Organized Activities for Toddlers

We’re a month into our threes, y’all.

I’m accepting prayers and moments of silence, thankyouverymuch.

In all seriousness, I feel so, so blessed every single day to be EV’s mama. She’s a ray of sunshine and born nurturer, so discipline isn’t usually very difficult.

As an aside, I know from experience that difficult personalities can become fierce and brave and wonderful humans. I was one and have raised some. If you are a mama (or a papa) to a toddler that isn’t a born nurturer, know that your struggle to do your very best DOES NOT go unnoticed. You’re doing great, and you deserve a big virtual hug.

So having a three year old girl is different from my previous experiences raising nephews. My boys were pretty content to dig in the dirt with a stick, and living in the country with a fenced-in yard, entertaining them was easy.

EV is my little mermaid, y’all. Not just because of the swimming thing, but because her theme song could totally be ‘I want to be where the people are’. She thrives in more social settings, but settling on the right ones for our family – and mama’s schedule – is challenging right now.

If you’re like I was, and scratching your head trying to come up with activities for your social butterfly, here’s a list I put together when I was brainstorming to discuss with J!

  • Tumbling and Cheer – she’s been in tumbling classes since she was 18 months, but so far, we’re still iffy on if she LOVES the activity. She does love her coaches and friends, so we’re sticking with this one for now!
  • Gymnastics – if she shows an interest in moving forward from her tumbling lessons, we’ll consider this next.
  • Dance – we decided against this one pretty early, as the costumes and movements can be more adult than what we’d prefer for our toddler.
  • Karate/Martial Arts – we both like this option for EV and definitely want her to be equipped for self defense in the future, but we feel like she’s a little young for this.
  • Yoga – We only have one studio offering Mommy and Me classes right now, but this one is definitely on my short list.
  • Soccer – she’ll be eligible for our local leagues this fall, so we’re strongly considering this one for her.
  • T-Ball – this is our other option for fall if we decide against soccer!
  • Volleyball – our girl is a little young for this one, so we’re going to shelve it for now. We took her to try it out and because the net is so far away, she wasn’t having fun with the concept.
  • Music lessons – our family is very musical, so this one is on our short list, too. We’re leaning towards piano lessons so she can follow in the footsteps of her mama and grandma!
  • Riding lessons – this one is shelved for now, but it’s a great option and highly recommended as an alternative therapy, too. We have an amazing local non-profit providing equine therapy right down the road, and we’re big believers in the work they do.

I also added toddler time at our local library and children’s museum as options for our schedule, but ultimately decided to consider those opportunities as ‘treats’ or special occasions, instead of trying to keep up with all of the sessions they offered. We hit these up regularly as time allows, and we’re constantly doing learning activities around the house, so in my head, these are ‘extras’.

I fully and firmly believe that play is the work of children and that babies need balance between structured activities and free time, but as a family, we have decided that each of us need an opportunity to find our ‘thing’ – our activity that lights up our enthusiasm and gets us out of ourselves a little bit – so we’re trying to give EV that chance right now.

We did eliminate a few from our list based on our personal preferences and the area that we live in; football, hockey, and lacrosse were crossed out for us, but they might be an option for you!

So what do you think about toddler activities? Is it something you’re planning, or have planned, to implement with your own kiddos?

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