Simple Activities For Toddlers provides parents with lots of fun and educational ideas that will keep their kids engaged. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Last year (2020) was challenging for many families. In March Spain, along with many other countries, went into lockdown. We were confined to our apartment with an almost 2-year-old. Suddenly, I needed to entertain my toddler all day long whilst making sure I offered a variety of activities and physical exercise while cooped up in an apartment. I drew on my experience as a primary school teacher to create play-based activities to engage my son whilst ensuring he was developing holistically. I started an Instagram page, @simpletoddleractivities, to share some of the activities we were doing with friends and family to offer activity ideas if they needed them. Then, it became something to keep me sane during that challenging time.
Throughout this journey, I realized parents wanted some inspiration for play-based activities to keep their toddlers busy whilst giving them the best start in life. Being a primary school teacher and parent, I wanted to use my teaching expertise to create simple activity ideas that are attainable for other parents and yet achievable for their toddlers. I try to use resources that are easily accessible, like recyclables, household items and common craft supplies. Furthermore, I want to help reduce overconsumption that plagues many families and in turn, has negative impacts for the environment.
The activities were so fun and easy to follow. What is your favorite activity from the book?
Modern art. The activity allows kids to enjoy the process of creation as opposed to creating a finished product. Creating a space where children can freely experiment with colour mixing, different brushes, lines, and materials encourages the use of the child’s imagination and ‘out of the box’ thinking. It is a type of art that they can be totally involved in and requires little assistance.
What advice would you give to parents who are struggling to engage their kids in different activities?
Start with something simple that is based on your child’s interests. For example, if they are into dinosaurs, choose a dinosaur related activity. As a parent it is important that we are playful and get down to their level. Remember your child wants your time, your undivided attention – YOU are enough. The activity does not have to be what you would consider amazing, your presence and engagement is sufficient.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on another book for slightly older children. As we are not in lockdown, I would love to write a book that incorporates more outdoor learning.
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