Entertaining a toddler can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires creativity, patience, and a good understanding of what keeps them engaged and happy.
The key is to tailor activities to the child’s interests and abilities and always prioritise safety and supervision.
Whether you are off on an adventure or creating memories at home, the most important thing is to enjoy the time spent with the toddler and to have fun!
Here are some ideas of how to entertain your toddler no matter what the weather or budget.
Whether you choose to stay local or are willing to travel, there have never been so many choices available for the inquisitive under fives.
Below are just a few examples. To find more visit www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk where you can streamline your search according to area, budget and type of play.
This indoor trampoline park offers 150 connected trampolines with 12 unique zones to explore.
Oxygen offers sessions dedicated to the under-fives, where bouncing is combined with dress up so your little superhero can bounce into action and save the day.
Oxygen is open 7 days a week, parking is free for four hours (avoid the blue zones) and tickets start from £6.50 for the soft play area. A toddler sensory play session is just £14.00 for a parent and toddler per session, any additional toddlers are £7.00 each.
The ultimate in indoor soft play, children are free to explore beanstalks, slides, tunnels and much much more. There is an area dedicated to the under 3’s where toddlers can gain confidence on the equipment or relax in the sensory area. The under 3’s area is completely separate with electronic systems in place for arrivals and departures, meaning that even if your little one outruns you, they won’t get out of the area.
Kidspace is open 7 days per week, parking is free and tickets start from £9.50 per session. You can even get an annual membership for your toddler with two adults included in the fee!
There are two Vue cinemas in South Croydon, Vue Croydon Grants and Vue Croydon Purley Way. Both offer the same child-friendly facilities and offers.
Vue offers a mini morning where children can get all the action of the big screen within a relaxed child-friendly atmosphere. The whole family can enjoy some of their favourites on the big screen for only £2.49 per ticket. Mini mornings are available on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am as well as weekdays during the school holidays.
Vue Croydon Grants
Vue Croydon Grant’s
14 High Street,
Tel: 0345 308 4620
Vue Croydon Purley Way
Vue Purley Way
Valley Park Leisure Complex, 21 Hesterman Way,
0345 308 4620
Located in Coulsdon, this pottery shop offers a Pre-School session designed for children under five, where they can share a story and create a pottery piece based on the story. All the materials are non-toxic, so perfectly safe for your toddler. They also regularly hold events and workshops for children so check out their website for more information and how to book.
186 Brighton Road
Tel: 020 8660 3188
The Pavilion Leisure Centre located in Bromley offers swimming lessons and family splash sessions designed for the whole family. It also houses a soft play area for toddlers called the Buzz Zone. The Pavilion offers free parking and is open 7 days a week.
Tel: 0208 313 9911
Toddlers love to use their imagination, whether it’s pretending to be animals, superheroes or having a tea party. It’s all about embracing their world to be creative and using everyday objects to bring their thoughts to life. A simple box can be transformed into a car or boat, or why not make use of your recycling to create a shop?
Toddlers love books and they certainly love to read their favourites over and over again, bringing them to life by using animated voices or actions.
Your local library provides a free service to all, with many hosting specific children’s events. In the South Croydon area, there are 11 libraries with Purley Library the closest to our nursery in Kenley. It has a children’s library and runs children’s activities.
Visit www.croydon.gov.uk to find your local library and see what it has to offer.
Being creative is a great way for toddlers to express themselves and you don’t need specific supplies. A box, some crayons, and masking tape will keep even the busiest toddler entertained.
Malleable resources such as playdough have limitless possibilities and can be easily made with simple ingredients most of which you will already have.
Encouraging your toddler to be part of the making and tidying away process will not only extend the activity but teach your toddler to respect their toys and the environment.
Walking around nature parks with your children is a great way for toddlers to become inquisitive about the world around them. In South Croydon, we are lucky to have a number of fantastic parks which are free to explore. These include:
Click the links for directions.
Crystal Palace Park
Crystal Palace Park is a beautiful park that offers a children’s play area and farm, where you can meet some real-life furry friends, discover the fishing lake or get lost in the maze. The park also houses 30 full-scale three-dimensional dinosaurs.
The park gates open from 7.30am during daylight hours and closes at different times throughout the year. Entry to the main park is free but a small fee for the attractions may apply.
It is a short train ride from Croydon Station to Crystal Palace Station.
For more information visit the website: www.crystalpalaceparktrust.org
Abbey Wood Grange Nursery and Pre School is a nursery in South Croydon that keeps toddlers occupied for a living!
There are numerous benefits to sending a child to nursery and we aim to develop toddlers into happy and healthy children, ready to move on to primary school.
If you would like your child to attend our nursery then get in touch and book a visit.