Spring Play – Toddler
Spring-time – when the whole wide, blooming, cheeping, croaking, wriggling world is coming back to life and the sun is shining more – brings out the outdoor adventurer, discoverer and scientist in every toddler!
Give them time and space – they need it to learn and grow.
Did you know?
Spending more time outside results in healthier and more physically active children.
While out in the spring world, you can help your toddler extend their language by using concept words such as “in”, “over”, “on” etc.
Compare and contrast natural items you find in the backyard or on spring walks. Provide the words that go with those comparisons e.g. smooth or rough sticks and stones, soft petals and leaves, spiky shrubs etc. Adding description words to naming words helps build your toddler’s sentence length. Using words to compare and contrast helps build their language for maths.
Make comments and ask occasional questions to keep the conversations going while you explore the great outdoors together. The more conversational turns a child has the stronger their language develops.
Spring is the perfect time for science activities which fascinate toddlers. Science is about exploring, experimenting, observing, learning about nature and the world around us. It is about learning about the human body, animals and how they interact.
You can use clear jars or bug catchers with your toddler to examine small creatures, talk about them and then set them free. Look for tadpoles together in ponds or creeks.
Toddlers will love to get outside in spring with enough time and space to play, explore, test ideas, jump in puddles, run around trees, and play in the sand or mud. Toddlers attention and learning increases as a result of spending more time in nature.
Being outside in spring helps toddlers learn about nature, their bodies and their local environment. It helps build and strengthen their sense of identity and place.
Toddlers can learn to show care and respect for the environment. This all helps develop their social and emotional skills.
Your toddler will be becoming more involved in imaginative play. Spring is a great time for them to enjoy making “small worlds” arranging natural items they have found in a tray or stuck into playdough. This activity builds both their fine motor skills and their creativity.
In the south west, spring is the best time to go whale watching! Why not head to the beach or local coastal nature trail and see if you can spot any whales passing by? Some lookouts will have viewfinders available, but it’s a good idea to take your own (or borrow) binoculars if you can.
Use sun protection when playing outside. The warmer weather also means snakes are becoming more active – be wary and respectful of nature’s creatures.
Across the ages
Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.