August: A time to sit back, enjoy the summer sunshine and maybe even make a good dent in that book you’ve been itching to read since March.
That is until you get a tug on the leg from a restless toddler.
Always on the lookout for entertainment, toddlers are very easily distracted, little bundles of energy that need almost constant attention. This can be draining and demanding in the long summer months — especially when you’re running out of options to deal with your little one’s cries for entertainment.
As we enter the final month of what has been an unique summer we’ve got some great tips to make it an enjoyable one for you and your restless toddler, whether you’re trapped indoors or able to get out and enjoy some fresh air.
Rethink games and toys
Games and toys may be an obvious go-to when you’ve got a restless toddler looking for something to do, but not all toys and games are created equal.
Some games and toys will fail to entertain your toddler for more than just a couple of hours this August, making the allure of tablet and TV screens even greater for both of you.
It’s important though to keep trying and find games and toys that are both innovative and challenging to little minds experiencing something new every day.
Your toddler might be getting to the age where they start to get bored of their existing toys or are growing out of them. This is a great opportunity to introduce a new kind of play, one that brings a little bit of learning and creativity into the mix.
Toys like eco-dough and kid-friendly musical instruments are a brilliant way to integrate new ideas and challenges into playtime, making each session feel a little different from the last.
Generic toys can make a toddler even more frustrated and cause some push back towards playtime. Try something different, such as the many kids subscription boxes available these days. The Sago Mini Box is a great example that combines STEM activities with bright colorful characters more likely to keep a toddler’s attention.
It might seem like little ones are entertained by anything at this age. But they can, and will, get bored of an uninspiring routine.
Make creative use of your space
Like most parents, you’ve probably found it hard to make your house an entertaining space throughout the quarantine.
Your little one probably feels the same, even if they can’t work that feeling out yet.
That’s why it’s vital to make the best use of the space you have available to you and constantly innovate. It won’t just keep your toddler from getting bored, but make sure they’re constantly being introduced to new ideas and ways to look at the world as they would if they were outside.
Back yards are great spaces and open you up to a whole new avenue of play, with activities such as bug catching, gardening and digging all giving toddlers the time and space to escape the mundane indoors.
Not everyone is blessed with a backyard though. Parents in small spaces should look to make every space they can exciting. Window paint in the living room. Build little forts in the bedroom. Let them discover rooms by themselves
Keep things as fresh as possible
The key to avoiding restlessness this August is to keep things fresh.
At this crucial development age, repetition is important in helping toddlers learn. However, you need to provide the opportunity for them to have new experiences and face challenges.
You’re never too young to be surprised by life!
Keeping things fresh means knowing when to swap out for new toys (as we touched upon earlier) and knowing when to take yourself outside.
A walk can help break up the day massively and give your toddler a new space to explore. Even something as simple as getting the mail each morning can give them a chance to step away from their usual areas and latch onto something interesting.
Remember, while new games are a great way to break up the day, you may need to model the activity for your child first. Watching a parent play with a toy or do an activity teaches a toddler how to do it themselves and get the most out of it. If you’re finding your toddler frustrated by a game or toy give it a try yourself and offer them a new perspective.
Include them in your chores
Kids love to act like grown-ups. Toddlers might be a little off that age, but it still helps to keep them involved in your day to day summer chores. It breathes excitement into their day and allows them to stay close to you.
Don’t be afraid to do boring things with them, even the most mundane household chores can be made to seem extremely exciting.
Talk them through cooking a meal. Chopping vegetables and mixing salads will be fascinating. An afternoon spent baking and decorating a cake is great for this too!
Kids who love playing with water will be fascinated as they join you washing the dishes. They might not be able to handle plates or glass – but just splashing in the water or pouring it onto crockery will give them a fun and fascinating repetitive task to enjoy.
It might seem silly to you, but the same old same old of your day is a new exciting adventure to a toddler.
A restless toddler throughout the summer can be draining for both you and them. You’ll end up frustrated and they’ll start to associate the time and play with negative thoughts. Follow these tips and thing what games and toys you have that would fit them for an August that’ll fly by.