Photo by Lukas



Are you looking for interactive activities that your child can enjoy? These are a few suggestions parents can try that are highly recommended by child experts that amplify your growing toddler’s development.



Children grow up fast – it’s a known fact and a universal thing parents can agree on. From one moment to another, they will become bigger and more developed than they were in the blink of an eye. Your child will go through significant shifts in their life in terms of physical, intellectual, emotional, and psychological aspects.



Children become aware of their surroundings early, developing a desire for independence and active exploration. Parents can help their children by creating a language rich environment that allows their toddlers to engage in fun and educational activities in order to help them acquire and develop their speech and language skills. A child’s relationship with their parents becomes the key to their ultimate development. Jo Ann Gramlich’s book on interactive activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is an excellent way to learn how to enhance a children’s language development while sharing special bonding moments together with little ones during the early years.



With that in mind, here are some interactive activities you can try with your toddler that also will aid in their growth and development.



1 – Dress up and role-play 



You and your child can play dress up together with old clothes. You can either reenact different cartoon characters, superheroes, etc., along with other kids and their parents. This is an activity that everyone can enjoy. Children can learn creativity, imagination, communication, and social skills when participating in role play activities. And they might decide to become an actor one day too!



2 – Decorate crayon bags



Craft activities are a great way for a child to learn and develop their creative skills and tap into their skillful mind.  You can cover any flat surface with newspaper and materials like glue, glitter, paper, and crayons. With careful supervision, guide your child by applying glue onto the crayon bag and sprinkler glitter onto the craft bag.  You can also fill the bag with your child’s crayons. It boosts the creative skills of your toddler, and they can proudly show it to their peers. They also learn motor skills, careful planning, and personal effort.



3 – Hide and seek, toys edition



Your toddler needs to be active as they develop physically. For starters, hide a toy in an obscure corner but easy enough for your child to find. Guide them in their search using easy-to-comprehend descriptive cues. For an additional thrill, you can even use functional props like flashlights to make the search more exciting. Your child can learn listening, problem-solving, socialization, and memory skills.



4 – Playing on a makeshift boat or train



You can use towels and blankets on the floor for your child to sit on. Wrap them up carefully enough for you to see their head, and they can breathe. Drag the blanket as if it were a train running or a ship sailing. Create a scenario where you take the child to the zoo or the next island trip. Your child can learn how to balance and imagine.



5 – Tracing their body



This is a fun activity for your child to try. They can lie down on a large piece of paper that fits their figure. This activity teaches them excellent self-control since they need to lie still for you to trace them on the form successfully. And once you’re done tracing, your child can choose between putting eyes, nose, and a mouth on the head portion. They can also opt for all-out coloring without drawing a face.



But if your child doesn’t want to lie still, that’s fine. They can be free; otherwise, they won’t learn anything from any activity. If tracing an entire body won’t work, you can trace their hands and feet instead. Children can learn a sense of self-awareness, self-control, distinguishing body parts, and communication skills.



6 – Playing the “Simon Says” game



Teaching your child to follow instructions is possible through a “Simon Says” game. They also learn to have a presence of mind. You can start with simple instructions like touching their hair or toes. For complex ones, try telling them two commands at once, like tapping their left knee and right elbow. As the game progresses, the difficulty level increases.



You can even amp it up to more physical activities like jumping, jogging, and skipping so they can learn motor skills, the essence of following instructions, and receptive communication.



7 – Making a collage together



Making cutouts from old magazines is usually done at school, but you can do that with your child. Unfortunately, due to many magazines going paperless and digital, you must try an alternative that can still make the activity work.



For example, you can use your old books and paper print magazines that are still in your possession. Talk to your child about the cutout pieces you made together and what you plan on doing with them. Aside from the specific creative and motor skills that they can learn, your toddler will also develop a sense of curiosity and become inquisitive in return.



8 – Conversations with a plush toy



Pretend that you’re a fictional character that lives and breathes through lifting your child’s stuffed toy and talking in a sing-song or any other animated voice. You can even take turns being yourself and holding a conversation with the toy like you’re the only one talking in the room.



Exchange meaningful conversations with that toy, as if you were talking lovingly to a child and encourage them to chime in. This activity aids in your toddler’s social skills, becoming good conversationalists, and boosts their imagination.




Jo Ann Gramlich is an award-winning author and speech-language pathologist specializing in helping children with communication disorders in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY Buffalo and has extensive experience in early intervention, preschool, and school settings. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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