A day of toddler fun- little bit of everything

Bl window washing

We’ve had some pretty busy days here, so I am way behind in posting.  Here are some quick ideas for toddler activities I tried the other day with Bl (16 mo):

Gross Motor Activity:

Window washing!

  • spray window (we use plain white vinegar for window cleaning- cheap & non-toxic!).   For an older child, you can let them spray = great hand-strengthening exercise!
  • give your child a “cloth” to wash” the window (modeling how to do it might help.  And may actually result in parts of your window getting cleaner!)
Bl window washing
Bl window washing- only the area from about his head to chest height was “washed”, but that area tends to get most dirty, so it probably worked out…

Encourage big arm movements with their window washing- crossing over the midline (an imaginary line between your right & left sides and top& bottom halves of our bodies) helps connect those brain hemispheres.

Fine- Motor Activity:

Water colors with Q-tips!

(Frugal tip: now is a great time to stock up on art supplies during back-to-school sales. Don’t forget office supply stores- we found some Crayola products on super-sale at Office Max & Office Depot last week!)

  • gather materials: watercolors, paper (have a few sheets in reach), Q-tips, container with water, something to wipe up spills
  • model getting the Q-tip wet, getting the paint on, and swiping on the paper
Bl watching paint disperse in water
Bl watching the paint disperse in the rinse water

Bl was pretty intrigued by the paint dispersing through the water.  I kept having to remind him to paint on the paper.  At least until the water got too dirty to see anything!


  • Bl double-fisting: a Q-tip in each hand
    Bl double-fisting: a Q-tip in each hand

    Bl is young enough I didn’t bother trying to teach him to clean the Q-tip between colors- we’ll save that lesson for when he’s older.  I did keep a paper towel on hand to dab off the tops of the water colors periodically, so they weren’t all “brown”. :)

Hand-eye coordination:

Lima bean transfer

We started with Bl transferring handfuls of dried lima beans into a recycled vitamin bottle

Lima Bean Transfer 1

It devolved into a pouring activity.  I am not sure when he managed to sneak the crayons into the bottle…

lima bean transfer 2

Follow their interest, & try to provide activities on the cusp of their abilities: minimize boredom, but try to avoid frustration.

As he wasn’t having much success pouring from the cup into the vitamin bottle, I switched to a larger-mouthed bottle.

lima bean transfer 3It stilled didn’t work well, so he decided to check out the camera!

Bl checking out cameraAnd that was the end of our activity time!

If you are looking for more great activities for “tots” (12-47 months), you may also want to check out all the links for ideas at Tot School

Tot School

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