It’s challenging to balance daily household tasks with taking after school care of young children. Toddlers have short attention spans. They want you to entertain them and are so curious about everything in their world. Sometimes when staying home with the kids all day, it’s easy to get bored. You only have so many activities to do before you feel like it’s time to get out of the house. But if you’re like me and have several young children around, going out can be so stressful! What you need is a strategy for keeping those little ones busy.
Here are some ideas for keeping the kids entertained at home:
Have a “big” activity each day.
We’re not talking “big” as in lots of preparation or that it takes lots of space, just that it takes a “big” chunk of time. Get the kids involved in choosing this activity. Talk about it at bedtime the previous night so they know the plan and what to expect the next day. It gets them excited!
Here are some ideas of a big activity:
- Play in the sprinkler outside.
- Build tall towers out of blocks, or even build a city.
- Build a fort and read books inside.
- Pull out the play dough and use play dough mats and accessories around the house to create.
Rotate toys so they seem “new”.
Small toys that go into bins are easy to stack and keep in a closet. When you pull a bin or toy out each day, the kids flock around it like they have never seen it before. Anything can go into these bins such as small toy cars, building blocks, Barbie dolls, or Mr. Potato Head. Children don’t get so bored with their stuff when it’s “out of sight, out of mind”. This also works great with games. Try rotating each toy by putting it away for 2 weeks, then magically pulling it out again. Just be sensitive to hiding the favorites…kids know when those are missing.
Try a new craft or recipe together.
Toddlers are very hands-on and want to mimic what they see mom and dad doing. Often times when they see you in the kitchen, they want to help. Let them pour ingredients into the bowl and make something together that you can both enjoy. It’s exciting to them just being involved.
Try searching online together for free printables to print and color; make paper boats, airplanes, kites. With supervision you can let your child use the scissors to cut paper. Not only does it keep toddlers entertained for long amounts of time, it helps them develop fine motor skills that help them with writing.
Switch often to a new activity.
Changing your activity multiple times throughout the day will make things more fun and interesting. For example, set a timer and tell the kids they have 15 minutes to play with some toys, then move to another room and turn on some music to dance for 15 minutes. You’d be surprised how quickly the time passes and it keeps young children engaged.
With a little creativity, you can create endless special memories at home with your children. Not only will you have the opportunity to bond and connect, these are experiences you both will remember and treasure as those little ones grow.
What are some things you do to keep your young children entertained at home?
By Krystal Anderson for the Healthy Moms Magazine
Krystal is a mother of four rambunctious kids, including a set of toddler twins. She loves all things creating, home improvement projects, being outdoors, and can often be found digging in the garden or reading a book. She can be found blogging about her adventures at Healthy Mom, Happy Home.