Toddlers can be tough to entertain, given their limited attention span and tendency to have their own agendas. If you’ve run out of ideas at home, below are our ten favourite exploratory and educational activities for entertaining a toddler in Bangkok:
1. Feed the fish. From Lumpini Park to Phutthamonthon, Bangkok houses a number of temples and parks that have large ponds or lakes filled with fish. Bring your own bread or buy it from nearby vendors, and watch your little one delight in the experience.
2. Discover a new world. Visit the Siam Ocean World aquarium in the basement of Siam Paragon for an hour or so of colourful captivation. In addition to the sharks, stingrays and sea horses, toddlers will love the touch tanks, penguin exhibit and small padded playground.
3. Partake in creative pursuits. Drop by the charming Neilson Hays Library near Silom on Saturday morning for a couple hours of themed crafts and storytelling. Then stay for lunch in the library’s baby-friendly café.
4. Take a ride. Tots love being on the go and regardless of your final destination, you’ll gain a unique perspective of Bangkok from the back of a tuk tuk, on the elevated BTS Skytrain or via the speedy Chao Phraya Express boat.
5. Play in the park. With the younger set in tow, head to Suan Rot Fai in Chatuchak, where you can rent a bike with a baby seat, visit several playgrounds and marvel at the pretty residents of the Bangkok Butterfly Garden.
6. See the sights. Bangkok’s Rattanakosin district boasts many toddler-friendly destinations, including Wat Pho, a temple famed for its long golden Reclining Buddha. Older toddlers will enjoy dropping coins in the main hall’s 108 bronze bowls, an auspicious act referencing the virtuous characters of the Buddha.
7. Join a structured playgroup. Several organisations throughout the city cater specially to toddlers; each has a specific focus, such as music, gymnastics, dance, language or open play, that will keep tots engaged in a more social setting.
8. Go play inside. There are a number of air-conditioned spaces where toddlers can engage in free play, usually with ball pits, padded climbing frames/slides and ride-on toys. These include Molly Fantasy, with a small faux town; Funarium; Playtime; Play Station and more.
9. Hunt for bones. Visit the skeleton and fossil exhibit at the National Science Museum at Chamchuri Square. Dig in the sand of a small mock excavation pit and see what you uncover. Older toddlers may also enjoy the museum’s simple hands-on exhibits.
10. Go shopping! Check out Plan Toys’ flagship store in Sathorn or IQ Music in Ploenchit – both have locally made quality toys for toddlers that encourage learning and development.