Learning through play
Toddlers are programmed to learn, and they don’t need lots of toys to do so. They learn all the time from everything they do, see and hear.
They can get lots of play from simple everyday items such as plastic ice cream tubs - putting things in and emptying them out again, taking the lid on and off, or bashing the box with a wooden spoon for a good noise. Inexpensive toys such as nesting beakers are very popular and versatile - they’re great bath toys. Push-alongs such as cars and trucks can be played with by crawlers and toddlers alike. And if your little one is already walking, a trolley to push, with bricks that can be put in the trolley, taken out, stacked up and knocked down, will give hours of fun - although they won’t yet be able to manoeuvre it very well and will get stuck in corners!
Getting out and about
Whether your little one is crawling, toddling or running (or emptying your cupboards or climbing on the sofa to get the phone!), he or she is always on the go, so it will give both of you a break to go out for a walk with the baby in the buggy. The local library is a good place - lots of books to pull out of their boxes, and lots of space to move around in! Some libraries also hold baby and toddler singing and ‘reading’ sessions. Or visit friends with babies and let your little ones create chaos together!
If you're back at work, it's a great idea to do the shopping online so that you and your partner have more time at the weekend to play and cuddle with your little one, and for simple pleasures like reading and singing together.
It doesn’t matter whether you give your toddler the main meal of the day at lunchtime or teatime. Try to balance out the types of foods you give. For example, if your baby had fruit as a pudding at lunchtime, you could give a yogurt for pudding at teatime.
And if you're just too knackered to cook, there's always our HiPP Organic tray meals - they’re tasty, well-balanced and help to give your toddler ‘five a day’.