This week has been a good week for blogging, eh? I know for a fact that next week would not be the same, so here I go with the next post before things get too busy.
So, how many times a day do you wish your toddler spent a few minutes by himself/herself so that you could finish something ? It could be for anything like fixing a meal or putting a batch of clothes to dry or just to take five whole minutes to use the loo. At such times, I, for one am desperate for an activity that needs minimal supervision but can also keep the toddler occupied for a few minutes at a stretch. After months of experimenting with many things, I have realized that there are very things that almost always work for us and today, I am going to share our little secret(s) with all of you. Because I know the feels, sisters (and brothers).
As much as I admire all these creative parents who come up with great activities to keep their kid(s) engaged, I do not have the patience nor the creativity to do such stuff. I do get ‘Pinspired’ all the time, but the number of times I actually take the time to do what I see is far and few between.
If I go by what some of my friends say, I know I am not the only lazy mom out there and that makes me really happy. *evil grin*
Since making him sit with a bowl of fries or ice cream or letting him watch a video on YouTube isn’t always an option, let me introduce you to three easy-peasy, engaging, inexpensive activities that will (hopefully) keep your toddler occupied while you get a few minutes to finish whatever it is that you want to do.
Activity #1: Doodling and Coloring
You will need:
- Non-Toxic Coloring Material (crayons, color pencils, water colors, etc.)
This is one of the least expensive activities to keep your toddler engaged while you can go on about your work.
Charts or larger pieces of paper work better than notebooks since they have more space to explore. This requires minimal supervision unless your toddler is still in the I-will-mouth-everything-I-can-lay-my-eyes-on phase. Also, I’d highly recommend getting larger sized crayons and color pencils as they are more sturdy.
If you are skeptical about using store-bought paints or have some time in hand, make your own. Yogurt+natural food colors (fruit purees, pureed spinach, turmeric, etc.) make for easy edible paints.
We even converted his first birthday party standee into a blackboard of sorts (the back of it was already black and had a very blackboard kind of feel to it) and A loves scribbling with a chalk on this. I don’t let him do this when one of us is not around though, because I have caught him trying to nibble pieces of the chalk piece one too many times. *rolls eyes*
You will need:
- Plastic/ Ping Pong Balls (as many as you have)
- Cardboard tube (you can use the tube that comes with aluminium foil or kitchen towels or make your own with thick chart paper or a cereal carton like what I did)
- Heavy duty double sided tape (heavy duty because you don’t want the tube coming off in two minutes – see how lopsided our tube already is?!)
- A basket/container
Activity #3: Fun with Pipe Cleaners
- Pipe cleaners (different colors and sizes)
- A colander
This is another really simple activity that is great for developing fine motor skills, color identification, etc. For older kids, you can skip the colander and just make shapes and little things with the pipe cleaners, maybe?
Bonus Activity: Books!
I lay out a variety of books so that he can pick what he wants to ‘read’. Adding other fun stuff like little toys, finger puppets etc. that go with the theme of the books will buy you a few more precious minutes.
Bonus Activity #2: