Toddler entertainment: Rattle those pots and pans

It is easy to entertain toddlers with simple everyday items found in most homes. Toddlers have the ability to make up their own games, amusing themselves with what to adults are the simplest mundane household items.  

Most homes contain plastic pots that kids find exciting to play with. The kitchen will probably have the most. Plastic moulds, silicone moulds, jello pots etc. can all be put to good use. Plastic containers of different sizes can be used to measure things, or could be turned into robots, animals and people. Pipe cleaners or straws can be used to make arms, legs and antennae. Cardboard or plastic egg containers are interesting and fun to use because of their shape.

Cotton balls add a three dimensional effect to pictures. For example, use them to make clouds or sheep. Kids love to make their own art and with help from an adult, there are many things that can be used to bring a picture to life.

For adults who don’t mind messy play and who have outdoor space, washing up bottles make great water pistols. Many toddlers love water and so will relish this type of play. Washing-up liquid can also be used to blow bubbles. Kids love blowing bubbles, all one needs is a wand.  

Cardboard boxes of any size make playing exciting and fun. Big boxes could be used to make houses and shops. Smaller boxes can be turned into homes for toys and dolls, or transformed into garages or other buildings. Match boxes make ideal play things. For instance, they are great for tiny dolls as they can be used as beds, wardrobes, cupboards etc.

Pots and pans make great play-things as kids love to make a noise with them, fill them with stuff and wear them as hats. Just be sure that children cannot get anything stuck on their heads.   

Plastic tubing that is clean make great listening and talking devices, as the sound travels easily through it. It also provides hours of fun if the adult and child roll pennies, cents or dimes down them.

Wooden or plastic bowls, cups and plates encourage toddler’s imaginative pretend play. Toddlers often love to pretend to cook and wash up and make cups of tea and coffee. Hours of fun can be had with items like these.

The bath, sink, wash basin or plastic bowls are great items in which to sail boats and play with toy ducks. This type of play encourages simple ways of teaching about buoyancy.

Food stuffs, such as pasta which comes in various shapes and lengths (spaghetti), are a perfect alternative to using pens, pencils, chalk or crayons. Pasta can be glued to paper and stiff card or cardboard. Dough or pastry is easy to make and a good substitute for play-dough or plasticine. The child could also help make it.

Newspaper or plain paper can be modelled into many things. Folding techniques can be applied to transform a simple sheet of paper into a boat, aeroplane or a hat, for example. 

Toddlers always need to be supervised when playing to ensure that they do not injure themselves or other children. Adults must use common sense when deciding which household equipment toddlers can play with.