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Keeping toddlers busy when you’re out and about

Reading time: 0-10 minutes

Whether you’re in the supermarket, on a bus, or in the park – there’s always fun to be found with your little one. Here’s some tips and activities from other parents to try next time you’re out and about.

Top out and about tips

Tip #1: Sing songs

It’s an oldie but a goldie. Sing ‘The wheels on the bus’ together when they see one drive past. It’s brilliant for keeping them entertained as you walk, or sing it while on the bus.

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Tip #2: Play I-Spy

Playing I-Spy with my little eye is a simple game you can play on the bus, tram or train to keep little ones from getting bored. Why not try it in the supermarket too?

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Tip #3: Make scrapbooks

Collect something wherever you go to make a scrapbook when you get home. The park is a great place to gather leaves – you could paint on them and print their pattern on paper, too. It’s something to enjoy together both out and about and when you get home.

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Tip #4: Imagine stories

Photo of cat with caption "outside keep them happy by being chatty"

Photo of cat with caption "outside keep them happy by being chatty"

Get your little one’s imagination going by making up new stories about places you visit. Maybe a friendly monster lives in a tree you go past? The possibilities are endless. Maybe you could draw the characters from the story when you get home?

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Tip #5: Go to the library

Visit your local library and enjoy free stories, songs and rhymes together at a Bookbug Session.

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Tip #6: Count things

There are lots of people and cars and buses to count when you’re out and about. Next time you’re waiting in a queue, why not ask your little one count how many people are waiting or how many are wearing red jackets?

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Tip #7: Puddle jump

Brighten up rainy days by jumping in puddles. Because it doesn’t have to be sunny to have fun. But don’t forget to wear wellies!

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Tip #8: Door numbers

Wee ones enjoy spotting door numbers and counting them as you walk along the street. You can spot lots of different colours too. It’s a fun everyday game to enjoy together.

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Tip #9: ABC game

Point things out and about that start with each letter of the alphabet. It’s something they will love to play in the supermarket. A is for apple. B is for banana. C is for can, or maybe even cucumber.

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Tip #10: Paper, scissors, stone

This is a fun game to play together wherever you are. The best part is, you don’t need to carry anything around with you to enjoy it, and it’s an instant distraction from tantrums in any situation.

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More information

Our Community & Support page has lots of different places to look for support. You can talk to your Health Visitor or Family Nurse about your child’s behaviour and how you are dealing with it.

Being a parent is the best job in the world, but it can also be one of the most stressful. There will be days when it all feels a little too much. To help you manage the challenges ahead, Parent Club has some tips on coping with being a parent and keeping calm with your wee one so you can build a rewarding relationship together.

Gif of animated character getting frustrated

Gif of animated character getting frustrated

This article was created as part of

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Behaviour Play & Learn Out the house Toddler (1-3 years)

Last updated: 5 Oct, 2020