Toddler Activity: Safari Animal Hunt

With rainy days ahead, there’s a ton of fun, indoor activities you can do with your toddler. Since Mila loves zoo animals right now and hide and seek, I’ve combined the two to a Safari Animal Hunt!

You can easily do this activity too! It’s a great way for toddlers to learn about different animals, find hidden objects, and be creative in hiding too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

I made this printable for Mila and she used it as a matching sheet for the animals she found. You’re more than welcome to download and print to use. We used a full sheet of paper, but they can easily be made into half sheets.

I make sure to challenge Mila in saying all of the animals full names. Her favorite to say is hippopotamus and it’s just as cute to hear her say it too.

Next time, I’ll have to make a water animal hunt. It could be a really cool sensory bin!

All you have to do for this activity is have your toddler cover their eyes or go into another room. Then hide all the animals around a single room or your house. We did just one room to make it a little easier for Mila. You can hide at whatever difficulty rating you think would be best for your toddler.

Then, have your toddler put the printable in the middle of the room. Instruct them to find the different animals and match them to the paper.

After they find everything, have them tell you what animal is which.

At this point, they may want to hide their animals for you. Mila had a blast at hiding her animals for me. It was fun watching her try to keep her hiding places a secret.

This is an activity that can last for a while.

It might be good to find out your toddler’s hiding spots. Especially if you’re missing markets, crayons, and scissors! You learn as much about your toddler as they do about safari animals.

If you do this activity, let me know in the comments!

Before you go, check out these other indoor activities you can do with your kids.

Toddler Activity: Waffle Day Letters

If you hadn’t guessed it already, today is Waffle Day. To celebrate, Mila and I of course ate, you guessed it, waffles! She also did a fun activity that we thought you’d love too!

Mila is obsessed with numbers, which is wonderful. She can count to fourteen all by herself. But… letters… they’re not her thing yet. The only ones she likes are m, i, l, a. I’m sure you get why. To help her get excited about them, we got to play with out food again.

For this activity, we got to combine making brunch, learning letters, and eating. Yum!

Here’s all you’ll need:

You might be wondering… why waffles and why letters? The squares in waffles make GREAT place holders. Plus, it’s fun too.

To start this activity, make your preferred waffle recipe and cook one wafffle.

While this is cooking, get a small bowl of blueberries or chocolate chips ready. Then, make sure to have out a whiteboard and marker or a piece of paper and pencil.

Once the waffle is done, let it cool down a little bit and then place it in front of your child. Draw a letter on your white board or paper. Then instruct them to write the letter with the blueberries or chocolate chips on the waffle. They might need a little help at first!

While you’re cooking, you can keep writing different letters for them to try. Make sure to say the letters out loud and connect them to something they know. I started with Mila’s ‘letters.’

Just keep in mind, your little one might eat their tools!

This was such a fun activity that can be anytime you’re enjoying waffles. It teaches them their letters and challenges them how to create letters too! Plus, they’ll be using their fine motor skills too! Just an overall educational and interesting activity.

If you liked this activity, let me know in the comments! Have you ever used food to learn?

While you’re at it, check out the fun other bloggers had with Waffle Day!

Mom Tip of the Week: Dress Up

I had a lot of things planned for Mila and I to do today. Of course, she had an agenda of her own when we woke up.

She ran straight to her closet and picked out a dress. Not unusual if you know Mila, but…

This is the dress she chose. Today she is Princess Mila.

I brushed her hair all out and put her in a little ‘crown.’ We found the most perfect princess shoes. Then, we put it all together and she wanted to take pictures with her ‘beast.’

So, we did just that.

My biggest tips for moms is things don’t go exactly as planned. Just try to roll with it.

It might not be what you wanted, but these unexpected moments can be just as wonderful. You never know when you’ll have the beauty and a beast in your house. Or a fire fighter, police officer, chef, or dance teacher.

Embrace these moments. They go too quick.

What’s your child been pretending they are lately?

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Seven

Kids have amazing imaginations and Mila is no different. She loves to pretend, which makes me happy that she’s so creative and playful.

Sometimes though… she takes it to the next level.

Her favorite thing to pretend to be is a dog. Normal, right? Every kid goes through this stage. It’s fine. But, every morning as of lately, she goes and gets Cookie Crisp and says it’s her dog food. I fill up her bowl and she’ll eat it all.

That’s one way to get your toddler to eat!

Then, she took it one step further. After asking for a bowl of milk, I figured she’d just put her ‘dog food’ in there. Nope. She had to make me laugh and do this.

Toddlers are just weird, especially mine.

Mom Tip of the Week: Water Works.

Today was absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside. We had sunshine and warmish weather this morning and afternoon. Mila and I were outside for like three hours and I feel so refreshed. We try to get outside for a little bit every day, but it’s just different when it’s perfect out.

ANYWAYS…

Since it was so nice outside and I needed to get some things done, I knew I had to get Mila doing an activity. We had brunch, the she free played in the yard while I started on my homework this week. It’s like she has this alarm in her head when I get my laptop out. As soon as I started typing, she ran over to me and sat in my lap. It happens and I can’t be mad at her cute face. I asked her to go rake the leaves back in the pile and I’d get a sentence or two done and she was yelling at me.

I was looking around at what I could distract her with and all I could see was her water table, which I would 100% recommend to anyone. The big thing with getting the water table is she would have water everywhere and it’s not that warm out.

But I know water works; especially with Mila.

I went inside my house and went to get a big tub from my storage container to put water in. Then, I filled it up like a quarter of the way and had her pick up all the balls in our yard. To make it fun, I put Dawn dish soap in there to make bubbles. She loves swishing water around to make them bigger so that was a hit. I also got different cups/containers, utensils, and her bath baby.

With all the parenting blogs and instagram accounts I follow, they all recommend using tongs to promote fine motor skills. I finally got Mila do use them and she was picking up all the balls. She played with just the tongs for like thirty minutes. When she was over that, I told her to give her baby a bath and to make sure all the balls were squeaky clean. She was occupied for about an hour, which gave me plenty of time to write my discussion board posts and replies. j

Water works! I think it’s so cool how interested toddlers, and kids in general, are so into playing with water. Mila will fill up a cup and empty it in the bath for such a long time. Anytime she’s grump, I’ll put her in the bath or put a towel under a tub so she can play inside when it isn’t nice out.

After playing and cleaning everything up, Mila was ready for her ‘nack’ (snack), watched Moana, and is still napping. I’d say it was a pretty successful morning and afternoon playing in the water.

Peep the Nutella on Mila’s face…

Yeah, my ‘mom tip’ might be pretty weak, but being under lockdown can feel overwhelming for parents and that thirty minutes to an hour can truly make it or break it. Although we did it as an outdoor activity, don’t be afraid to bring it indoors. I’m feeling a lot less stressed today with some me time and checking items off my to do list today.

And I just love sharing how Mila’s growing with you all. If any activities help you as well, then it’s even better.

I hope you guys are keeping sane throughout this madness! As always, if you have any fun toddler activities, I’d love to hear and try them out!