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Monday, October 21, 2013

Keeping toddlers entertained, without using iPhones!

A couple of weeks ago, we finally found a pocket of time to bring Aiden to a nearby park (in between a photoshoot for the new arrivals at PriviKids and shopping for furniture for the baby room) to test out the top speed on his scooter.  Unfortunately, with just a road separating us and an afternoon of fun, what greeted us was a thunderstorm that came so suddenly!

We ended up getting stuck at the void deck of a HDB block, with no where to go and limited dry floor space to scoot around.  Luckily, Mummy Cher had the foresight of bringing along bottle bubbles and we ended up having so much fun at the gloomiest of places.  As you can see, Aiden didn't cared that he looked absolutely ridiculous (and perhaps overly cautious) playing with bubbles while wearing a helmet.

And that got me thinking.  In times where many parents readily hand over the iPhone/iPad to keep their toddlers entertained, is there a better and equally convenient way to do so without the use of any electronic device?  I ended up with 5 essential things that can be packed into baby bags for every outing!

1. Bottle bubbles

Kids just love chasing bubbles and trying to burst them.  If there's enough space, you can do the blowing while moving around and your toddlers will get a good workout chasing the bubbles without even realising!  Just make sure that the bottles are sealed/closed properly when not in use.  You don't want the soapy water to leak out!

2. Stickers

Light weight, easy to keep and cheap to buy, stash a few pieces of stickers into your bag and surprise your toddler when they get restless.  They will have lots of fun practising their fine motor skills (i.e. peeling and pasting) and you can also get them to talk through their choices (of which ones to remove and where to paste them).

3. Crayons and paper

Let's face it.  Digital photos rarely get viewed again after being taken, and digital paintings done on iPads seldom gets printed out.  Artwork done by your toddler with crayons and paper is more likely to be remembered and treasured, even though it would not look as polished than one created with an iPad app.  You will see and feel every stroke made with the crayon very clearly and it makes a fantastic item to paste in your work cubicle to remind yourself of your precious little one!

4. Favourite storybook

Toddlers just love repeating stuff (it helps them to absorb), and when it comes to their favourite storybook, they just can't get enough of it!  Seriously, we have lost count of the number of times Aiden has asked us to repeat the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  And he enjoys the story every single time!  We reckon it's a better way to bond with your child by reading a story to them, compared to having them listen to a pre-recorded audio book.

5. Plenty of imagination

Last but not least, this is something that you can pack in unlimited amounts.  Just use your imagination to think up mini-games to occupy your toddler!  Turn the void deck into a racing strip, or a shootout with hands as imaginary guns.  Take turns to improvise on lyrics to their favourite songs (we love Aiden's rendition of the Bob the Builder song - Daddy daddy, can you fix it! Aiden aiden, yes I can!).  Anything is possible!

So, try to leave your electronic devices in your pockets and bags the next time you need to entertain your toddler!  Have fun!


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