How to keep toddlers entertained and happy!
Keeping toddlers entertained doesn’t have to drain all your energy but it will take some of your time; okay a lot of your time. Let’s be honest, there really isn’t any better way to spend your time than making memories and building a special bond with your children. Keep in mind there are a thousand ways to peel a potato but here is how we do it at our house. Every day we do an hour of “school time” where we do our best to focus and learn and sometimes it works and sometimes little minds wander. During school time we work on;
- Alphabet. The tools we use are different from day to day to mix it up. My son enjoys whiteboards, tracing, puzzles, books, and songs.
- Numbers. One of my son’s favorite games is count the house. Count the house is exactly what it sounds like. You ask your little one to count the tiles on the floor or the couch cushions etc.
Tip: You can also play counting outside to get your little one some vitamin D.
- Colors. The object of the game is to collect the colors. To play this game you simply ask your child to collect things from around the house or yard that are a certain color and make piles of said color. This is fun and it is a wonderful choice for busy bodies.
- Crafts. Finger painting is a past time in our home especially since there are so many cute wooden crafts at Michaels for $0.99
Once the toys become boring and your child is once again ready for some attention, my suggestion is to give them age appropriate chores. Children love to feel needed and the important tasks will help teach them responsibility. Note it probably won’t be done right but you can always redo it to your standards later. Here is a short list of what we do at our house.
- Feed the fish.
- Fold wash cloths.
- Pick up toys.
- Toy vacuum *big kick*
- Pick up trash and sticks in the yard
- Help wash cars
Little minds are curious minds and they learn best by doing not just watching. Whenever I get the chance I try to encourage my son to help in the kitchen with cooking. I’m sure some of you are thinking “What a two year old in the kitchen do you have a death wish?” Nope just left my sanity when I went from stay at home wife to stay at home mom! However, I am a safety conciseness mother so you will need to first explain the rules to your child before you start. And don’t forget to make it age appropriate!
- Whip eggs
- Make toast
- Roll cookie balls
- Dumping canned goods in sauce pans
- Stirring ingredient in a bowl
- Decorate your own eggplant pizza
Okay I am out of ideas and I cannot watch one more minute of Thomas Train…HELP! Get outside. Let your kids get dirty that is what stain remover and Bandaids were made for. The sun is a great source of vitamin D and it will lower your child’s chance for depression. Let’s face it, we are also most likely to bond with our children when we are playing an d laughing with them. The best investment I ever made was $2.50 on a red ball from Wal-Mart. If you are not the playful type of person that is okay too because you can do other fun, free and/or cheap things together such as;
- Go to the Park
- Take a field trip to Bass Pro Shop or a Pet Store
- Mall Playground
- Go to a steam and skip rocks
- Go fishing
I know that there are more ways than this to entertain your toddler and if you think of them please leave a comment below. The important thing to remember is to try to your best to BE there for your children. We only have 6,574 days to be with our children from birth to their 18 birthday; so don’t be too busy for them. Make the time with no excuses. My grandfather always said “Five minutes of your undivided attention is worth more than sixty interrupted minutes.”
Listen, no mother is perfect and as I write this article I have come to realize that even I have room to improve. So from one mother to another here is my final nugget of advice “It is okay to not be okay. It’s just not okay to stay that way.” –Author Unknown
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