Advice Column, Baby, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

What should my toddler be doing during the day?

  • Skidz
  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

PLAY! This may seem obvious, but it is essential to a child’s development. Sometimes we focus so much on what we should or shouldn’t be doing and look at everything as work, but play is a child’s work. This is how they explore their world. Play teaches them important physical skills such as coordination, balance and muscle control. These set the foundation for more complicated physical skills such as kicking a ball while running, skipping and doing cartwheels. Again these may seem like trivial skills but they are essential to a child’s development and set the stage for academic success. 

This is also why we as professionals in child development get so annoyed when toddlers are given worksheets or writing skills to complete. This is not how they learn and starting these too early could be detrimental to their development. Toddlers have a natural desire to move and play so take advantage of this and encourage them to run, climb and explore. This way patterns of having an active lifestyle are also instilled from a young age.

How much activity should a child be doing? According to the National Association of Sports and Physical Education the guidelines for daily activity of 12-36 month olds, is as follows:

  • At least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (Adult led)
  • At least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity (free play)

At this age there should be no worksheets or writing expected. Pre-writing skills are developed here through play and textures, painting and free drawing or colouring, with no pressure or expectations put on them.

SKidz Clever activity boxes were designed with this in mind. It provides activities for the structured adult led parts of the day. Here babies and toddlers learn through play. Each box covers 6 months at a time and includes over 100 activities to do at home in a one on one setting.  This way they learn, explore, have fun and build relationships.  Boxes can be ordered on the website There is also more information on each box available there.

In the meantime here are some tips of what physical activity skills can be expected from toddlers.

12-24 month

  • Pull and carry toys
  • Kick a ball
  • Walk backwards

24-36 months

  • Balance on one foot for 1-2 seconds
  • Climbs well
  • Throws ball over head
  • Start to pedal a tricycle
  • Start to balance and ride a balance bike
  • Runs well
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  • Melissa August 26, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I love this! I don’t have a child myself but I definitely see the shift moving from play time to planned worksheets. It’s not the same!

  • Leana Lourens August 26, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    This is quite interesting and its suppose to be that way yes. It’s funny that people sometimes think that children are suppose to play only and you sadly get mommies that don’t teach their children anything that will accommodate to their development. Thanx for sharing tips, I ensure to read up

  • Nigar Rahman August 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Lucky to be here in your blog!Very informative.Every parents should do this for their child development.If every child’s go through this development they will definitely grow up with a healthy body and cheerful mind.I am always pushes my child for doing daily activities such as run,skipping.

  • Lynne Huysamen August 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Play is a toddler’s work. When my kids were toddlers they just had to get into everything – they were so curious! It’s all about learning and developing!

  • Raina Camille August 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Great post! I never thought of kids playing outside an educational opportunity for them. When I was in college and my kids were still little, I would take them to the nearest park and let them play for hours. Now I did this for a totally different reason. I did this to wear them out so they could go to bed early and I would have time to do my homework. It worked well for me, I guess it win-win for everyone.

  • Janice sisemore August 26, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    been a long time since I had a Toddler, but love your items that you have for them to do.

  • Felicia Austin August 27, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Hi there,
    First off I want to say you have an adorable baby you have! My youngest daughter is a little over 2 and she plays sooooo much lol. If she’s not eating, she is playing. She has recently been into pretend play a lot and I think it is so adorable. I spend hours just watching her play and playing with her.

  • Beth August 27, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Thank you for these timely suggestions! My grandson is 11 months old so does lots of playing and exploring. He’s not walking yet, but I will be mindful of the 12-24 month activities to watch for when he is. It’s such a privilege to be living through his developmental stages!

  • Vidya Sury August 27, 2019 at 5:35 am

    Play is crucial for a child’s development. It breaks my heart to see babies being allowed to play with cellphones and similar devices these days! Nothing like enjoying playtime with toys and then, doing just what they enjoy. There are so many wonderful educational safe toys that develop motor skills, hand eye coordination, etc. I think we owe it to our children to get them off to a healthy start in life!

  • Nicole August 27, 2019 at 10:34 am

    I love this! I feel like it’s also important to note that as adults we should also be making time for a childlike form of play in our daily lives to keep our creative juices flowing and give ourselves a break from all the serious things in life.


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