Hello! LONNG overdue post for mom’s of toddlers coming at ya! Maybe you’re running out of ideas to keep your toddler entertained… maybe you’ve been winging it and are looking for more structure—- here you go!
I hope everyone is staying sane, safe and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic. When the news came out that it was recommended to stay indoors to flatten the curve I assumed it would be for two weeks maximum. Unfortunately, we’re in our fifth week with no end in sight and we need a new routine. Everly has been struggling to understand that we can’t go to school or outdoors and play as normal #cityliving! I finally decided to stock up on a few things for an indoor preschool that I’ve rolled out compliments of Busy Toddler. Susie is the mom behind Busy Toddler – she posts regularly to her Instagram page with almost 1 million followers. Her posts are for children of all ages and are SO informative – definitely check her out if you haven’t already.
Lots of you have recommended indoor toddler activities for two and three year olds on Instagram and I’ve been sharing the responses. I wanted to compile the list on the blog and share the tools I’ve ordered for anyone interested. I’ve been able to order most things from Amazon and Target, but a lot of them are things that we already have in our houses!
Before you go adding anything to cart I highly recommend using what you have at home. Start saving old egg cartons, boxes, empty toilet paper rolls if you aren’t already! I also like to save the fillers from the boxes we get like bubble wrap or extra cardboard. Even an old roll of Christmas paper provides an activity for us!
A Few Activities to Highlight:
Dyed Rice Sensory Bin
Dyed Cooked Spaghetti Sensory Bin
Water Beads or Frozen Peas
I like to add small dinosaurs, toy cars, Everly’s frozen character figurines to the different bins. We’ve also been using measuring cups, Easter eggs and spoons. Use frozen peas if your little one is under two! The water beads say non-toxic, but they always ended up in Everly’s mouth! Her favorite bin is definitely the dyed rice.. today I hid paper clips and we “searched” for them with these large magnets
I’ve seen so many activities that people are doing with painter’s tape. Everly and I like to make a track on the wood floors for her race cars. Other ideas are an obstacle course or a geometric pattern and color with chalk on the sidewalk outside. I also use lots of painter’s tape to hold down her art paper for painting on the floor, so it’s a good item to have on hand at home!
Painting with Recyclables
I’ve been saving our empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls for weeks for Everly to paint with and make cool shapes. They make great stamps if you cut/fray in different patterns.
So easy and no special tools are needed besides water, a bucket and a little bit of soap. I give Everly a washcloth and let her go to town with the soap and water. This activity can be done in a water table outdoors too! The first time we tried it I mixed a drop of food coloring and the soap together with my mixer, but it’s not necessary! She didn’t care what color the soap was. I let her get a little messy and she loved it then plopped her in the bath for more water play.
Painting in the Bathtub
We ordered extra washable finger paint and let Everly fingerpaint in the empty bathtub. There are lots of special soaps for painting in the tub, but our washable fingerpaints washed away perfectly fine. Another great activity before bathtime to kill 20-30 minutes!
I saw this on an Instagram page – can’t remember who, but Everly is a huge fan! I froze a few plastic dinosaurs in a large ice cube tray and she used a combination of salt and water with a paintbrush to break them free. We’ve gotten to the point where I always have a few frozen dinos available to pull out while I’m cooking dinner. She can sit at the counter and use her imagination to excavate the dinos!
Sorting by Colors
We’ve been using the counting teddies that we have, but once Everly is done with that we find other colors in the house. While I’m washing dishes or cooking dinner I can ask to her find something red in the house. She’ll run around looking and put the item on the red paper.
Contact Paper Stained Glass Activity
A roll of contact paper has provided more excitement than I anticipated. I easily found it in stock online and tapped it to the sliding glass down with the sticky side facing up. After cutting up a bunch of shapes Everly has been sticking them to the window. I also started cutting pictures out of her magazines and coloring books. Her bath letters also stick to the contact paper so we can do some counting and alphabet learning!
Hope this has been helpful! Please share with any friends of toddlers as well.