Toddlers are sensory learners who love to touch, smell and taste almost everything they encounter and with the start of spring, chances are your kids are eager to try something new and get their hands dirty! Below, you’ll find a range of indoor and outdoor educational toddler activities to try this spring. They’ll promise fun whatever the weather!
Indoor educational toddler Activities
Indoor activities are great to have on-hand for toddlers, especially when they get antsy and need some extra attention.
Every one of these activities are easy to do, quick to set up and use materials you should already have lying around your home or classroom.
1) Box Train
With so many online deliveries, why not make use of the boxes by suggesting your toddler make a box train?
Start by positioning all the boxes to create a train. Each car should be designated to something different, for example, one car could be a travelling zoo so your toddler can spell out the different types of animals they might find in a zoo!
What you’ll need:
- Colourful Paper
- Crayons/Felt tips/Paint
Once the boxes are lined up, you can connect them with string so that when the box train is on the move, the cars move too! This can provide hours of fun to toddlers on a wet and windy day.
2) Sticky Spider Web
The sticky spider web is the perfect activity for indoor play and can be done using any doorway!
All you need is painters/masking tape and materials like torn and scrunched up newspaper or pompoms.
Begin by using the painters/masking tape in the doorway to create the look of a spider’s web. Once the tape is up, get your toddlers to throw their newspaper/pom poms at the web to see if the web catches them. This is a fun educational game that teaches toddlers how spider webs work!
3) Grow Beans on Cotton Balls
Even if the weather is bad, it doesn’t mean you have to hold off on growing any vegetables!
Growing beans on cotton balls is easy and a great visual way to teach toddlers about root systems.
Start with a glass jar or bottle, place cotton wool balls inside with a butter bean. Let your toddler will water the bean until the cotton wool is damp but not wet, then place the jar next to a window to get some sunlight. After two-three days you’ll begin to see the butter bean sprout, then after four-five days the butter bean will have developed a large network of shoots out of the main root.
This is a great ongoing activity for your toddlers to get excited about.
4) Turn Flowers Different Colours
Have you tried changing the colour of a flower? This technique is sure to get your toddler’s attention.
What a perfect way to bring nature and colour indoors. Head outside grab some white flowers, bring them in and place into different jars with different coloured dyes in the bottom. You’ll need to water the dye down so the flowers can absorb the it efficiently.
Or if you haven’t got any white flowers to hand, you can also take a thin leaf and place it into a jar with red coloured dye mixed with water so your toddler can see where the leaf absorbs the water.
5) Designer Necklace – Toddler Style
It can’t get more basic and creative than threading cut up straws and beads onto a piece of string can it?
Start by letting your toddler cut up parts of a straw then along with some beads, begin threading the items together onto a piece of string. You’ll need to be sure you tie knots at either end of the string so the beads and straws don’t fall off.
You can create different types of jewellery for different occasions! Perhaps you can plan a small fashion show for your toddler to begin creating their jewellery for?
The colours in the beads and straws is a great way to educate your toddler on colours and shapes.
Outdoor Educational toddler Activities
When the sun is out, the kids want out. Outdoor activities are a fantastic way to get your toddler enjoying the fresh air and great outdoors for longer periods of time.
6) Spring Time Planting
Looking for educational outdoor activities to try with the kids? You can try this activity recommended by Kiddi Caru who have a nursery in Haywards Heath. Make a dedicated play garden for the kids to grow plants, and encourage sensory play.
This is a great starting point, especially if the weather isn’t co-operating. The kids can do some research into what plants they’d like to grow and why. Later, when the dedicated play garden is ready for use, the kids can begin planting their researched vegetables and flowers!
This ongoing activity will get your kids outside regularly to check on the progress of their plants.
7) Paint Flowerpots
This outdoor activity is great for knowledge and understanding the world of plants and it gets toddler’s creative juices flowing.
Take your toddler out to a garden centre to choose a plant to grow. Once chosen, be sure to pick up a plain plant pot and thick paint.
Once home, head out into the garden, and let your toddler’s imagination run wild with paint! Once the plant pot has been painted and has dried, you can start planting your toddler’s chosen plant.
8) Chalk Art
Much like the wonderful pavement chalk art in Mary Poppins, your toddler can head outside and begin creating their own art on the pavement. This can provide hours of fun.
To mix things up, fill up a watering can and pour it onto the pavement to make the drawing transform. Turn your creation into something new by blending and adding more chalk colours.
Later when the rain arrives, the drawings will be washed away and there is no mess left to clear up!
9) Fly a Kite
A springtime breeze is the perfect time to go outside and fly a kite and if you’re feeling particularly creative, build your own kite. It’s a fun way to trial different materials to see which kite flies the best!
Flying a kite is a fantastic way for toddlers to learn about the physics behind the kite whilst getting some exercise running along to make it fly.
10) Hunt for Animal Tracks
After a particularly wet day, head out to your local nature reserve and take up the challenge of hunting for animal tracks.
This animal footprint scavenger hunt can be exciting. Perhaps you can set
up challenges for who can find the most tracks? And whether they can you spot any wildlife in the process?
Create your own scavenger book with plenty of drawing paper so your toddler can attempt to draw the footprint and the animal they think the footprint belongs too.
This is a crafty and scientific activity that your toddler is sure to get a kick out of!
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