Now that it’s nearing fall (and soon after that winter), I know I need some fresh activities to do with my daughter while the weather starts getting cooler. Summer was fun, but living in Colorado, our outdoor swim days are long gone, and so are many of our other outdoor activities. I’m feeling cooped up already, and maybe you are too, so let’s get some new ideas for scheduled activities while the leaves are gettin’ ready to fall.
By the way, this past summer had our days filled with so many activities that we had to take some days off just to relax. I’m sure it’ll be the same for the fall and winter. But, for the fall days that you and your toddler feel ready to see the town (or just not be bored at home), here are some outing ideas and indoor activities to consider for the coming season.
Library Story Time
Check your local library for the times they offer toddler Story Time or other children’s activities. It’s good to get into the habit of bringing a toddler to the library, since she sees other children and explores new books at the same time! Plus, it can be a fun outing for you, as well, to find books or DVDs that you’re interested in checking out.
For a fall morning or afternoon of exploration, visit a Children’s Museum. They normally have a section of activities dedicated just to babies and toddlers for your little one to explore. Bring a camera!
If you have a zoo in your town or a town nearby, why not take your toddler once a month or so this fall? Try a day like Tuesday or Wednesday, when it isn’t too crowded, for an enjoyable look at the different animals. Toddlers will love seeing the animals in action and mimicking the noises they make!
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is a great way to get you and your toddler out of the house and with some other people (parents & babies through 5-yrs-old) this fall! Check for the nearest place they’re meeting for more info. Usually MOPS meets once every two weeks. Go to www.MOPS.org for more info.
Recreation centers usually offer a variety of classes, and sometimes they offer classes for toddlers. My local recreation center offers a gymnastics class for toddlers (their parents must stay with them during the class). The class we attended taught my daughter about forward & backward rolls, balancing on a low beam, pulling up with her arms on a bar, and different stretches. A class like this could become one of several welcome scheduled activities for the fall!
This fall why not join a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)? BSF is an organization that helps women, men, and children all over the world to learn how to study the Bible and grow closer to the God of the Bible. BSF meets once a week (usually the women’s morning class allows 2- through 5-year-olds to attend as well) from September to May (at least that’s the schedule in the US). It is a free organization for you and your toddler, but it takes a process to get involved with the study. Go to www.BSFInternational.org for more info or to locate the BSF nearest you.
Find some old socks that no one uses any more and make sock puppets out of them. You can make this activity as creative as you and your toddler would like, whether simply drawing two dots with a black marker to make some eyes or getting glue and yarn for hair or sewing on a button nose. It doesn’t matter, just make the socks come alive to you and your toddler, and playing sock puppets just may become one of your toddler’s favorite activities to do together this fall!
Indoor Photo Shoot
Find a room, during the day, that lets a lot of sunlight in. Set up a background by attaching a large sheet to the wall (use thumb tacs or straight pins at the top and down the sides and let the bottom drape over the floor). Dress your toddler up into her favorite outfit (or funky dress-up clothes…big hat, shirt and shoes) and let her pose for the camera!
Nail Painting (for girls)
If you have any nail polish on hand, a little girl will love getting her fingernails & toenails painted! Clean and shape her nails a bit first, and then let her choose among the nail polish colors you have. Have her sit on her little potty chair (or on the floor) while you paint each of her nails. Tell her not to move so the paint can dry. When you finish a hand, you can both take turns blowing on her wet nails.
There are some great toddler games to be had, and if you don’t want to spend too much money buying them full price, try to find them at thrift stores. Games like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Memory Game, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Don’t Break the Ice, Cootie, Candy Land, and Ants in Pants. If you’re toddler is younger than age 3, she may still be able to participate with your help in these games. Just spend one fall afternoon playing some of these games.
Let’s not forget to let our toddlers get creative with their activities! Find a spot where it’s okay to be messy (in the playroom or maybe the kitchen table covered with a towel) and let your toddler paint with her fingers onto appropriate paper. You will need to supervise her to keep her from getting the paint into her mouth and/or eyes. Make sure to compliment her creation when she’s done!
Invite another toddler over to your home for a few hours (let the guest’s mom spend some time alone or invite her over, too!). The two toddlers may just love playing together in your toddler’s bedroom. Keep an eye on them, of course, and help them to get along. They should have fun watching each other and just being together.
Now that we’ve got some ideas of where to go and what activities to do with our toddlers for this fall, we can start both planning and looking forward to them. Once again, our toddlers will be pleased to know that it’ll be another fun and busy season, full of scheduled outings and activities indoors, while the summer weather turns amazingly into fall.