Thursday, 13 August 2015

3 fun & easy activities to keep your toddler busy!

Hello!
Today I am back with a "Toddler Tip Thursday."
Do you ever have those moments when you are preoccupied with something fairly important but your little love wants all your attention? 
Normally LuLu wants me to play with her when I am trying to do some cooking or I am mopping, any other time I normally just stop what I am doing and play with her, but sometimes you cannot leave what you are doing. So, how do I get around this problem?
Besides praying for patience, I try to find activities for her to do while I am busy, I try to avoid just turning the TV on as she isn't overly interested in it and I prefer for her to be playing than watching television.
Sometimes I will simply ask for her help, by help I mean asking for her to look for spoons in the kitchen utensil drawer (she is allowed to play in that drawer) or we bring out her pretend food, I tie an apron around her and she pretends to cook as well.
LuLu loves to pretend the whisk is a bubba and my jar opening thing from Tupperware is a blanket, she wraps the "bubba" and sshhs it to sleep! 
Giant bowls, a spoon and some plastic food (from KMart) & this activity is always a simple winner! She loves wearing an apron when I wear one & LuLu will often bring me an apron because she wants us to "bake". 

Other times I set up a simple activity or craft, one that takes only a moment to throw together and is simple enough she can do it without constant supervision. 
I have 3 of those activities to share with you today. 

  • Contact Paper collage;

This is exactly what it sounds like. 
You take some contact paper, cut a section off, tape it to the table/window/floor/any flat surface sticky side up, give your child a box of shapes/scrap paper/craft supplies = simple craft that will keep them entertained for awhile. 
(A tip for sticking it down, slowly peel back one edge at a time and tape down)
This activity is suitable from young toddlers right up to young primary school age. Just adjust the supplies, an older child could actually cut out there own images from a magazine or make a picture from craft supplies. If you did this on a window with cellophane it can create a stained glass look & is a whole different craft!
LuLu liked sticking the bits of cut up wrapping paper & felt shapes down and then pulling them off and also experimenting with the stickiness by pushing and pulling her hands on the contact. 
Sticky hands! 
LuLu's master piece. 

  • Recycled Chute for Pom Poms; 

This activity does require that you keep a few cardboard rolls from the paper towel or toilet paper, but that's the hardest part. 
Basic supplies, a large bowl (ice cream container would be fine), cardboard tubes, masking tape & pom poms ($1-$2 from the cheap shop!)
It is as simple as taping some tubes to a flat vertical surface (wall or a side of a bench), placing a bowl or bucket underneath and giving your toddler some pom poms.
A super basic, but fun activity. 
Pom poms work the best instead of small balls, as the balls could bounce and become lost. But a word of warning, if you have cats putting a bowl of pom poms in your house is asking for trouble - trust me I know. This activity stayed up in our house for about a week because LuLu really enjoyed it, but my cat enjoyed diving into the bowl of pom poms and scattering them all over the house. 
Once again, a young toddler will enjoy this activity, but it can be adjusted for an older child. You could give a box of cardboard rolls & masking tape to an older child and ask them to make their own chute set up.


  • Flower/pipe cleaner sieve threading;

This is a Montessori style activity. It works on hand & eye co-ordination and their fine motor skills and takes next to no prep time to organise.
Grab a sieve (or basket with holes, whatever it is make sure the holes are a decent size) and a handful or pipe cleaners, drinking straws or some fake flowers - activity prep done.
I got these cheap fake flowers from IKEA last time I was there. I just grabbed them as a supply to keep in the craft box as they can be used for a few different activities and crafts!
Show your toddler how to thread the stems of the flowers/pipe cleaners into the holes & then leave them be. 
(Flowers actually work the best or even straws, because they are firmer, pipe cleaners can be a little hard for younger toddlers to thread as they bend so easily, but as they get older it's easier for them to problem solve & work around that issue) 
LuLu enjoyed this activity when she was around 18 months and still enjoys it now at almost 22 months.

These activities are quiet & simple. Perfect if you need to make an important phone call or cook in the kitchen when it isn't appropriate for your child to "help". When I am cooking dinner I don't like LuLu being in there as it's normally a mix of a fry pan, boiling water & possibly the oven going. If I am baking I am more likely to let her help, but dinner is the time I like her playing on her own. 
I hope these activities have inspired you and help you distract your little love if you have something important to tackle when they just can't seem to happily go play on their own!
If you have any suggestions for other activities I would love to know, please comment below or leave me a Facebook comment! 
Have a lovely week.


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