By Asha

June 5th, 2020
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I am just finishing up 10 weeks of working from home. It has been tricky trying to get all of my work hours in while also entertaining and caring for my children. Even my four-year-old daughter who usually does a really nice job of playing on her own was getting more antsy and needy these last few weeks. My 19-month-old son continues to be a busy boy and needs a lot of encouragement to sit and play. About a month ago I shared some other activities that have worked well for us: Indoor Activities To Keep Your Toddler Entertained {More Than 10 Ideas!}. Today, I wanted to share some more activities that have done the trick to keep my toddler’s (and sometimes my daughter’s) attention, so I could get some work done.

Hopefully between last month’s post and this one you will find some new ideas that you are able to try with your toddler. Additionally, all of these activities are easy to set up, use minimal supplies and supplies that you likely already have at home.

#1. Pom Pom Drop. I used some painter’s tape to secure some toilet paper and paper towel tubes to the wall at my son’s level. He then had a blast putting the different colored pom poms through the tubes and seeing where they would come out.

2. No Mess Window Painting. I used gallon size zip top bags and added some water to the bottom (I did not measure but maybe half a cup? Then I put some dabs of finger paint inside each bag toward the top. I zipped the bags shut and then used masking tape on all four sides to secure them to my patio window. This was an activity that the kids kept coming back to throughout the the day to ‘paint’ more. It was fun to mix the colors and squish the water up toward the top of the bag to get even more color mixing. You could do it without the water too, but it just added another element and you could use less paint.

3. Free The Popsicle Sticks. I purchased pre-colored popsicle sticks from Walmart to use for craft projects. Since my son had had fun with a different activity where he had to release his little toys that were taped on a cookie sheet, I tried this activity on a day where I wanted him to be in the highchair for a longer period of time while I worked. You could make it even more difficult by adding a couple pieces of tape to each stick. He was really proud of himself when he got each one off after working at it!

4. Pom Pom Whisk. Just like what it sounds like – I filled our kitchen whisk with pom poms and he hat to work to get them out. Sometimes the simplest things hold their attention longer than you would think!

5. Popsicle Stick Push. This is a lot like the q-tip push we did as one of last month’s activities, however to make it different and interesting I colored each egg carton spot to coordinate with the colors of the popsicle sticks so he could work on his color matching. 

6. Table Hammocks. I tied some bed sheets around our kitchen table to make hammocks underneath. Both kids LOVED this. They relaxed in them, played in them, read in them. It was an all day activity, which made this working mom very happy! Note, if you use a queen bed sheet it works best to tie it at diagonal ends like I did. If you have a wide table you may need to use a king size sheet.

7. Playing Card Push. I took an empty, washed out snack container and cut a thin rectangular slot in the lid. I then gave my son a deck of old playing cards. He loves putting things in and dumping things out right now so this activity was perfect for him. This is one that he has gone back to over and over and still holds his attention for multiple minutes at a time.

8. Homemade Ice Cream. We took a zip-top quart size bag and added a cup of whole milk, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Then we pushed out the extra air and zipped it shut and added it to a gallon size bag. We also added 3 cups of ice and 1/3 cup of sugar to the gallon bag. Make sure your quart size bag is zipped well so you don’t get sugar or water into your ice cream! Once we zipped the gallon size bag well it was time for the fun part! The kids took turns shaking the bag up it takes 5-10 minutes to get your ice cream depending on how much you shake and how hard you want your ice cream to be. You can then add the toppings of your choice.

9. Tin Foil Toy Wrap. When your little one isn’t looking grab a few of their favorite small toys and wrap them in tinfoil. Then, when you need some uninterrupted work time, just hand them the pile of tinfoil covered toys. My son was just as happy opening these tinfoil wrapped toys as he was opening gifts on his birthday!

10. Toothpick Marshmallow Masterpieces. My one-year-old wasn’t able to actually build structures like my four-year-old could, but he still had fun poking toothpicks into the marshmallows – and munching on the mini marshmallows.

That’s all for today! Feel free to pin this post to save these ideas for future use. In the comments please let me know if you tried any of these activities with your little one(s) and how they liked them!

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