There are so many fabulous activities for toddlers to do at this time of year whether it is getting them outside in between the rain showers or keeping them entertained indoors on a wet or cold afternoon. Here is a selection of some of my favourite activities from when J was a toddler.
J is fabulous at tidying up and he loves to help out with all the chores. He really loved this sweeping leaves activity that I set up for him last autumn. I made a box on the floor using masking tape and tried to encourage J to sweep the leaves into a big pile inside the box.
J however, preferred to just sweep the leaves into lots of little piles wherever he saw fit which was great too. Either way, a fun activity for your little ones which keeps them busy while you can tidy up the garden ready for winter or drink a whole cup of hot chocolate.
Autumn Sensory Bag
If you have never made a sensory bag for your little one then autumn is a great time to start as there is so much you can do that fits the theme perfectly.
For our Halloween themed sensory bag, I filled a ziplock sandwich bag with blue hair gel, added 4 plastic spiders and a couple of handfuls of pumpkin and bat confetti and sealed it with some sellotape. Sensory bags are so easy to make. J loved the sensory bag, especially the spiders inside. However, after a few days, he decided that it would be fun to jump up and down on the squidgy bag. One of the spider’s legs pierced the bag and the gel started oozing out, so it made a swift exit to the bin!
For your autumn sensory bag you could use hair gel, jelly, slime or coloured water for the base of the bag. Then simply add in anything that you want for your children to be able to look at and move around. You could include conkers, pine needles, acorns, different coloured leaves, pumpkin seeds, toy spiders etc. Share some photos in the comments or on my Facebook page. I’d love to see what you create.
Halloween themed jelly play
Since we are always playing with food to help J’s sensory needs, I have a stock of jelly in the cupboard. The orange jelly was nicely pumpkin coloured so it went into a plastic bowl with some black plastic spiders and some plastic cutlery. J loved playing with the spider jelly and we had a fun half hour on the kitchen floor as he laughed lots. I would recommend putting a wipeable mat down to catch the spillages as jelly is very sticky! I would also recommend having time to go in the bath once your child has finished playing as jelly gets everywhere – yes even inside nappies!
Foam Pumpkin Window Art
I had never considered sticking foam shapes to windows with water before, but luckily Anna, blogger at Play at Home Teacher, did and so I copied her wonderful Foam Pumpkin Window Stickers. J had a lot of fun with these and I thought it was a perfect activity to keep him busy while I cooked dinner. The only problem was that the condensation from the kitchen caused the back door to steam up and all the shapes fell off. A great activity for little ones.
When I saw a photo of Pumpkin Hammering on Pinterest by Deb at ‘Living Montessori Now’ I knew I absolutely had to let J have a go. J has now had a go at the pumpkin hammering for two years on the trot. We loved it although it can be hard to hammer in the golf tees sometimes. It is a great activity to help fine motor skills and it occupied J for a good chunk of time so I could do another activity next to him.
What are your favourite autumn themed activities for toddlers? I hope you have fun trying these ideas out. Let me know how you get on in the comments.