Toddlers are wonderful and full of energy. They need many new manipulatives to keep them busy, stimulated, learning, and interested. Many every day objects can be new and stimulating to a toddler.
Plastic or paper cups are in everyone's cupboards. They can be stacked and sorted by size, shape, and color. No one will be upset if one gets broken or lost. The cups are quiet when knocked down and bounce in a delightful way.
These little paper cups are a new surface to be colored on. The inside, outside surfaces and the bottom are available for new colors.
Sidewalk chalk is another easy way to keep a toddler busy. The colors are a wonderful addition to a plain driveway or sidewalk. The best part is that your space is almost limitless in the eyes of a child. They are not constrained by the size of the paper or chalkboard. Their lines can go on and on and on.
Many gardens have smooth stones. These make a wonderful canvas for sidewalk chalk or water color paint for that matter. Colorful stones are quite eye catching for toddlers.
Pom poms are another simple yet delightful manipulative. They come in assorted sizes and colors, some even have sparkles. Pom poms can be sorted by using muffin tins, small boxes, egg cartons, ice cube trays, or anything you may have around the house. A plastic toothbrush holder from the dollar store has good size holes, big enough for a pom pom to fit through. This is great for working on eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. Best of all, they are quiet and will keep your toddler busy for quite a while.
Bubbles whipped into a foam is an enjoyable tactile experience. Your little one can wash their plastic toys. Cars, boats, animals, people, etc. Always get dirty during outdoor play. So why not let your child was their own toys? Car wash is an experience that is always fun!
Getting dressed again and again is a favorite activity for children. You have all you need in your closet or chest of drawers. It doesn't matter what size or color. Kids love to wear or try on clothes. You don't have to go out and purchase expensive dress up clothing or princess dresses. The young child will experiment with boots, shoes, socks, leggings, pants, shirts, hats, gloves, not to mention purses, a scarf, and jewelry.
Tooth brushing is a wonderful and healthy activity for the young child. This will not only be a good activity but will help with good dental hygiene habits.
Felt pieces of different sizes, colors, and shapes are a interesting manipulative for the young child. They can be arranged in different patterns to make abstract pictures. A youngster could make a stack starting with the largest, smallest, or random order. These pieces could be used as blankets for toy people or animals.
Keep your toddlers busy with manipulatives and off of screen time. A busy toddler is a learning toddler. It will pay off in the long run.
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