including The Wiggles, Play School, Peppa Pig, Mister Maker and Sesame Street. You can also listen to some great ABC for Kids music, and it’s all FREE!
Download iTunes  or Android

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Download iTunes or Download Android 

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for iPhone by THUP Games - YouTube

This app is my absolute favorite educational app for toddlers. It is a fun and easy to use toddler app that teaches basic literacy and mathematics. You can read my full review of this app here and I highly recommend it.

Peekaboo Barn (lite version is free)

Download iTunes or Download Android 

✿★PEEKABOO BARN★✿ - ipad iphone android app review video for kids for learning Farm Animals - YouTube

This toddler app was also a very popular one, and there are many different versions of this great app available. It’s a simple but fun app that is great for younger toddlers who want to learn about farm animals. The app focuses on the animal names and the sounds that the animals make. You can download the Lite Version for free to get a feel for the app, however the full version is definitely worth spending a few dollars for.

Download iTunes or Download Android 

Nighty Night – FREE 

Download iTunes or Download Android

Nighty Night - the perfect bedtime story app for kids with lots of animals - YouTube

This is a great app to add to your evening routine. We don’t use it every night, but it’s always a favorite when we do. I really love this toddler app, and you can read an in depth review of it here.

Download iTunes or Download Android

Trucks  – FREE

Download iTunes   Download Android

Trucks by Duck Duck Moose -- carwash, tow truck, garbage truck, bulldozer, & car parade - YouTube

Trucks is one of the great apps from Duck Duck Moose. Their range of apps is fantastic and previously were paid apps. They have recently partnered up with a non profit company to provide quality educational apps free of charge. While I highly recommend this app for the toddler age group, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of their apps. Between my toddler and my 5 year old we have played almost all of them and they are all great.

Download iTunes   Download Android

Potty Time with Elmo

Download iTunes or Download Android

Potty Time with Elmo - YouTube

Lots of recommendations for this one, and who could blame them. If it helps the potty training battle then it’s worth a few dollars in my opinion. Featuring Elmo (obviously) there are songs, activities and an interactive potty chart. If you’re at the potty training stage with your toddler then this app is definitely worth a look.

Download iTunes or Download Android

Little Builders

Download iTunes or Download Android

Little Builders App for Kids (Google Play Trailer) - YouTube

If your toddler loves trucks then this is the app for them. You can drive the trucks, build the houses, pour the cement and so much more. A great app for the older toddler (recommended for ages 2+). This is from the award winning Fox & Sheep app designers and so far I have loved everyone of their apps.

Download iTunes or Download Android

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play & Explore

Download iTunes or Download Android 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar™ & Friends - Play & Explore, available in the App Store - YouTube

If your toddler loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar book then they will love the app too. With the beautiful images that you would expect from Eric Carle, this app is a fantastic first app for toddlers. Using the familiar images from Eric Carle’s books, early learning skills are taught in a simple and fun manner. You can download a demo for free, but there is a fee for the full version of the app (highly recommended).

Download iTunes or Download Android 

Disney Mickey Mouse Club House Color and Play

Download iTunes or Download Android

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Color and Play | Coloring App For Kids - YouTube

This app was the winner of the 2013 National Parenting Publications Award. With the quality that you would expect from a Disney product, this app is a fantastic painting app, using a combination of 2D, 3D and music. I guarantee that this one will keep your toddler engaged for quite some time.

Download iTunes or Download Android

Scribbaloo Train

Download iTunes or Download Android

Scribbaloo Train - Simple App for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Official Trailer - YouTube

Scribbaloo Train is my youngest toddler’s new favourite. She is 16 months and has already mastered this one. It’s a really lovely app and one of my favorites too! You can read my full review here. 

Download iTunes or Download Android

Milli the Snail 

Download iTunes or Download Android

Milli: A small snail in a big world. The app for iOS and Android (Trailer, mixtvision Digital) - YouTube

Milli the Snail is a beautiful interactive story book for children. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is lovely. You can

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You will love this snowy Winter trees toddler painting activity. A winter themed painting activity is so much fun for kids.  Your toddler will love painting the trees white with a marble, and you’ll love the fine motor and creative skills being used in this simple activity!

