My toddler loves electronics, like many many other little kids. He can recognize the nursery rhymes from the sound and pictures and is all attention when one of his favorites is playing on the screen. In fact, play him the same nursery rhyme but if it looks different on screen then he will keep turning his head towards me or elsewhere telling us that he’s not that much in to the new one.
I am all right with him getting to know the gadgets that are around him but I also know that giving him too much of some gadget is not right, at least not now when I can still channelize his energies else where.
So I have started experimenting with some home-made toys or go-break-and-bang-them kind of toys. There are many mom/dad blogs and websites that have listed some very simple toys, mostly made from stuff that is within reach in most homes. I have added my own twist to tickle my toddler.
There’s little a mother can do when it is raining outside and your toddler cranks up the decibel levels to take him out. So, amidst the thunders outside, I introduced my little one to empty vessels, tin & plastic containers, unbreakable plates and steel glasses. Trick for me was to give him one item at a time in order to keep his interest alive. Once he was done banging say a container on the floor, I swiftly added a plate, spoon to the pile. And poof, he wanted to be the soundmaker again.
Just make sure none of the items have sharp edges that may scratch your little one and are resistant to extreme handling. I am definitely putting this activity on my ‘repeat list.’
I got some shiny plastic (white) colored plates and easy to wipe off bright colored markers. I drew animals (in my own non-artsy way), alphabets, shapes etc. This activity may be really nice for slightly older kids who can hold a pen. The parent has to be careful with the markers as it is the first thing the child will want to hold in their hands, use them to chew etc. So, watch out.
My toddler liked the idea of colorful markers for some minutes but then he wanted to use the markers on his own and I was afraid he will draw all over him or worse, eat the soft tip of the marker. But it is worth a repeat.
This one was a big hit with my toddler. I got a pack of plastic glasses and bowls from the supermarket. Since it is christmas time, I got some nice colored ones. I colored a couple with bright colored markers, old nail color, stuck some left over ribbons on rest. It looked good too. These glasses and bowls make a fantastic stack-them-all game. My toddler had fun time running, crawling around the room bringing me the bowls and glasses after he had knocked them down. It is an activity that you should do with your child. Leaving him alone to play stack-them-all is kinda boring. It’s definitely on my ‘repeat list.’
This I read somewhere and thought it was fabulous. I got hold of an empty egg carton and glued little items at the bottom of each cup. This included a small colorful marble that was lying in the house, scraps of colorful ribbons, a toy train whose wheels had come off, small cut piece of sponge (i used a new utensil scouring one), and in another cup I stuck some star-shaped baby cereal. I painted (old nail polish) the cups, stuck some big colorful buttons around the carton. This ‘toy’ apprently encourages your infant to use their fine motor skills to point into and feel the items in each cup. Thus important to add as many textures and colorful things you can cram.
But do supervise while your toddler plays with this one in case any items come off.
I will be adding some more toys as I go along. Will definitely list my hits and misses.