When I first discovered Pinterest, I thought it might just be the answer I’d been looking for to help pass time on those endless stay at home mom days. Yet every time I tried one of the DIY projects for toddlers I had pinned, it was a big letdown. There was the popsicle stick velcro project and then the food coloring/dropper in baking soda pin. And this one that didn’t work at all ’cause I’m sure I did something wrong. And how can I forget the felt Christmas tree I spent hours crafting for her to play with all season that she barely cared about. The point is it feels like a decent amount of effort to run out and buy the supplies, prep it all, and then my daughter does the project for ten minutes. Doesn’t seem worth it.
There are certain activities I’ve found that take little or no time and prep on my part and she focuses on them exponentially longer than the Pinterest crafts I’ve tried. I feel like they’re worth sharing because other moms shared some of them with me and I’m so grateful!
- Shaving cream in the bathtub. This one’s a favorite in our house. Grumpy kids in the middle of the day? Put them in water. Shaving cream is an added bonus. They’ll make designs, wash it off, do it all over again.
- Art board. I’ve mentioned this activity before. Hours, and I mean hours, of use you’ll get out of this one. Let your child, color, draw, cut and glue, put stickers on it – you name it. The thick poster boards cost about $2 at Michael’s.
- Fill up a squirt bottle with water and let them go to town spraying outside. It’s only a dollar at Target and they’ll be happy anytime water is involved.
- Keep a button / bead jar and bust it out on slow days. My 4-year-old spends time sorting by color or type, counting, and arranging in a shape. I had one of these when I was little and I kept adding to it for years. We have most recently added marbles to our collection.
- Get out the piggy banks. Let them dump out its contents. Same type of thing as the bead jar – she will sort quarters, pennies etc., count, and make cool designs.
- Paint the sidewalk with water. My sister gave me this idea. The sun dries it instantly, so they feel that it’s their duty to paint it again. And again…again. Add chalk to mix it up a little.
- Our latest activity is collecting big, smooth rocks and then once we have a decent amount, we paint them. I’m not really a painting type of mom (I grit my teeth the entire time because I’m thinking about what it might ruin!) but it wasn’t too bad.
What are some of the activities your child loves?