Snowy Winter Trees Painting Activity

Painting activities are perfect opportunities for your toddler to explore and learn.  This activity is easy to set up but you can reduce mess – and stress – with a little preparation.

Cover the work area with drop cloths and wiping-up cloths. Protect clothing on your budding artist – and you! – with a paint shirt or apron. A pack like this is perfect for painting. 

Supplies for painting Winter trees

Draw half of a tree outline on the folded edge of a piece of cardstock. Cut out the shape.

Open the fold and place the pattern on a piece of green craft foam. Trace around the pattern and cut out the tree.

Instructions for painting winter trees

Secure the tree to the bottom of a shallow plastic container with a piece of rolled tape.

Drop a bit of white paint into the container next to the tree. Place a marble in the container.

Tip the container from side to side so the marble rolls around through the paint and over the tree shape. Your toddler might need a little help with this at first.

If preferred, kids can roll the marble around with finger tips. This is great for engaging those small muscles, helping to develop fine motor skills.

Your toddler will love watching the marble spread snowy white paint onto the tree!

Make observations with your toddler as you play together to support language and cognitive skills.

Name the colors of the tree and snow; talk about activities you like to do in winter.

Cut a small slit across the top of an egg cup and insert the painted tree into the ‘tree trunk’. Glue cotton to the tree trunk for winter snow.

This simple painting activity is a great way to learn about the winter season with your toddler. Build fine motor motor and language skills as you explore winter trees.

We would love to see some of your crafts and activities in action! Share them in our Facebook Group or over on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler so we can all see!)

If you enjoyed this Winter themed toddler activity then you’ll love: 

Winter Crafts for Toddlers 

Winter Sensory Play Ideas for Toddlers 

About the Author

Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of preschooltoolkit.com, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram and Google+

The post Snowy Winter Trees Painting Activity for Toddlers appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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Painting activities and toddlers go hand in hand, and there’s nothing more fun than hand prints. Turn those wiggly hand prints into beautiful flowers with this easy painting activity that’s a perfect Spring craft activity. They also make a great toddler Mother’s Day gift idea. 

Hand print flower paintings for toddlers 

Making hand print flowers is a fun and easy way to save your child’s hand print in a beautiful picture. 

Kids love dipping palms and fingers in gooey paint-filled trays, and making hand prints or finger prints on cardboard or paper. Their faces light up as they see the amazing results of transferring the paint from their hands onto paper.

Supplies for hand print flowers craft for toddlers 

Instructions for hand print flower painting

Set up the activity with drop cloths and paint shirts to protect surfaces and clothing.

Allow your toddler to choose paint colors. Maybe leaves will turn out to be a color other than the green we expect!

  1. Flower:
  • Pour kids paint into a recycled foam tray. You can 2 or more colors at the same time to the tray. Your child can mix the colors together as he swishes his hand in the paint. This will add interesting color to the flower.
  • Make a hand print on paper.
  1. Stem:
  • Pour green paint into a jar lid. Dip a paint brush in green paint and make a stem on the flower.

  1. Leaves:
  • Press thumbs into green paint and transfer to paper to make leaves on the stem. Or use the paint brush to make the leaves.

Display your child’s picture for all to enjoy!

These instructions are meant to be guidelines. Stems can be painted first and hand prints added later. Finger painting can be incorporated to make additional petals on the flowers or to add other colors.

Kids benefit from opportunities to make choices, to design and create their pictures, and to apply paint freely with no expectations for outcomes.

This activity is a fun way to engage your toddler in fine motor, creative play.  Fine motor experiences help prepare kids in a variety of ways, including strengthening hands and fingers for the development of hand writing skills.

Have fun with a hand print flower painting activity that welcomes Spring!

If you enjoyed this hand print flower craft we would love for you to share a photo! Share on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler ) or share in our Facebook group. 

Some more activities for toddlers that you might enjoy are: 

20 Painting Ideas for Toddlers 

Spring Crafts for Toddlers 

Sensory Play for Toddlers 

About the Author

Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of preschooltoolkit.com, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram and Google+

The post Hand print flower paintings for toddlers appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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You will love this colour matching cotton tip push activity for toddlers. Encourage the development of those all important small muscles in your toddlers hands and fingers with this easy to set up fine motor skill Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push activity!

Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push

We love using resources that we have around the house – especially repurposing those that are otherwise headed for the recycling bin!

This is a fun and engaging way to give new life to one of those items that are common in almost every family home.

We have done a few interpretations of this toddler activity over the years but this is a solid favourite. I’m sure it will be with your family too!

Matching the coloured cotton tips and pushing the end into the corresponding hole, gives your toddler the opportunity to practise a range of important life skills all while having fun! It’s also a great colour activity idea for toddlers. 

If you’re planning to focus on colour skills with your toddler you might like our list of favourite colour books for toddlers. 

What you need to make your Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push activity

The only reason why we used the play tray was to attempt (successfully) to give our little activity some boundaries. We have a saying that we recite when completing these activities ‘ please keep the play in the tray’. More often than not, it doesn’t end up happening but never say never!

How to setup your Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push activity

Before playing, your egg carton will need a few minor modifications.

Carefully using your screwdriver, make a hole in the bottom of each of the wells of your egg carton. I simply pushed ours through and then gave it a little spin to widen the hole just a touch to suit the size of the shaft of the cotton tips.

Using your textas, colour the bottom face of the egg carton wells and the tips of your cotton tips. With our six colours, we used each colour twice to complete the 12 wells and tips.

Before presenting the activity to Miss 2, I put the colour

ed cotton tips into the little bowl before putting the bowl and egg carton into our play tray.

When Miss 2 asked what to do with the activity, I simply replied, “What do you think you could do with it?”

She picked up the first cotton tip, said the colour and then pushed it into matching colour hole with a big smile.

It didn’t take long for Miss 2 to push each of the cotton tips into the coloured holes – she loved it!

Once she completed posting all the cotton tips, she then flipped it upside down and started pulling them out. This took me by surprise but quickly I removed the bowl from the tray and placed it on her left side. Miss 2 pulled the the cotton tips with her right hand, crossed her arm across her body to place them into the bowl.

It kept Miss 2 completely engaged for about 20 minutes. The entire time her mind was as active as her hands. Active play had her practising her recognising colours, pincher grip, hand eye coordination and crossing her midline.

This Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push activity is proof that your toddler doesn’t need fancy specialised equipment or toys. Simply modifying resources you have around your home can provide your child with meaningful play opportunities that they will love!

If you enjoyed this colour cotton tip push toddler activity hen why not share a photo of your toddler doing the activity. Share on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler ) or share in our Facebook group. 

If you want to continue teaching your toddler about colours then you might like: 

Colour books for toddlers 

Colour activities for toddlers 

About the Author:

Dani is a busy stay at home Mum of 3 and early childhood teacher in training who is passionate about play based learning throughout early childhood. For educational play ideas that you can do at home and parenting tips visit Play Inspired Mum Check her out on Instagram  andFacebook

The post Colour Matching Cotton Tip Push Toddler Activity appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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We had a lot of fun with this colour matching lucky dip toddler activity. Rainy days for our active toddler are often a cringe worthy event. Today was an exemption. We mixed gross motor play and with colour sorting to create our Colour Matching Lucky Dip! 

Colour Matching Lucky Dip Toddler Activity 

Miss 2 loves playing with colours. Although she loves it, we are still creating a focus on colour recognition. Today’s activity involved matching the coloured pop sticks under the corresponding coloured pieces of felt.

To add an element of surprise and excitement, the pop sticks were concealed in a little woven bag.

What You Need to Make Your Colour Matching Lucky Dip

We purchased these pop sticks coloured from our local craft store. If you have natural ones at home already, you could always paint them or colour them in with coloured textas or you can get a large pack HERE on Amazon. 

This colour matching activity would be just as effective if you were to swap the felt mats with coloured paper or even shirts from the laundry pile. As long as the colours matched, anything could work!

How to Set Up Your Colour Matching Lucky Dip

The brief of this activity is to select a pop stick from the bag (without peaking) and match the stick with the same coloured felt mat.

Rainy days make getting the kids to burn off some of that (seemingly) unlimited energy a bit more challenging. To help combat this problem, we spread our felt mats out quite widely across the floor.

I asked Miss 2 to place the pop sticks on the same coloured mat. She found it hilarious to put the sticks under the mats instead so I just rolled with it. The element of unknowing which colour was going to be pulled out of the bag was somewhat challenging for her. This being said, Miss 2 was so excited to see the winning colour every time!

