Ways to Engage Your Toddler

How much time did you spend playing with your toddler today? Childhood development experts recommend that parents spend at least a couple of hours a day engaging their toddler in meaningful activities.

If you failed to make your one-on-one quota today, then consider incorporating these simple toddler activities into your schedule tomorrow:


Toddler activities don’t have to be expensive or complicated. If you are short on time, then grab some basic blocks and start building structures with your toddler. Another idea is to use the blocks to make patterns. This requires some concentration on your toddler’s part, so plan to play when he’s not tired or cranky. Use the blocks to make simple patterns, such as three in a row or two up, two down to make a square. Then, encourage him to use other blocks to copy your pattern. You could also let him make his own pattern for you to copy. This activity helps encourage your toddler’s problem-solving skills.


This fun activity requires a few dolls and a lot of imagination. Simply pretend your child’s favorite stuffed animal or doll is real. Take hold of the doll and make her walk, go to bed, or dance across the room. You could also include your child’s favorite furry friend in everyday activities, such as eating or getting dressed. Talking about what you’re doing with the doll will help your toddler with her language skills. Act out happy and sad times, too, so she can learn about feelings and emotions.


If your toddler is just learning how to walk help her practice with a pushing and pulling game. Use small but sturdy items, such as a plastic container filled with soft toys, and have your toddler hold the edges for support while you hold the other side to keep it steady. Next, slowly pull the box toward you to encourage her to step forward. Eventually she’ll start to push while you gently pull. This activity will help your toddler build confidence as she learns to walk on her own.

Related Articles:

Simple Ways to Bond with Your Toddler

Summer Fun for Toddlers

Summer Reading for Toddlers

Why Toddlers and Snakes Don’t Mix

Teaching Your Toddler to Lose Gracefully

This entry was posted in Development 18 to 24 months by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.