12 Cute Things to Do with Toddlers for Some Quality Family Time

Recognizing the importance of family time can help you to live a more fulfilling life and develop stronger bonds with your children. However, finding new ways to amuse toddlers without spending a huge amount of money can feel challenging. Instead of wasting time developing plans, add some of these activities into your schedule.

father with beard holding cute baby girl toddler in hands

1. Walk in Nature

One of the things to do with toddlers is to venture out on a nature walk. This is also an activity that helps them to learn. Consider bringing along a children’s book that shows different plants and animals so that you can point them out when you see them. On this walk, you may want to collect different leaves or rocks so that you can assemble a crafty project when you return home. This science collection can stay with your family as a precious memory.

 2. Play Music

You probably have some toys for your toddlers that play music. However, this time, consider using real instruments if you have a talent for one. For example, perhaps you play the piano. Kids can start to take formal lessons at a young age. Therefore, if your children have expressed an interest in music, start showing them how to play.

3. Put on a Show

Whether you make figures out of fabric and ice cream sticks or you have some puppets in the toy chest, putting on a show can help your toddlers to express their creativity. You may want to help them figure out the plot. However, if you have more than one kid, see what they come up with and act as the clapping audience yourself.

4. Build a Family Tree

While your children are likely too young to explore the intricate details of a complex family tree, you can turn learning about relatives into a fun activity. Draw a big tree for them on a large poster. Then, you can put the different family members’ names and how they are related to your toddlers. Let your kids draw pictures next to the names that remind them of each person. As your kids grow, you could add to this tree and tell them more about their history. Add a mystery or exciting tone to make the stories sound compelling.

5. Bake

toddler on the kitchen floor playing with pot lid taken from open cupboard

The thought of baking with your toddlers might seem like a huge mess. Nonetheless, sometimes that’s what things to do with toddlers are. As long as the mess doesn’t get out of control, letting your house be less-than-tidy for awhile can prove fun. When you’re baking, you can start to even introduce some basic math skills. Also, you can show them how to clean up after themselves. The aftermath will be delightful family moments with sweet flavors and fragrances and laughs.

6. Donate

As your babies turn into toddlers, giving away some of their clothes and toys might seem sad. However, you can turn this experience into one that shows your little ones the power of giving. Sit down with them and explain that not everyone has the toys and clothes that they have.

Sometimes, things to do with toddlers can help other people. If you feel as though your kids are too young to understand the permanency of donating a toy, consider starting with clothes that they don’t fit into anymore.

7. Paint the Walls

You might be laughing at the thought of allowing your toddler to paint the walls. However, you’ve probably used or seen this approach to select a new color for the house. If you are planning to paint a bare wall, bring in some samples and let your little ones put the color on the walls. Of course, you’ll want to pursue this activity with a reminder that they can only paint on the walls if given permission to do so.

 8. Swim

When it comes to things to do with toddlers, you want to keep safety as one of the core responsibilities. Providing them with safety skills that they can use in the future is one of the ways to do so. If you have a pool, you may want to hire a private instructor to show both of you how to be safer in the water. Plenty of communities also offer swim lessons.

9. Take a Trip

If you have a little bit more money in the budget, consider going on a vacation. The trip does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Instead, you can pursue one of the many kid-oriented locations in the country. Since your kids are toddlers, you have a bonus. You don’t have to worry about waiting for a school break to go on vacation. Therefore, you can choose to travel at a time when costs and crowds are reduced.

10. Host a Theme Party

Chances are that your little one has a favorite television show or character from a book. Whether their birthdays or a holiday is coming up, consider throwing a little party based on that theme. You may want to invite friends from daycare or from the neighborhood.

11. Visit the Amusement Park or Carnival

At some point, your kids will be big enough to go on rides by themselves. At another point, they will want to go to the amusement park or carnival with their friends while you stay at home. Therefore, now is the time to hop on some of the rides with your kids as a family. Take pictures of them while they enjoy themselves on rides made for toddlers to experience the fun moments on their own or with mommy or daddy.

12. Make a Photo Album

young couple of parents looking at family photo album with a picture of happy baby girl

You’ll want to remember and cherish all of these memories that you’re making now. A photo album is one way to do so. Many photos are placed and shared online these days. Instead of taking that approach, make an old-fashioned one.

If you want to order a book online, sit down with the kids so that they can help you to pick out the pictures to include. In the future, you can remember all of the things to do with toddlers that you covered together.

 Final Word

Your kids are only toddlers for a short period of time. Anytime you have some spare moments, share them with your little one and don’t waste these precious gifts. Instead, explore some new activities and these things to do with toddlers that can help you to bond with your little ones.

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7 Things to Do When You Don’t Know How to Keep Toddler in Bed

It can be a huge challenge to get enough sleep when you don’t know how to keep toddler in bed in her or his room. The constant battle of taking them back to bed can be overwhelming. Such situations could often lead to you giving in and letting them sleep with you. Once your kids crawl into your bed, you can kiss the idea of getting any sleep goodbye. You will worry about rolling over on them and getting little feet in your face. The six inches on the edge of the bed will be your “half” for the night. In the meantime, your toddler will gladly take up the rest of the bed.

It is important that kids sleep in their own beds. The reasons are their safety and your sanity. But how are you supposed to get any sleep if your toddler doesn’t stay in bed? Be prepared that it will require some dedication and consistency, but it can be done. After the first few days you spend breaking the habit, your toddler should be sleeping in their own bed. Everyone will get more sleep in the long run, and be more awake and energetic during the day.

bed with toddler and toys in the air

Transitioning from giving in and letting your toddler sleep with you to getting them to go to sleep in their own bed is hard for everyone involved. Your toddler may meet you with resistance, and you may want nothing more than to give in. In the moment, you may feel like crying and that the back and forth will last forever. Don’t give in right away, as the hard part will end sooner than you think.

It can take up to two weeks to form a habit, and even longer to break one. So, think about creating a new habit, rather than breaking the original habit to learn how to keep toddler in bed. During this time, try to remain as consistent as possible and avoid any other major events in your toddler’s life. You will have more success if your toddler isn’t also focused on something else, like potty training or moving into a new home.

Figuring out what to do when you want to find out how to keep toddler in bed can take some trial and error. Check out these seven tactics to help establish a routine and create the habit of staying in bed so that everyone can get more sleep.

1. Open the Door

One of the reasons it’s hard to know how to keep toddler in bed could be that they are scared yet they don’t want to tell you. There could be any number of things that they are afraid of, whether it be the noise from outside or just afraid of the dark.

Keeping their bedroom door open is a great way to remind them that they are not alone and you are just in the next room. This reminder could help your toddler feel more comfortable and more likely to stay in bed after you tuck them in.

2. Skip the Nap

As your toddler gets older, the need for the midday nap disappears. If your toddler doesn’t stay in bed at night, it could be that they are not as tired as they should be.

Try getting rid of the midday nap to see how to keep toddler in bed. This way, your toddler will be ready to go to sleep when it is time for bed. Be prepared that you may have to put them to bed earlier if you get rid of the nap. An overtired toddler may be just as hard to put to sleep as a too-well rested one.

3. Establish a Reward System

collection of baking stickers with roller pin, cookies, jar, made with love message, spoon, bowl

Despite what some people say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with rewarding your toddler for good behavior. If your toddler doesn’t want to stay in his or her own bed, try focusing on the positive and establishing a reward system.

Every time your toddler goes a night without getting out of bed, reward them with a few stickers for their sticker book. You can use whatever reward system works best for you and your toddler, whether it be stickers, candy, or trips to grandma’s on the weekend.

4. Leave a Night Light on

Many toddlers consistently get out of bed because they are afraid of the dark. Try leaving a night light on. This way, they can see around their room and know that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Letting your toddler keep a flashlight by their bed could give them a sense of control over their fears. This can help solve the problem if your toddler doesn’t stay in bed.

5. Establish a Consistent Routine

Establishing a habit can take up to two weeks. You will have to put in a lot of hard work, yet consistent bedtime routine can really help if your toddler doesn’t stay in bed. Help your toddler stick to the routine. Give them a bath, help them brush their teeth, tuck them in bed, and read a story together.

A relaxing routine will help them get ready to fall asleep. After a few days, they should be able to fall asleep on their own without getting out of bed.

6. Make Sure They Are Comfortable

happy baby boy standing in bed in pajamas

Another reason why your toddler doesn’t stay in bed could be that they are uncomfortable. Give them a small snack and a sip of water if they are hungry or thirsty. Make sure that they aren’t too cold or too hot and that they don’t have to go to the bathroom. If there is anything keeping them awake, they will have a harder time staying in bed.

7. Stay Calm and Don’t Lose Your Temper

The first few nights you try to establish a good routine, your toddler may continue getting out of bed. Stay positive and just calmly take them back to their room.

You may end up taking them back to bed a hundred times the first night. However, through positive reinforcement, that number will drastically decrease by the second and third night.

Final Thoughts

When your toddler doesn’t stay in bed, everybody’s sleep suffers. Try to reinforce a good bedtime routine by establishing consistency, staying calm, skipping the nap, and making sure they are comfortable. Putting a reward system in place can encourage your toddler to give their best effort in establishing this routine.

If you have any other suggestions for things to do when your toddler doesn’t stay in bed, please feel free to share them in the comments. Other readers might find wisdom in your life lessons on how to keep toddler in bed.

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8 Fun Winter Activities for Kids

With the holiday break right around the corner, you are probably wondering what to do with your kids. You’re tossing around ideas of winter activities for kids to keep your little ones entertained and away from the TV. Since the kids will be out of school for a few weeks, they will likely be looking forward to doing nothing over their break. It will be up to you as parents to provide a more convincing opportunity for fun winter activities for kids.

happy young family staying in snow

Getting the kids up off the couch can be challenging. On the other hand, the winter weather opens up a whole slew of options. Snow flurries offer opportunities for several outdoor activities, like sledding, snowball fights, and building snowmen.

The chilly air may drive some kids inside. However, you can bond with them over baking cookies or reading. Wrap up your busy winter days cuddled on the couch with your family and watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Engage with your family to make the most out of these fun winter activities for kids. The holidays are when memories are made. Out of town family members show up, delicious food is prepared, and everyone is in the holiday spirit. You and your kids will remember taking part in these activities for the rest of your lives.

There are winter activities for kids of all kinds. Outdoor games, contests, and free plays are great ways to get the blood flowing and enjoy the cold and snow. Then, drag your kids and Grandma to the kitchen and tackle that cookie recipe that is to die for. You’ll probably find the quiet ones curled up by the fire reading a good book and enjoying the holiday season.

Everybody finds different activities enjoyable. Luckily, the winter season provides endless opportunities for fun activities for everyone. Take advantage of this time with your kids and family to have fun and make great memories. Check out these eight ideas for fun winter activities for kids to make the most of their winter break.

8 Fun Winter Activities for Kids

1. Sledding

young dad carrying kid on sled in snow during winter

If there is snow on the ground and you have access to a hill, your kids will have a blast. Even a little hill will do the trick if you have something that can act as a sled. If you don’t have access to an actual sled, let your kids get creative. It will make that trek up the hill that much more worth it.

 2. Make Snow Angels/ Snowmen

Building snowmen and making snow angels are classic winter activities for kids. Let them get creative with their designs and encourage them to give their works a backstory. You can hold a contest for Best Snowman or Snow Angel to drum up some friendly competition. Join your kids in the contest by either helping them or building your own. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of your kids playing in the snow!

3. Ice Skating

Living in a place where it gets cold enough that the lakes and ponds freeze over has its advantages. If your kids own ice skates, they can just go down to the water to go skating. However, even if you don’t live in a place where it gets cold enough, you can still take the kids to the seasonal ice skating rink. City representatives are usually making sure each district has access to this source of entertainment each winter.

4. Snowball Fight

fuzzy snowball on layer of white snow

Again, if it snows in your area, send your kids outside in the snow for a classic snowball fight. They will have loads of fun because they can be as disorganized as they wish. After all, who doesn’t love a snowball fight?

You are never too old to participate. So get out there with the kids and have fun until everyone gets so cold, you just have to come back inside for a hot cup of something delicious.

5. Bake Cookies

Once everyone comes in from playing outside, gather up a team and bake some cookies. It is a great bonding activity that is fun for everyone involved. Turning on the oven will warm up the kitchen, and the delicious scent of the cookies will bring everyone inside. When the cookies are done baking, you and the kids will be rewarded with freshly baked goodness.

6. Read a Book

four kids in pajamas reading the grinch in a room with christmas decorations

Fun winter activities for kids who are a little more shy or reserved could include curling up by the fire. A favorite book to read, accompanied by some hot chocolate, make for a great winter’s evening.

If your kids haven’t yet learned to read, pick a book to read to them and curl up together. Evenings like this could become some of your kids’ favorite memories.

7. Make a Christmas Ornament

hand written christmas decorations hanging in the christmas tree

For toddlers and the artsy kids, making Christmas ornaments or decorations could be a lot of fun. They will get to express their creativity and feel proud that they were able to help decorate.

A little bit of cleanup of paint and glitter will be well worth the fun your kids will have. Turn this creativity exercise into an annual tradition. You will have holiday decorations that you will cherish for decades to come.

8. Build a Fire and Study the Night Sky

After the sun goes down and the stars come out, head outside with your kids and a telescope. Make sure to bundle up and build a fire in the fire pit to keep warm. Then, point that telescope to the stars and study the winter night sky. Your kids will love looking at the stars. Try to find as many constellations as you can.



Final Thoughts

There are hundreds of fun winter activities for kids that you can do with your family. From ice skating, building snowmen, and having snowball fights to baking cookies and curling up by the fire, there is something for everyone.

Spending quality time with your family during the holiday season is the best way to make memories that will last a lifetime. Get your kids away from the TV, and take part in one of these fun activities. Let us know in the comments one of your family’s favorite winter activities for kids, and maybe try out a new one this year.

