This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
My baby girl just turned two! She has been super active basically since birth. Even as an infant she hated being contained in a wrap. She always wanted to be moving and got frustrated easily if she was left in one place for even a few minutes. Now as a toddler, she doesn't sit still unless she's reading a book or watching a tv show (and yes I do let her watch an occasional show for my sanity.) Having a high energy child can be fun but it also comes with some unique challenges. How do you keep them entertained? How do you get all of their energy out without being utterly exhausted all the time yourself?
By trial and error I've had to figure out what types of toys entertain her the most and what activities tire her out. We're not a family that's big on toys so the ones I do buy I want to be educational or helping her develop a skill of some sort. I found that she loves putting things together like legos. So I try to find toys or activites that involve builing, putting things together etc.
Every child is different, it's important to be a student of your child and learn what they like and dislike. Here are a few things that not only my, but many parents of active toddlers recommend to keep the entertained for longer than 5 minutes.
1. Mega Bloks
Ellie literally plays with these blocks every day. She is always so proud of what she builds and always comes running to show me. This is also an activity that we like to do together. I'll be honest, sometimes I get bored out of my mind with some toys but with these mega bloks I can actually make something myself while playing with Ellie. They are also a toy that will entertain them for a few years and not just a few months.
2. Gazillion bubble maker
Ellie is OBSESSED with bubbles. She also dumps out all of the bubble liquid whenever I get any which annoys me to no end. This is the perfect solution. She can't dump out the liquid because I place it where she can't reach it. There is also a constant stream of bubbles without me constantly having to make them. TIP: Buy extra bubble liquid, it goes fast.
3. Wooden Kitchen
This kitchen is her big 2nd birthday gift. Our house was built in the 1890's and I love interior design so I always try to avoid big plastic toys that have no aesthetic appeal. I love this wooden kitchen because it's adorable, reasonably priced, and has a lot of features. NOTE: This took about an hour and a half for my husband to put together. There were a TON of pieces but worth it in my opinion.
4. Water Table
This water table is a best seller on amazon AND it's on sale right now!! This is the perfect item for your toddler during hot summers. It keeps them cool and entertained for long periods of time. It also can be used for more than just water. You can put other things in it to create a sensory bin. This is helpful on rainy days when you can't play outside.
5. Activity Bin
An activity bin is a highly entertaining activity for toddlers and can also be inexpensive. I just get a plastic bin from Target and fill it up with rice, beans, and noodles. Then I put different kinds of buckets or water toys. That way she can scoop things out. This is another great rainy day activity! NOTE: These bins can get messy so I usually put an old sheet under it so when she's finished playing I just dump the extra stuff back into the bin, put the lid up top, and store it for another day.
6. Toddler Car
A car like this is a lifesaver. Ellie rides it inside and outside which helps her get a lot of her energy out. Sometimes we walk around the neighborhood while she rides her little car.
7. Melissa and Doug Puzzle
Anything by Melissa and Doug is wonderful. We especially love their puzzles. Puzzles help with motor skills and like I said earlier, Ellie loves figuring out things so puzzles are perfect her. The ones that have sounded to go with it are always a plus.
8. Splash Pad
We live in a small town an hour outside of Atlanta but we miraculously still have an awesome splash pad! If your toddler doesn't like water than this probably isn't for you. But if they do love water it's a win win. Ellie gets a lot of energy out and she always takes a good nap whenever we go. She also stays cool in the hot summer and it's something different than the usual playground.
I learned fast that if I didn't let Ellie learn how to play by herself for part of the day, I would go crazy. I get burnt out fast if I'm constantly trying to entertain my high energy girl. She always wants to be around me and always wants to be moving. I'm the opposite. I like to be alone and doing quiet activities. So, while I do have some toys and activities to help entertain her, she has also learned to go outside and play with rocks and sticks by herself.
10. Summer Camps and Babysitters
If you're anything like me at some point, you just need a break. I've already signed Ellie up for a twice a week summer preschool. She LOVED Mothers Morning Out this past year and I'm excited that she gets to continue hanging out with her friends. If you don't have anything like this where you live maybe higher a babysitter once a week. College and high school students are always looking for summer jobs so this is a great way for them to make a little money and for you to get a break!
Do you have any activities that are helpful with active toddlers?