Having a toddler can sometimes feel like living with a small drunk person.
There’s lots of bodily fluids and demands for chicken nuggets, coupled with unexplainable mess and self-inflicted injuries, while attempting tasks well beyond their means.
*Riding down stairs on your face, may result in injury*
So coming up with activities to keep kids entertained and parents sane, is absolutely and unequivocally of the utmost importance.
And luckily, we’ve got you covered mama!
1.Ice Painting - Grab 4 different food colouring gels and mix them with water in seperate cups. Divide each cup into an ice cube tray, insert a paddle pop stick and freeze. Once frozen, kids can then use the cubes as “paint brushes” .. best of all, it’s safe for skin and little bellies, should they take a nibble.
Tip: If the thought of having your toddler potentially look like Pappa Smurf momentarily, scares you, fill buckets with water (you can add bubble bath if you choose) and give them a paint brush .. they can sit in the bath or outside in the shade and let their imagination run wild. Best of all? No mess!
2. Cloud Sand - By mixing 1 cup of baby oil with 8 cups of all purpose flour, you can make your own toddler-safe, sensory, sand activity. Store in a large plastic container and let kids mould and create.
Tip: To avoid having the inside of your house look like a winter wonderland, find a shady spot outside where the magic sand can be swept or washed away with ease. For extra fun, hide age appropriate figurines in the sand and have your child dig them out using a spoon “shovel”.
3. Box Construction - Have old cereal, tissue and nappy boxes laying around? What about toilet rolls and cardboard? Perfect! Grab a handful of your clothes pegs and all your (clean) recyclables for the kids. They can peg and stack boxes to create box cars and towers, or whatever their heart desires. Using pegs means no sticky tape or scissors are required!
Tip: Use stickers and washable markers to decorate box constructions! Once they’re finished store all the smaller boxes inside the biggest box or simply recycle, and start another “box construction collection.”
*Saving the planet and your sanity!
4. Duplo delights - Do you have a big bucket of duplo? Tip it out! Now, walk across it! JUST KIDDING. Don’t do that. Instead, have you child sit and sort the duplo into colour groups, building a tower with each group to see which one is the tallest.
Tip: This not only teaches children colours and shades, (light blue, dark blue) but also introduces the idea of less and more.
“The red tower is smaller than the blue tower, this means there are LESS red duplo blocks”.
5. Cling-wrap Canvas - All kids love to finger paint .. paper, themselves, the walls, the dog.. but fear not, we have a mess free solution. Buy a cheap canvas or two from the bargain shop, using squeezey paint, dollop multiple colours all over the canvas ... and then gently cover with cling wrap. Your child can now squelch and squish the paint all over the canvas, and create their own piece de resistance.
Tip: Once your child is done, peel back the cling wrap, and gently press plain brown paper on the wet paint like a stamp, and set aside to dry.
Voila! You (and your child) have just created handmade gift wrap for the next special occasion.
6. Home cinema happiness - Darken the lounge room, grab a pillow and blanket and your child’s favourite toy and chuck on some pop corn (or any of your favourite snacks) and a movie!
Tip: While screen time is obviously recommended to be kept at a minimal amount, an age appropriate movie and home made pop corn, won’t do anyone any harm, least not a busy toddler and a tired mum!
Here’s some of our fave family films;
- The Son of Bigfoot
- Finding Dory
- Smurfs: The lost village
May your coffee be stronger than your toddler.
Love, Two Darlings x