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How to Teach Baby Sign Language before Speaking – 8 Signs to Adopt

As new parents, you will probably spend a significant amount of time awake late at night. Your baby may want something. However, he or she is unable to tell you what. Therefore, you both get frustrated. Unhappy babies and tired parents just lead to more tears and sleepless nights. Now, you can continue this cycle until your baby learns to talk and communicate their needs. The alternative is to start teaching them baby sign language.

Baby sign language uses very basic signs that you can begin teaching your baby as early as six months old. By seven to nine months old, babies will start signing back.They way, they can communicate their needs with their parents.

mother hugging baby and watching it in the park

Learning and teaching these signs can really take the guesswork out of determining what your baby needs. As a result, your communication with baby will be much more clear, you will both get more sleep, and be less frustrated.

Babies develop a real interest in communicating around eight or nine months. This is when it is a great time to introduce baby sign language to them. Their fine motor skills are still developing, and they may not be able to execute the signs right away. However, over time, their motor skills and signing will improve. At this point, you’ll be able to communicate before they begin speaking.

Teaching your baby sign language is not as hard as you may fear. Consistency and repetition will have the biggest impact on your baby learning to communicate through sign language. Once your baby has learned a few basic signs, understanding them will be much easier.

Some studies show that learning baby sign language also leads to speaking earlier and having a larger vocabulary. You should always speak what you are signing with your baby to help them learn how to talk as well.

Even if your baby’s signs are not completely accurate, you do not need to correct them every time. Model it for them correctly. They will learn to do it correctly before you know it. Check out these eight basic signs you can teach your baby to start clearing up all of that miscommunication.

Eight Baby Sign Language Signs to Adopt

1. More

baby hands grabbing parent's fingers

As babies grow, they will want to increase the amount they eat. However, they don’t necessarily know how to convey that message. Teaching them how to say “more” in baby sign language gives them the ability to tell you that they are still hungry without the tears.

To teach: Tap your fingertips together twice in front of your chest. Say “More” while you execute the sign.

2. Done

Another important word for your baby to learn to sign is “done.” You can use this to show your baby that something is all gone. Likewise, baby can show you that they are full or don’t want to play with something anymore. This can help prevent your baby from getting overwhelmed and ending up in tears.

To teach: Start with your fingers spread and palms facing your chest. Then, twist them outwards to show that nothing is in your hands. Say “Done” while you execute this sign.

3. Book

mother holding baby boy in her lap and reading him a colorful book

Encourage your baby’s love for reading at an early age by teaching them the sign for book. Together, reading and baby sign language can set your baby up for success for the rest of their lives. Read to your baby every day and encourage them to ask for it as often as they please.

To teach: Start with your hands together, palms touching, and open your hands as if opening a book. Say the word “Book” while you execute the sign.

4. Eat

Every time you engage in an activity, make sure to use the sign at the same time. Consistency is key to learning these signs. Therefore, encourage your baby to use the sign to tell you that they are hungry. Then you can repeat that they want to “eat” and use the sign every time you say it.

To teach: Bring your fingertips to your lips, as if you were going to put food in your mouth. Say the word “Eat” while you execute the sign.

5. Help

Learning to ask for help is a huge part of growing up. Why not get a jump-start a little early? This sign will let your baby tell you when they need your assistance or when they want to be Mommy’s little helper.

To teach: Your right hand should be in a thumbs-up position, resting in the palm of your left hand, and moving in an upward motion. Repeat the word “While” while executing the sign.

6. Share

two babies held in parent's hands sharing a green clover together

Sharing is caring, and learning to share with other babies is never a fun thing to do. However, it will be a smoother learning process if your baby can communicate the idea of sharing. They will be able to let others know if they want to share or not.

To teach: Move your right hand, fingers together, back and forth over the fingers of your left hand. Repeat the word “Share” while you’re doing it.

7. Bath

A baby’s bedtime routine is one of the easiest ways to incorporate baby sign language. It is a special parenting moment that consistently occurs every night.

If a bath is included in the routine, your baby will be able to practice the sign every day. They will be able to let you know when they feel dirty and want to take a bath, or when they are tired and want to start their bedtime routine.

To teach: Move both fists in an inward circular motion, as if you are washing your chest. Say the word “Bath”  clearly while executing the sign.

8. Thank You

thank you hand written note

Manners are an important thing to learn and express as you go through life. There is no reason why a baby can’t learn to say “thank you” at the beginning of her life. Show them that they should say or sign, “thank you” every time someone gives them something.

To teach: Touch your lips with your fingertips, and then move your hand out like you are blowing a kiss. Say “Thank you!” while you are making the gesture.

Final Thoughts

Baby sign language is a great way to communicate with your baby before they can talk. At six months old, they can learn how to say they want more, they need help, and thank you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could understand what your baby wants without having to play the guessing game? Tell us about your experiences using baby sign language in the comments below.

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