Between the ages of 1 and 3, a toddler’s development is of colossal importance to his subsequent evolution. Obviously, as parents, we feel very responsible and sometimes believe that our little ones need expensive materials and toys that we can’t afford.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the times, the activities that develop your child’s abilities are within reach without any investments or with minimal ones, and are mostly composed of a few age-appropriate books and basic materials out of which you can hand craft educational objects at home.

Here is a list of activities you can do with your child, that help him develop harmoniously.

Activities for toddlers. Physical development and loud games
1. Walking (curvy roads, walking on a collapsed tree trunk, on a wooden board, climbing a hill)
2. Running (chasing the child, running an obstacle course)
3. Playing with one or more balls (throwing, catching, pushing)
4. Jumping (over obstacles)
5. Climbing (the couch, through a circle, through a tunnel)
6. Massaging his feet and back (massage mats, cereals, walking on tiptoes etc.)
7. Dancing
8. Hanging on rings and branches, walking on his hands
9. Swimming and water games
10. Peek-a-boo and hide and seek games
11. Morning gymnastics, if possibly with poems
12. Riding a bicycle

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Activities for toddlers. Motor skills
1. Touching, sorting, closing, pushing (buttons, buckles, zippers)
2. Cups and boxes with holes and insertions (for small objects and shapes)
3. Breaking things
4. Beans, spaghetti, cereals (to spill, so sort, to put salt on, to gather, to make an artistic composition, to plant)
5. Images from USB sticks
6. Preparing meals (dough, salads, tea etc.)
7. Shoelaces
8. Sand
9. Shaping things out with pencils, stones, beans
10. Cubes, blocks, Lego
11. Playing with fingers

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Activities for toddlers. Creativity
1. Painting with watercolours or acrylic paint, finger painting
2. Play dough modelling
3. Mixing together cut outs, shapes, torn pieces
4. Drawing with pencils, pens and markers
5. Learning how to cut things with kids’ scissors
6. Making objects out of natural materials (cones, nuts, stones)
7. Contouring shapes with a pen on paper
8. Handcrafting with an adult at his side (textile dolls, doll house, garage for toy cars, papier-mache etc.)

Activities for toddlers. Role-playing games
1. Feeding, dressing, washing, putting to sleep, healing dolls, including paper dolls.
2. Shop, hairdresser
3. Toy cars and other toy means of transportation

Activities for toddlers. Memory logic, colours, shapes, volume
1. Flash cards and toys (what is extra, what is missing, distinctions, what has changed, find the pair, similarities, feeding animals, generalizations etc.)
2. Arraying (beads, dice, flashcards)
3. Dominoes
4. Puzzles, cut-out images, choosing shapes
5. Grouping toys, flash cards, figures (based on shapes, volumes, colours, nuances, jars and jar lids).

Activities for toddlers. Hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling
1. Instruments that make sounds and everyday objects that make noise (playing with them, guessing the sound, grouping them based on the levels of noise)
2. Varied music (classical, folk, kids’ music). The child can draw or do physical exercises while listening to music.
3. Guessing smells and tastes
4. Touching different materials and objects. Guessing the names of the objects touched.
5. Executing instructions

Activities for toddlers. Reading, numbers, language development
1. Different ways of learning numbers, letters, syllables. Reading road signs, home-made books.
2. Counting objects, comparing numbers and amounts.
3. Introducing a word or phrase in a poem.
4. Stories with helping questions or intentional mistakes
5. Inventing a name for an object, for a day
6. Riddles, describing objects (for example, smooth, cold)
7. A large variety of books, cartoons, educational movies, audiobooks.

Activities for toddlers. The world around
1. The family (who is each person, photographs, stories)
2. Animals, baby animals, where they live, what they eat, what sounds they make, how they look (images, presentations, stories, plays)
3. The calendar, weather conditions, seasons, days of the week, holidays
4. Cultivating plants, feeding birds
5. Lights and shadows
6. Telling stories with dolls, theatre.
7. Help with everyday chores: washing dishes, mopping, sweeping floors or vacuuming etc.
8. Objects and their uses (clothes, objects around the house, or from the street).
What is edible and what is not.
9. Contrasts (wet-dry, cold-hot)
10. Transformations (what happens to ice in water, with sugar in water). Dissolving and mixing paint.
11. Planets, the universe, other people, other countries, landscapes (mountains, rivers) (stories, pictures, presentations)
12. Communication, behaviour rules, talking on the phone, politeness
13. Measurements (height, length, weight, volume)