Toddlers and tiny people full of energy that seems to never end. Here’s 50 ideas, so at least you know they’ll be occupied for about an hour.
1. Chalk -Outside or on a chalkboard inside. If you are the crafty kind of person, make your own with this recipe! http://www.sweetpaulmag.com/crafts/easy-homemade-sidewalk-chalk
2. Markers -Washable is always a good choice.
3. Paint – Again, washable or make your own with this recipe! http://happymoneysaver.com/homemade-kids-paint-3-simple-ingredients/#_a5y_p=1665992
4. Coloring with crayons – My daughter will sit and color for hours in her coloring books we buy from Dollar Tree.
5. Stickers – I just buy these at Dollar Tree, for $1 you get a ton of stickers to keep them busy!
6. Play dough – Buy it or make your own, this site has 6 different types of recipes! http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/be-a-fun-mum-2296865?blog=2296865&post=3001353277&viewer=true
7. Reading – Read their books to them or read your book aloud. Either way they are hearing the words and seeing you read a book.
8. Singing songs – If you are like me and are not a natural kindergarten teacher just search YouTube, you’ll find tons of stuff.
9. Go for a walk -Even around the block can sometimes break up the day.
10. Bath paints – Shaving cream and food coloring is all you need
11. Jello mashing – Who doesn’t like edible play?
12. Playing in sand – This person does a wonderful DIY for Kinetic sand http://livingithaca.com/diy/make-kinetic-sand/
13. Moon sand – This recipe says it’s toddler safe! http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/53524/toddler-safe-cloud-dough
14. Finger painting -Here’s a diy finger paint recipe. It’s not edible, but it won’t be too terrible if they get a mouthful http://easiepeasie.blogspot.com/2010/07/homemade-finger-paints.html
15. Homemade snow -There’s a whole lotta Frozen ideas for this play idea. Here’s a recipe so you can make homemade snow for your Frozen Fan: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2014/05/frozen-snow-recipe-for-play.html
16. Popping rice – Using Rice Krispies in a sensory bin. Also, another edible snack!
17. Colored rice – A recipe to help you, because I had no idea how to accomplish it! http://www.ehow.com/ehow-mom/blog/make-it-diy-rainbow-sensory-box/
18. Sensory bottle -This is a cool one because you can make it with things your child is into, I feel like the possibilities are endless! Just search Pinterest, you’ll find tons of ideas! But here’s a link in case you don’t want to do that 🙂 http://alittledelightful.com/2014/04/diy-sensory-bottles.html
19. Shaving cream in a ziploc baggie – It’s like painting with shaving cream, without the mess. I’m not going to lie to you, my daughter thought this was cool for 1.5 seconds, so it wasn’t a big hit in our house.
20. Colored ice cubes – Just add food coloring to the water before you freeze. You can use these on their high chair tray to “color” with, in a plastic baggie, in a sensory bin, in a pool outside, or even in a bath but they won’t last long in there.
21. Play in the sprinkler/hose outside – Good ole fashion fun!
22. Bubbles – Another classic.To amp it up, buy a bubble machine or gun! Here’s a link for dyi bubble solution, it is named the “world’s best bubbles” so it’s worth a try: http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2010/05/06/diy-the-worlds-best-bubbles/
23. Swimming in the baby pool – I purchased ours at Wal-Mart for $12 and some change. I’m sure you can find them for cheaper at garage sales. Toddlers love water and it’s hot, so might as well let them play.
24. Sorting craft pom poms -You can sort by size or by color
25. Puzzles -Such a great activity that sneaks the learning in.
26. Have a tea/lemonade party and invite stuffed animals -You can use pretend or real lemonade, or water for tea. This is a great way to teach manners through play.
27. Play kitchen – If you have a play kitchen with play food that’s great! If not there’s a lot you can do. Most toddlers will try to play with anything you’ll allow them to, so just give them unbreakable items like pots and pans, muffin tins, bread pans, plastic utensils are a few ideas.
28. Threading a pool noodle on a thick string -Cut the pool noodle with a knife into sections and give them a rope that will fit through the pool noodle middle hole.
29. Stamping paper – You can get stamps and ink at almost any craft store.
30. Sorting fruit loops by color – Another edible play idea!
31. Putting wine corks into a milk jug -Or you can use dry beans or pasta noodles.
32. Sorting buttons -You can sort by color, size, or shape!
33. Playing with balloons – You can get a pack at the dollar tree and it’ll last you a good while.
34. Splash in puddles after a warm rain
35. Take a walk in the warm, summer rain -You can use an umbrella or not.
36. Play ball -Play catch, or kick it, or roll it back and forth to each other.
37. Make a fort – The possibilities here are endless!
38. Make sensory bins – This site has many ideas to get you goin! It also says for pre-schoolers, so some of these items might not be age appropriate for your child! http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2013/05/9-sensory-bin-ideas-for-preschoolers.html
39. Find random household items and sort them by color -Just look around, this could even turn into an “I Spy” game if your toddler is old enough.
40. Blocks -Build a tower to knock down, a castle, a car garage. You can make it to whatever interests your child has.
41. Make goop -This blog gives a great tutorial of how to make your own! http://tinkerlab.com/goopy-cornstarch/
42. Make dirt dough – I love this lady’s blog and I think she’s great, no I do not know her personally but everything I see on her site is awesome! http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2014/02/dirt-dough-recipe-for-play.html
43. Put coins through a slotted container -For example an old wipe container. The coins could also be plastic bottle tops, like the cap of the milk jug or water bottles. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
44. Turn off the lights and play with flashlights – Or read in the dark with flashlights.
45. Play basketball -Throw balls into a laundry bin or other container.
46. Start a kitchen band -Put beans in an empty water bottle, bang on pots with a wooden spoon, string rubber bands over a bread pan for a guitar.
47. Play in oats and water for a sensory experience
48. Play in cooked colored pasta noodles for a squishy sensory experience
49. Make sensory bags – Again, the possibilities are endless here! Here’s some ideas to get you started. http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/07/fun-with-sensory-bags.html
50. Play movie theater – This is for when you are tired/sick/pregnant/need a break, make popcorn and snacks, turn off the lights, have them sit in their special chair and turn on a movie.