Having a toddler can be very exhausting, but parents need to be present at this early stage of a child’s development. As parents, we sometimes feel like we don’t have much time to do all the things that we have to do. Our work already takes up a big portion of our time and we have other activities outside work. But even if you are a busy, over-worked parent, you need to take some time for your toddler. This is the stage when your little one is learning new skills and exploring his or her surroundings. When you are around, your toddler will become happier and you can guide them and teach them a lot of other things.
Your quality time with your child doesn’t need to be boring. You can spend time with your toddler at night when you arrive home from work. You and your spouse can have your own family night with your kid and try different activities that all of you can enjoy.
Here are some ideas for family nights with toddlers:
1. Dance parties
Kids generally love to dance, and hosting your own dance parties can be a great activity for the whole family. You and your family can dance to your toddler’s favorite songs or the latest dance hits. Prepare your speakers and makeshift dance floor and get ready to dance the night away. The bonus part is: dancing can be tiring, so you wouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll convince your little one to go to sleep. They’ll probably sleep on their own after shaking their arms and legs and moving around for an hour or two.
2. Play games
Playing games will always be one of the all-time favorite activities of kids, regardless of age. You can play classic games like ring toss, bowling, memory games, or hopscotch. Or you can also be creative and invent your own games. Plus, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the games; you can recycle old materials and use whatever you can find in your house. You and your toddler can both enjoy the games.
3. Arts and crafts
Toddler years are critical years for development, so you might want to help your little one develop his or her creative expression. You can let your toddler try finger painting or watercolor painting. You can also let him or her trace objects in a paper, or make a collage using different materials such as cut-out pictures or stickers. You might even discover your toddler’s talent at this point.
4. Ice cream!
Who doesn’t love ice cream? You can buy your favorite flavors from your local ice cream shop and have your own ice cream party. Or you can also try making your own homemade ice cream with your toddler. There are lots of easy ice cream recipes that you can try. It can be messy, but you and your little one will definitely enjoy the heavenly dessert.
5. Mini concert
Play your toddler’s favorite songs and let them sing their hearts out. Singing can make your toddler happy. You can teach them some new songs or just let them listen to some nursery rhymes. Music can also help them develop their vocabulary. Notice how a lot of toddlers seem to learn the lyrics of a song very quickly. At the same time, your little one can develop some talent and passion for music which you should nurture.
6. Movie night
Why not try to have a movie night with your toddler instead of the typical movie date with just your spouse? It’s probably one of the family night ideas that you can truly enjoy with your toddler. You can prepare popcorn and choose a good family movie. You can even turn the movie night into a mini slumber party, complete with matching pajamas.
And who said that only kids enjoy watching cartoons? Some parents even memorize the lines from their little ones’ favorite animated movies or TV shows. There are some good cartoons that toddlers can watch.
If you want, you may also look for some educational videos instead of a movie. The internet provides a lot of options for you. You can even educate your child by using informative and fun videos.
7. Build blocks
Building blocks can be very beneficial in your toddler’s physical and cognitive development. Your child learns a lot of skills as he or she builds something using the blocks. Construction activities also encourage your toddler to learn independently and helps him or her become more creative.
8. Bake cookies
You can also hang out in your kitchen and try baking cookies. You can try some simple or mouthwatering cookie recipes. And then you and your toddler can enjoy eating the cookies together. Just be prepared to have a messy kitchen!
9. Teach your toddler simple chores
While kids might prefer playing than doing household chores, you can already start teaching your toddler some basic chores such as picking up and putting away their toys or placing dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. You can also make it fun by turning it into a game. Your toddler can start learning how to be more responsible at an early age. And you can benefit from it when he or she gets a little older and starts doing more household chores.
10. Go for a walk or explore places with your toddler
If you and your spouse take walks regularly, you might also want to let your toddler join you. You can just walk around your neighborhood or go to a nearby park. There are perfect places that you can explore with your toddler. You can enjoy the fresh air in the park at night, or have some fun in the playground.
Walking is also a very good form of exercise and it has a lot of health benefits. It can help in strengthening your toddler’s muscles, too.
Get ready for your family night!
You can use these ideas to have a great family night with your toddler. You can even invent your own activities. Your little one will surely enjoy them and the activities can also be great learning experiences. You may be very busy with your job or other things, but your toddler will be happy to spend some quality time with you. You can have great bonding moments Remember that your kids will only be kids once so you and your toddler should enjoy this time together.