This post is more for my own reference as I have a 2.5 yr old now and one coming up! :) Here are the best ideas I've found from Pinterest & the blogs I frequent. Enjoy! (Bolded words are links. I can't get them to underline.)
This site has the best ones I've seen. (You have to search "sensory bin" on the side, and they will come up.)
Read to them!
This should be a large portion of what you do with this age group. It's so good for them! I'm lucky that K will always sit through a whole book. He loves it!
and 3 yr olds. (this is the curriculum we are using at the moment.) However, I don't bust my budget to get all the right titles. If I have a book I want to use, I just Google activity ideas to go with it. Or you don't have to do activities at all! Just read! I rotate books every couple weeks and keep most of them put away.
Arts & Crafts!
I will admit, this is not really K's thing, but I have these always on hand, and he uses them sometimes.
- play-doh. (I want this set to use with it!), markers, finger paint, washable paint, large paint brush, construction paper, little scissors, glue sticks, window markers, stickers, & sidewalk chalk. Put it all in a Rubbermaid bin, & you're ready to go!
These are semi-educational toys that your tot can use on his own or with you. Remember never to push learning at this age or "drill" your child. Keep it fun!
Seriously worth it if you don't have one! We limit his time on it, for sure though! He went through a phase of being pretty addicted, so we just put it up for awhile. Now he doesn't think about it as much, but it is a life saver @ restaurants & on car trips! I'm working on uploading more educational stuff on it & trying to get Youtube OFF! ;)
Did I say "chores"? Um, yes, but at this age, it might be more of a chore for you to have them help you. BUT, if you push through this stage, teaching them, and having them help when they can, it will pay off big time (so I hear!) When they still love to help & are so willing is the time to start training them that helping out is just part of life. Go here for a list of chores by age.
Gross Motor Activities!
This is last because it is my weak point. BUT, it is K's most favorite thing. (funny how that works!)
So I actually searched for ideas for this one and put together a Pinterest board just for this post. K will be so excited to try these!
If you have boys and are anything like me, let this encourage you to get off your tail & get moving! (girls enjoy these also, of course.)
Here are some things we already do: run & pop bubbles, play catch with stuffed animals or balls, hit a balloon in the air, play "hide & chase", crawl in his tunnel & tent, pile up pillows to jump in, & make "roads" for his ride-on toys in the garage.
If I had it to do over again, this is mostly all I would buy for K, because these are what he plays with most. If you have a 2 yo boy, this list might be a good reference, but of course every kid is different!
tons of matchbox cars, tons of books, a good train set, his mini trampoline, 1 or 2 large vehicles- (dump trucks, fire trucks, etc.), a ball, & a ride-on toy.
And last but not least, THIS post came out recently where she all the things she tried with her son from ages 1-4. It is a QUALITY list. Love it!