October is a lovely month for exploration! The days are getting shorter, so you have to make more of the time you can still spend outside. Dark evenings make for very cosy playtimes though, with lots of opportunities to snuggle up. Halloween is one of the biggest events this month, and there are so many options for spooky fun-and-games with your toddler. Have a go at some of these Autumn music activities this October:
1. Head out for a Musical Mystery Walk!
Don’t let the blustery autumn weather keep you inside. Studies have shown that spending at least 30-60 minutes per day outside enjoying physical activities is the right amount for growing toddlers. And studies also show that these targets are unfortunately not being met by many little ones in the UK.
I must admit, these guidelines did make me stop and think. We regularly walk to J’s activities, but he is in his pram. He may be getting some fresh air, but it’s me that’s getting the outdoor exercise. I’m going to make a real effort this month to let him play and explore outside a lot more!
Wrap up in coats and wellies, and head to your local park. The crunch of leaves under your feet are so exciting for toddlers – it’s the first time they are experiencing this sensation! Encourage them to stamp their feet and make as much noise as they can, talking about all the different textures they can feel. Splash in puddles and listen to the squelch of mud. Feel the snap of dry twigs, and look out for conkers as you go exploring!
2. Enjoy an early evening light show
Now that the evenings are getting darker sooner, you can enjoy making use of the dark in ways that you can’t in the summer. Hopefully, you’ll find that your little one is going to bed more easily now that the sun is no longer pouring through their windows at 7pm! As you start to wind down for bed, dim the lights and entertain your toddler with a light show.
- Use flashing disco lights as you sing Twinkle Twinkle, letting the different colours light up their different body parts
- Use a night light to shine different patterns onto the wall
- Use a torch to illuminate your hands as you cast shape shadows on the ceiling
- Listen to a calming soundtrack of lullabies or classical music, as you let the different lights dance around the room
3. Follow our ’10 Steps to a Musical Home’ program
Now that your little one is a bit older, many of these steps can be implemented at home, to create a happy and musical household. They are simple but detailed, with so many suggestions for how to incorporate music into your everyday life. And it’s completely free, for just as couple more months (this offer expires at Christmas!).
Music has been proven to have so many benefits for children as they are growing up. It helps with language development, cognitive and gross motor skills, social skills, and even speech. It is fun, uplifting and a great bonding activity. It helps with learning other things, by focusing the mind. It is a good discipline for learning about turn-taking, listening, and memory skills. I could go on forever, but you will only really believe it when you see with your own eyes how responsive children become when music is playing!
4. Learn some new songs together
Updating your nursery rhyme repertoire is always a good idea, as babies and toddlers learn so much through songs. Nursery rhymes usually focus on simple elements such as counting, animals sounds and colours. Introduce them to the idea of autumn and Halloween with these simple rhymes – don’t forget to use real objects to show them what you are singing about:
5. Throw a Halloween Party
Your little tot may be too young for trick-or-treating, but they’re definitely not to young to join in with the fun of Halloween! Buy them a cute scary costume, invest in some decorations that you can bring out each year (TKMaxx have some cool bits), and invite some of your toddler’s little friends round to join the fun.
Try these games, perfect for little ones:
- Buy some little pumpkins and hide them around the room (they will need to be in easy-to-reach and quite obvious places, but the bright colours will attract even the littlest of participants
- Create little mummies out of your kiddies by wrapping them in toilet paper – they will find it hilarious!
- Although it’ll be many years before your toddler is able to carve pumpkins, it doesn’t mean they can’t draw on them! Help them to design their own pumpkin face, and carve it out for them to see their artwork
- Instead of bobbing for apples, why not try fishing plastic bugs and beetles out of a bowl of water – great for their hand-eye-coordination!
Don’t forget a spooky Halloween playlist – try the one below to create a perfect party atmosphere.