While we were sorting the colours, we spoke about the names of the colours and I joined in on the sorting action too. We took turns holding the bag for each other and choosing the pop sticks. I even tried tricking Miss 2 to see her reaction if I put the pop stick on the incorrect mat.

What started off being a simple Colour Matching Lucky Dip turned into an activity with a focus on turn taking too. Spreading out the mats had Miss 2 bouncing across the floor, leaning down and jumping up to reach for the next pop stick. Gross motor work out while matching her colours really was a great success!

If you enjoyed this colour matching lucky dip toddler activity then why not share a photo of your toddler doing the activity. Share on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler ) or share in our Facebook group. 

If you want to continue teaching your toddler about colours then you might like: 

Colour books for toddlers 

Colour activities for toddlers 

About the Author:

Dani is a busy stay at home Mum of 3 and early childhood teacher in training who is passionate about play based learning throughout early childhood. For educational play ideas that you can do at home and parenting tips visit Play Inspired Mum Check her out on Instagram  andFacebook

The post Colour Matching Lucky Dip Toddler Activity appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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This caterpillar & twigs sand play activity for toddlers is a great summer sensory bin idea! 

Summer Sensory Bin with Caterpillars & Twigs

A sandbox becomes an awesome summer sensory bin when it includes kids-made caterpillars and a few small twigs. Kids will love the combination of textures in this fun sensory play.

With all of our toddler activities we love to link it to a book and the obvious one for this is The Very Hungry Caterpillar ( we love the finger puppet version available HERE on Amazon).  


Caterpillars in a variety of colors and sizes jumpstart the fun with this summer themed sensory bin.
The caterpillars are easy to make with fluffy chenille stems or pipe cleaners. With a variety of colors and sizes of chenille stems it’s easy to create an interesting sensory play with both sight and touch.

How to set up your sensory bin 

You will need: 

Plastic container – one with a lid like this one is great 

Sand (you can get play sand HERE), rice or beans to use as a filler, 

Digging and scooping tools – a pack like this is great. 

Small twigs 

Chenille stems/pipe cleaners in different colors and sizes. 

Setting up your summer sensory bin with caterpillars

Set up the activity with plastic tub and a filler of your choice – sand, rice or beans for example. Add some digging or scooping tools such as a small shovel or cup.Include small twigs from nature if possible. Otherwise small dowels or wooden spoons can substitute for twigs and tree branches.

Make the caterpillars by winding a chenille stem or pipe cleaner around your, or your toddler’s, finger.
Creating the caterpillars is a fun sensory experience for your toddler.

Place the caterpillars in the sandbox with the other items.

There are lots of ways to play and explore with the materials.
  • Line up the caterpillars, bury the caterpillars and hide them under a shovel.
  • Fill a small bucket with caterpillars. 
  • Help your caterpillar crawl along a twig.
  • Your child might decide to pull the chenille stem from both ends, stretching it into a long wavy caterpillar. This will create a different looking character to add to the play.
  • Kids can squeeze, pull, scrunch or bend the pipe cleaners to make new shapes.
  • Use the sticks to stir the sand, dig in the sand, and pick up caterpillars.

These activities are also great for encouraging fine motor skills. 

Encourage opportunities for pretend play

  • Build sand castle houses for the caterpillars 
  • Meet caterpillar friends on a tree branch
  • Go exploring in the sand at the beach.

Engage language and fine motor skills as you name colors and sort sizes.

  • Talk with your toddler as you play.
  • My yellow caterpillar is sleeping on this twig.
  • How many green caterpillars are hiding in the sand?
  • Caterpillars and twigs naturally go together for a summer theme that kids will love.

If you enjoyed this Summer sensory bin with caterpillars why not share a photo on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler ) or in our Facebook Group. 

You can also pin this to Pinterest to save for later (follow us on Pinterest HERE)

Some more toddler activities you might enjoy are: 

Bugs & Insects Activities for Toddlers 

Summer Sensory Bins 

Sensory sensory play ideas 

About the Author

Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of preschooltoolkit.com, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram and Google+

The post Caterpillars & Twigs Sand Play Activity for Toddlers appeared first on My Bored Toddler.

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