You’ve heard about the honeymoon phase of marriage. Did you know there’s also one for parenthood?
When you bring home your newborn, the first few months to a year are a blur of sweet-smelling baby hair, snuggles, and soft cotton onesies. The bliss makes even those early morning feedings and mid-afternoon blowouts 100% worth it.
Then, your crawling infant becomes a tottering toddler and everything he or she does isn’t quite so cute anymore. There are temper tantrums and potty training to deal with, on top of the fact that your bundle of joy can now ransack any cabinet in your house with ease.
You’ve entered the twos. But, they don’t have to be terrible.
A prepared parent is armed with plenty of fun resources to make this stage as sweet as the one before it.
Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite things to do with a two-year-old that can spark creativity and make even the longest days zoom by.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Visit the Zoo, Aquarium or Museum
Stressed out parents know that sometimes, you need to get out of the house. Even if you love your home, it’s hard to find peace with toys strewn all about, half-empty juice boxes on the counter and piles of laundry everywhere.
This is where a membership to the local zoo, aquarium or children’s museum is pure gold.
Instead of asking for toys that your child will outgrow in a few months, request that friends or family members consider gifting a membership instead.
Often, an annual pass to one of these will get you a reduced rate at the other. This means you may pay full-price for a family membership to the zoo, but get in for half-price at the nearby children’s museums.
Check out this list of the best museums in each state to get started!
Pack a stroller, plenty of snacks and sunblock. Then, head out and plan to spend the whole day there. You’ll make memories and restore your sanity along the way. You may even learn a few facts that surprise you!
2. Schedule a Playdate
Sometimes, we just need to sit and talk with other parents while our kids play nearby.
Reach out to someone in your community that has a child around the same age as yours! This might be a friend of theirs from preschool, your neighborhood, or your place of worship.
Then, invite them over or meet at the local playground for some adult catch-up time. Studies show that two-year-olds are entering into a time of social and emotional growth. Time with peers can be a great way to learn valuable lessons such as sharing, empathy and manners.
3. Check Out the Library
Search for your county-wide library system online. Chances are, there are more than a few branches, and each should have its own website.
See if any offer toddler storytime. Often, these are held a few times a week in the mid-morning timeframe. Especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent, this can be a great addition to your weekly routine.
Here, they’ll listen to stories, interact with others, create crafts, sing songs and more. When you’re done, visit the children’s section of the library and check out a few books! This is a great way to instill a lifetime love of reading in your child, which can do wonders for his vocabulary, memory, concentration and analytical thinking skills.
4. Learn at the Grocery Store
You want to find new inspiration for 2-year-old games. You want to keep him entertained and enlightened. Yet, you also need to run some errands.
We’ve all been there. The good news? There’s one spot that pulls double duty: the grocery store.
While you stock up on menu items for the week, let your little one help! He can toss apples in the produce bag, help you measure and weigh ingredients and point to some of his favorite goodies. You can even help him learn his letters by reading labels.
Let him ride in the cart and feel like a little king while you cross this one off your to-do list.
5. Play on His Level
While outside excursions are fun, there will be days when you’re at home with your little one. To this end, there are plenty of indoor activities for 2-year-olds that can keep adults entertained, too.
One of the simplest is to get down on your child’s level and roll a ball back and forth or push toy cars around. Yes, it’s simple, but this small activity is improving her fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.
You can also break out the wooden building blocks and create a tower, teaching your child how to create and construct.
In fact, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in wooden toys as a whole. They’re safer for your child (especially if you have a chewer), more durable and, let’s face it, look better scattered around a nursery than a sea of brightly-colored plastic.
As you stock up on these toys, read more about the benefits they provide and why they’re destined to always be classics.
Try These Things to Do with a Two-Year-Old
Parenting a toddler is no easy task. There will be days when bath time can’t come soon enough.
Yet, this can also be one of the sweetest, most memorable times in both of your lives if you allow it. Planning ahead and setting a schedule early in the week is the best way to ensure your days aren’t filled with empty hours and restless energy.
There are plenty of things to do with a two-year-old that can enrich even the toughest days.
Want more information on how to live, work and play better? We’ve got you covered. Our blog is full of tips and hacks for making every day exciting.
As crazy as this season of life is, the reality is that babies grow up and before you can blink, you’ll be an empty nester. Get a leg up now and use our guide to start planning for retirement!
Then, take a deep breath. You’ve got this!