We do come across many ‘must to do things with a toddler very often and those are indeed highly helpful.
What I want to focus upon here are some old school thoughts which I feel, do have a positive impact not only on your toddler but also on you as parents. The choice is yours but please take into consideration these 5 toddler activities you can enjoy with them.
Try them out and see the difference for yourself.
5 Meaningful Activities to Enjoy with Your Toddler
1. Go to all spiritual places of worship with your toddler on a regular basis.
I may not believe in idol worship but have always looked up to one supreme power which gives unseen things such as faith, hope, and consciousness etc., some meaning. And in today’s world, most of us are driven by logic.
So our children ready to take on the succeeding generation will surely believe lesser of these things and seek reasoning in every act.
I make sure I visit temples, gurudwaras , mosque and church on a weekly basis. I have myself felt a sense of serenity whenever I visit these places. I find myself at peace with inner self and sometimes just find answers to the never ending questions in my mind.
Earlier my little one just enjoyed these visits as he got enough space to run around, then he developed a liking for Prasad (sweets) which he would get after prayer. And gradually, now, I see him noticing the different styles of worship of different religions. I want him to grow and build an understanding by rationale that there is great amount of commonness in each of these religions which we must respect.
2. P.A.W.S: Plant it, adopt it, water it and see it grow.
While we were enjoying the resplendent view of the golf course, I saw a lady planting 30 saplings there. On inquiring. I discovered what a thoughtful gesture that was. She was turning 30 that day and this is how she wanted to give it back to the nature that helped shaped her.
I call this fun activity, “paws”.
From that day on, any occasion, we make sure we plant a tree with my toddler, name it and water it on a regular basis. Sometimes, we do go put some manure into it. It does bring about a sense of gratification in you and your toddler will simply enjoy playing in the mud and with water. But soon he will grow up to understand its importance.
These days, establishing a bond with nature and wildlife is something practiced only during vacation and trips. We wait for things to go hectic in our lives and then only we begin to seek shelter in nature’s arms.
Why not make it a more frequent activity?
And most of all, it gives you immense pleasure in going back and seeing those little saplings grow up to be lush green plants , some flowering and some fruiting.
3. A visit to the orphanage with your toddler
As a kid, my parents used to often celebrate my birthdays at an orphanage near our home. I began to understand the meaning of benevolence and felt extremely fortunate to have my parents as those little angels at the orphanage did not.
As I grew, I started contemplating that why should I wait for birthdays and more so, celebrating my birthday with those children who don’t even know their exact birth dates. I no longer wait for an occasion, I just love going to orphanage and spending some quality time with the children there.
Do not do it as an act of atonement or to show compassion, just take your child like you would take him to a play date.
I now take my toddler to the orphanage on and off and, well, all I would say is happiness shared is happiness doubled.
4. Why just the children? Even oldies need a hug!!
This one is for sure, a triple win situation.
I used to wonder sometimes that why children love their grandparents so much and vice versa. The attachment children have with the grandparents is not only special but also exceptionally meaningful. In fact, at times the relationship is much stronger than that of a parent and child.
I, with my toddler just happened to accompany my friend to an old age home. All the residents of the old age home were so very happy to see him, they kept calling him. My little one loved all the attention he got with so many grandparents around.
There was so much positive energy all around. I don’t remember being happier than that in a long time. This old school thought was definitely a win-win-win situation.
5. Just walk the talk.
When I say this, what I don’t mean is, talking to your toddlers to teach them or instruct them which is, all we do as soon as we become parents.
What I do mean is, just walk with them or take them on a stroller and tell them how your day was or simply how you first met your life partner. They might not understand at this stage but you will notice with time they will start responding, sometimes, actually most times, it will be hilarious.
I’ll share one. I had a tiring day with my toddler who refused to nap that day and while taking him for a stroll, I just spoke gently “It was quite a tiring day with you not sleeping, I was on the verge on going mad”. “Doctor paas jao, theek ho jaayega” (go to a doctor and you will be fine) – spat came the reply. And I was in splits. A little bit of exhaustion flew away with that laughter.
When it becomes a habit, it will help you bond and communicate well with your children as they grow up. And if this works out, most problems of adolescence, in future will be dealt with. But that is about thinking ahead into the future. All I suggest is just enjoy the talk with your little one.
It sometimes is a healthy stress buster.
Also when you are too time bound, all you have to do is, instead of taking the car to the nearby grocery store; just walk a little with your toddler while engaging yourself and him in a fun conversation. This will give you a hearty exercise physically and mentally as well.
Some of these activities might appear old school but as they say, old is gold and the older, the more valuable it becomes. Also, they are most reasonable ones. Both cost wise and literally.
All it requires is some time and a bit of energy. The energy part is taken care of because that is one thing which naturally increases manifold, the day we become parents. All of you have to do is find some quality time which again is easy to take out when it’s for your toddler, your little bundle of joy who means the world to you.