Summer is winding down and the big kids are returning to school. Some of you are relieved the kids will return to a routine and the house will be quieter. My house, however, will still be full of chaos as I look to find toddler activities to keep my 2 year old son and 3.5 year old daughter busy and out of trouble.
So I’ve been on what I call the “black hole” of free time, “Pinterest”, looking for crafts and activities we can do together that are fun and educational.
One of my favorite ideas is the re-make or re-model of the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. My children always take the stickers off of everything and our cars have a few scratches etc. Since we have two cars, one is the fire truck and one is the original, each child can choose how they want to re-design their vehicle. I LOVE the idea of a Batmobile like I found on Pinterest. Of course you could choose any design you want, the options are limitless: tractor, Mickey Mouse, clown car, delivery vehicle, etc.
A few years ago the mom’s group I’m in, had a “Messy Playdate” for the kids. We set up several different play areas for the kids including: kiddie pools filled with jello, pools filled with cooked pasta, a tarp with syrup, flour, sand, ketchup, mustard etc. where they could paint on paper or make body art. There was also a toppings area with marshmallows, cereal, dried pasta etc. And to make clean up easier we had an inflatable water slide where the kids could jump in and wash off. I’m thinking I could set up an area like this for the kids in the yard, maybe once a month but on a much smaller scale.
I’d love to take the kids fishing, but trying to manage a 2 year old and 4 year old around water with poles and hooks by myself is a recipe for disaster. Solution: create fishing games you can play at home! I found a super cool idea on Pinterest that uses magnets and a fish shaped ice tray for ice fishing. If you wanted to make it more educational you could also use an ice tray with letter shapes!
Want to explore your child’s artistic side? Fill a pan with baking soda then give your child ramekins with color tinted vinegar and water droppers and let them have some fizzy fun! Another fun project, get a pan and some marbles, line the pan with paper and add some finger paint. Then let your child add the marbles and roll them around to create a one of a kind masterpiece!
Sensory bins are a great way to teach your kids about colors, textures,different objects and environments while developing their fine motor skills. The options with these bins are limitless and you can adapt them to your child’s current interests. Start with a plastic bin and then fill with items like sand, gravel, rocks, etc. depending on your theme! We LOVE this Bug Sensory Box idea from Parenting Chaos or you can buy a toy, My Little Sandbox which comes with a wooden box, ultra fine sand and themed toys to get started.
Help me keep my sanity and make the days fun for the kiddos! What’s your favorite toddler activity?