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5 Activities For One-On-One Time with Your Toddler

Spending one-on-one time with your kids is kind of a buzz-word in parenting these days.  As mamas, it’s easy to feel guilty if you’re not spending specific one-on-one time with your kids, individually, each and every day.

While I, of course, think one-on-one time is super valuable and necessary, I also think that the quality of one-on-one time is more important than the quantity.  Rather than stressing about making sure that you’ve spent 15 minutes of time with your kiddo day in and day out, instead make a conscious effort to spend intentional chunks of time with your little one throughout the week.

They won’t be hurt if a day or two goes by without specific one-on-one time.  And they will benefit greatly from purposeful time you have created for them.

Here are five great activities for spending quality time with your toddler.

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  • Read to Them 1 of 5
    Read to Them
    We've all heard how important reading is for language development and that reading to your tot will help them develop a love for reading later in life.  But besides being good for them, it's also fun to snuggle your little one in your lap and discover new books together.  Grab a big pile of books and spend a good half hour, or longer, just sitting and reading to your little one. 
  • Play Pretend 2 of 5
    Play Pretend
    I didn't realize how soon young children are capable of playing pretend.  But the more you do it with them, the more they will learn how to play pretend, and you will encourage them to use their imagination in playing instead of staring at a screen or expecting a toy to entertain them. My kids love to play things like restaurant - where I am the server and they order their drinks and meals from me, or grocery store - where we set play food, and real food, out in the living room and they get to go shopping.
  • Explore Nature 3 of 5
    Explore Nature
    There are lots of different ways to do this, but just get outside and follow along as your toddler explores the world around him.  Go for nature walks with a bucket or basket for them to collect treasures, go the local park and find things to play with that aren't toys or playground equipment, even visiting the local zoo where kids can encounter many of the animals that they read about in their books. 
  • Arts and Crafts 4 of 5
    Arts and Crafts
    I will be the first to admit that I am not a very crafty person, and this one is hard for me, but kids love to create, so give them the space and materials to age-appropriate crafts.  Arts and crafts at this age usually require a lot of guidance and supervision, but they will also probably hold a toddler's attention for longer than a toy usually does. So, this a great thing to do when you have a good chunk of time to spend with your child.  I'll be sharing some of my favorite kiddie crafts for the un-crafty mama later this week.
  • Go On An Outing 5 of 5
    Go On An Outing
    For kids with other siblings it's often rare to go out of the house just one-on-one with either mom or dad.  Take the opportunity to go on a "date" with your child just you and them.  This can be anything from going out for a meal, or to a coffee shop (for hot chocolate of course), to even running errands, as long as you do it intentionally.  Take the time to talk with your child, listen to them, teach them about where you're going and what you're doing, in a way that you don't have the chance to when your juggling more than one child. 

What are your favorite one-on-one activities to do with your toddler?

More on Toddler Times:

Knock out two activities at once: Incorporate Cleaning into your Toddler’s Routine!

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