For at home moms-what do you do to keep kids busy all day?

Annalea - posted on 03/03/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I don't have a lot of money to buy crafts for them all the time but need to keep a 4 yr old and 1 1/2 yr old busy during the day. Especially in the winter when they can't be outside all day.

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Toni - posted on 03/03/2010

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i hear ya. I have a 4 year old and a 5 month old. I am a stay at home mom and i run out of ideas of things to do to keep my 4 year old busy happy and entertained. Some of the things that we do are building forts. We love to build forts. I found some old plastic bins and cleaned them out, then my son crawled in it and i popped popcorn, we played "going to a drive in movie." We love to color, if you have a bunch of old broken crayons you can put them in a cupcake tin, filing it about 3/4 full. bake the crayons on 350 for 5 min. when you take it out of the oven the centers will still be hard...thats how you know it hasnt burned. let them cool, then stick them in the freezer to completly cool. Take them out of the tin and now you have big round crayons that were FUN to make. We love to play with playdough. You can even make it yourself out of things you already have in your kitchen.



1 cup cold water

1 cup salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Food coloring



In a large bowl, mix together water, salt, oil and a few drops of food coloring. Mix flour and cornstarch and add 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly (you may need a little more or a little less than 2 cups flour so make sure you stir in until it is the right consistency). Knead for a few minutes with flour on your hands.



If you dont have something the recipe calls for google play dough recipes and there are tons of different kinds. You can even make edible playdough that your kids can play with and then if your 1 year old eats it .. its okay! :)



If you have popsicles, let em eat a popsicle and then color for pictures, cut out the pictures and glue them to the sticks. put on a show. If you have brown paper lunch sack bags u can make hand puppets.. let them draw the faces on the bag :)

I find that my son like to make snacks. Rice Crispys are easy to make and so fun.



3 Tbs butter

one cap full of vanilla

one bag of mini marshmellows ( about 10 oz )

6 cups rice crispy.



melt ur butter in pan, when boiling like add in marshellows and vanilla. stir till marshmellows are creamy and melted. add a few drops of food coloring for fun. then pour this mixture into a bowl of you mesured rice crispys. stir real good. Put on a cookie sheet. and flatten them out. ** i find that my butting butter on my hands to flatten it out helps it not to stick to me and make a mess. ** we like to take cookie cutters and cut out shapes of rice crispys.



since its winter we've been making paper snowflakes. so easy to make. just sizzors and paper. I let my son choose places on the ceiling to hang them. all u need is a little tape...and string, but u can do it with no string too.



i sometimes will get out all my pots and pans, bowls, spoons and we play "rockband"

we like to play hide and go seek in our house

if you have paper plates a stapler and extra noodles or beans u can make a noise maker. just take two plates and put beans or noodles in the middle, staple it shut all the way around and there ya go. they can decorate it and color it too.



Its hard to think of different things to do..but i keep trying to find new things, that dont cost me anything. i like trying to use things that i already have.

I hope ive given ya some ideas or helped ... i hope i didnt give ya too much.

Louise - posted on 03/05/2010

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Hi,
Children love to copy adults so make your housework into fun! My 16 month old loves to pretend polish and wipe things clean. She also likes to help me with making dinner fetching vegetables from the basket and washing potatoes. You don't need to use any money just imagination. Children learn new things from life experience. For example size big and small from potatoes heavy and light. My daughter also loves to play hairdresers brushing my hair and putting hair bands on. Children love one to one attention and can spend hours just pretending to be mummy. My daughter also loves to play with my saucepans and utensils pretending to cook. Make standard day to day chores exciting and your day will fill up quicker than you think.

Sarah - posted on 03/08/2010

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Any packets from food can be easily made into a model a drum with a wooden spoon or what ever your imagination can think of. We have simple paint and pva glue in the house which don't cost much. We made small model and try painting things. My daughter loves just being silly - even face pulling makes her laugh. Have a couple of different boxes of toys so that you can vary the toys that are played with every couple of weeks. Don't forget that some time playing alone is good for a child anyway because they develop their own games and independance - just make sure that the area they are left in is child friendly. reading books is good. even just a walk to the park - what ever the weather. Good luck with the entertainment.

Martina - posted on 03/05/2010

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hi,
i know what u mean, i have 3 year old and 19mnths old, and its sometimes hard. We like to bake (the cbeebies website is great, spec. the program I can cook, wich has child friendly rcps), sometimes its fun to cut shapes out of paper or my daughter loves to make coullage (prob. didnt spell it right LOL) - i have cut out things out of old magazines (like eyes, noses, lips. etc) and she sticks them to make picture - pls its good for learning parts of body and where they belong....

good luck

Amy - posted on 03/03/2010

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if you have glass and a lighter/candle - you can make lampblack. just light the candle and put the glass [ like a 9 inch pie pan ] upside down close to the top of the flame and the black soot stuff will form. can use paintbrushes to make "paint" for nearly no money. dip brush in a bit of water and voila - painting time. i also tell my daughter to get three toys of various sizes. i have her hide while i count and i "hide" them in the living room. she gets to come in and "find" them. we also play "catch and tickle me". a lovely game where i sit and relax and as she runs by i put my hand out and pretend i'm going to get her. she thinks she's winning and giggling - i may catch her for a quick tickle and hug - but this is more of a mom needs to sit down and breath time for me. cooking simple things is good. there's cake mix cookies that only require a box of cake mix, couple eggs and a half cup of oil [ i think. can't remember exact] but it's easy for kids to do. giant boxes are awesome - we get ours free from diapers.com when we order! both will play for hours in those. and then books are always good. it's amazing the attention span they gain from books.

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Marcie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I know how that is, i've got a son that will be 2 in may and a daughter that will be 3 in april. U can try to find simple stuff around the house and the thoughts will just come to you. I know it isn't much help but just thought it might help a little. :-)

Dorea - posted on 03/04/2010

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i have a 2 1/2 year old boy. I have been blessed with toys from just about everyone around me. I have an added on garage to the house so you open the door your in it, it's carpeted so it makes it nice for him to go "outside" to play. I have a fw puzzles, books and various things but he loves to help with the laundry and helps me get the mail, if it's really yucky outside then we color and watch a disney moive and just all around play.

Sue - posted on 03/03/2010

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I have a 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 year olds and i keep them entertained with coloring, puzzles, stickers on paper, found websites for craft ideas, Baby First TV and learning videos. I also have lots of playtime with which I use to interact with learning activities. Colors, numbers and objects. I also pray for lunch time nap time for peace and quiet.

Serena - posted on 03/03/2010

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pray for naptime LOL. I have recently started doing art activities with my toddler, there are a lot of websites to find great easy ideas. I have learned they can't last too long to keep their attention and we do watch interactively nickjr for down time. there are no commercials and a lot of extra learning. Its kind of neat they have lesson plans to coincide with what they are teaching on the television. GOod luck

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