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Resource Review Thursday: The Toddler’s Busy Book

crayonsIf you’ve ever found yourself stuck inside on a cold or wet day with a toddler, you know that coming up with interesting things to do can be a challenge. Toddlers are busy little people who want to explore the world, but sometimes their parents or caregivers just run out of ideas. The Toddler’s Busy Book[Meadowbrook Press, 1999] by Trish Kuffner contains 365 creative ideas for games, songs, crafts and activities to keep toddlers occupied and happy no matter what the weather outside.

How to Entertain a Toddler on a Rainy Day

The weather outside is frightful; it’s too wet, cold, rainy or snowy to play at the park or venture outdoors, so you’ve decided to spend the day indoors. However, your toddler is crawling up the walls by 10am and you’ve already sung all the songs you know and brought out all the toys. What now?

Trish Kuffner has lots of creative ideas in The Toddler’s Busy Book. Trish has whole sections devoted to quiet indoor play, outdoor play, songs and finger games, arts and crafts, and holiday specific activities for children between the ages of 1-3. All the sections contain activities suitable for the varying skill levels present in toddler-age children, and most can be done with materials you probably already have around the house, such as drink straws, brown paper bags and tempera paints.

Setting up a Toddler’s Craft Supplies

Toddlers love to explore the world around them, and one fun and creative way for them to do that is through arts and crafts. Whether you are showing your one year old how to draw with crayons or making a collage with your three year old, Kuffner says that toddlers are primarily interested in learning about cause and effect. By providing toddlers with the opportunity to play with paints, glue, play dough and other arts materials, caregivers are also providing them with a rich learning environment. Kuffner has included a comprehensive list of recommended materials to include in your toddler’s art cupboard and guidelines to help make arts and crafts an enjoyable experience for both parent and child.

Don’t be Afraid to Keep it Simple

Many of the activities and ideas in The Toddler’s Busy Book are simple, so simple that your toddler may have already tried them out herself. Simple ideas such as pulling tissues out of the box one at a time or putting a dolly to bed in a shoebox can provide hours of delighted play for a toddler. Many parents may have come up with ideas like these on their own, but there are many other ideas in the book to inspire and entertain your toddler. Don’t discount the simpler ideas in favor of setting up elaborate projects for your children. Repetition and simplicity allows young children to master an activity, which fosters self-confidence and pride in their accomplishments.

The Toddler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner provides a creative game or activity for every day of the year, whether that day is sunny, rainy, quiet, noisy, a birthday orThe Toddler's Busy Book Cover Image holiday. Creative games, arts, crafts, songs and activities keep toddlers occupied and parents happy, but they also provide opportunities for toddlers to learn letters, numbers, cause and effect and social skills. The Toddler’s Busy Book has something for anyone who spends time with a toddler, from stay at home parents to babysitters, grandparents and nannies.

Originally published on Suite101.com on November 3, 2008

Disclaimer: I bought a copy of The Toddler’s Busy Book for myself and reviewed that copy.

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