What do you do to entertain your child/ren all day?

Kendall - posted on 02/02/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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There is only so much you can do all day everyday with your children. I am looking for suggestions of all kinds. I feel like I am boring my daughter. She's 21 months, so we are still sort of limited.

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Krissy - posted on 02/02/2011

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make noise, make messes, etc...

There's a slew of ideas...

Fingerpaint on waxed paper using different shades of pudding...

Play in a tub of potato flakes with spoons and measuring cups... (vacuums up easy!)

Make peanut butter playdough (if no allergies) recipies online...

Do crafts, puzzles, books books books and more books...
Drag your child around the house on a bed sheet...
Give them boxes bigger than they are to play in...cut holes out for tunnels. Draw or paint on boxes...

We sit in the tub with water colors and paint ourselves... (hint, sometimes lightly stains skin, but DOES come off...)

Cook... bake something... let your child measure and mix...

Go for a "march" around the house... make a train out of shoe boxes and put stuffed animals in... play fun music...

Get out the pots and pans... bang on them!! Make a band!!

Sing with your child... draw with your child...

Books??? Did I mention books???

Get out some of your clothes and play dress up... even high heels.. (not spike heels... LOL)

close to two, you can start cutting/pasting with your child... glue sticks and pictures torn from magazines are amazing...

Peel off the "background" of sticker sheets, leaving the individual stickers on the sheet... show your child how to start peeling them off...

String fruit loops on yarn and make edible necklace... (can use clear tape to make a small "needle" on the end by taping around the yarn so it doesn't fray.

count... count often... count their cheerios with them...

play toys with them... watch how they choose to play and join in... adding some extra stuff... like close to two, they get the concept of feeding a baby doll a bottle, well, give them a spoon, too... give them a velcro baby bib...

Get some preschool educational books and start working on rhymes, finger plays, and short stories...

Make puppets!! Sock, paper bag, whatever... and use them!

Make paper plate masks...

Use magnets, sticky back clear plastic, and a few extra photos (not ones you'd be devastated to lose)... to stick family members on the fridge where child can play with them...

play music, dance, twirl, laugh...

Krissy - posted on 02/02/2011

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build tents and tunnels with sheets and chairs...

Make marshmallow snowmen with large mar. mal. and pb or icing...

let your kid put the sauce on the pizza with a spoon and spread it around... let them put meat, cheese, and toppings... who cares if it's lumped in one spot...

use plastic zipper baggies to make oceans... put in fish shaped sponges or other non-pokey fishies... add a dab of blue food color to some tear free soap... zip closed (for durability, add silver duct tape around zip seal... let them play with this in bathtub and if they break it open, it just gets them cleaner.

Oh, play in water... tub, sink, whatever...

Let them start helping you wash dishes... sort the laundry, etc...

Give them chores... give them dry cloth and have them wipe the kitchen chairs down... watch exposure to cleaners, though.

Let them feed the pet, let them help hold pet's leash, with you holding tightly, too...

Lois - posted on 03/07/2013

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I find that its MUCH easier to keep toddlers entertained when the weather is nice. I have a 2 year old son, and when we have good weather, we pass the day doing things like:
--taking walks around the neighborhood
--playing at the neighborhood park
--driving to a different park to feed the ducks
--our backyard has a slide, swing, and sandbox, so we can easily kill 45 min playing back there
--kicking a ball around the yard
--WATER PLAY! We have a water table and its one of my son’s most-loved toys. He just loves to pour water in and out of cups and float toys in the water table. He also loves playing with the hose, and running through sprinklers.
--“helping” with gardening chores
--going to the swimming pool or splash pad
When the weather is cold, then its much, much harder to pass time since we have to stay indoors all day. But here are some things we do:
--puzzles and books
--ipad games
--playdough and sticker art
--taking a long afternoon bath so he gets to play with his water toys
--helping with chores like laundry, dishes, toy pick-up
--dancing! He loves it when I turn on music and we just dance. Sometimes I turn on fun you-tube dance videos.
--baking together (he loves this!)
--playing a “chase” game where I chase him through the house and tickle him or he chases me
--building with blocks and then knocking them down
--rolls cars and trains down tracks, etc
--pretending to cook with the play kitchen
--throwing a soft ball back and forth
We also have a gymnastics class once a week, a playdate once a week, and take a field trip (to the kid’s museum or bouncy house land or trampoline park or mall playland, etc) a few times a month.
He also watches about 3 short kid’s shows a day. Right now he likes Super Why and Wonder Pets. He could never sit still long enough for a movie (though I wish he would when I’m sick!,) but the 20-min shows are great and he gets one in the morning, one early afternoon, and one in the evening.

Marthie - posted on 02/15/2011

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Give presents! Yes, you'd think it's crazy, but re-wrap old toys! I wrap them in newspaper, or we make our own wrapping paper with paints or crayons. I then hide the presents through the house - behind the couch, under the chairs, everywhere! Then when he finds them, the greatest fun is to rip the paper off and then play with the "new" toy! Children at any age love presents and ripping paper - it's a win-win. Now that my son is 3.5 years old, he is also into pirates, so we now draw a treasure map that he can follow.

He learned about above, under, left, right, objects and literally everything because I would hide his "presents" and make a game of finding them. You pay attention to asking him how he found things, eg. "Did you find the present 'under' the chair?" when they get older, give them a choice, eg. "Did you find the present behind the bed, or in front of the bed?"

Now he has a 6 month old brother and he already wants to help his brother to find his presents too. I find especially in the rainy weather, this game keeps them active indoors. Not to mention everyday feels like a party! :)
Good luck - hope it helps!

Nic - posted on 02/07/2011

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One idea that hasn't been mentioned is that I sometimes put my daughters crib mattress on the floor at the end of the hallway and she runs down the hallway and 'flops' down on the mattress. Sometimes we put her soft toys on the mattress too and hit the mattress so the toys bounce up and down. She thinks thats really funny. lI take the cushions from the couch and place them up the hall and help my daughter step and climb on them. I put all the cushions and pillows in a heap in the middle of the lounge and place a sheet over them and help her 'climb the mountain'. Sometimes I put a couple of beach balls in the hallway and she runs through them, or pushes her softtoys sitting in the toy stroller through the balls. If you can spend a few minutes outside collecting leaves, flowers, bark, acorns, etc together, you could help your child glue (non-toxic) them to a piece of paper. I have also cut out different pictures from magazines (faces, animals, flowers, vegetables, elmo, what ever you can find) and then helped my daughter use double sided tape to stick them to a piece of paper. We put a shopping bag over our shoulder and walk through the house 'buying things' in each room. I brought my daughter a cheap wallet and put shells/flat stones in there for money. We 'pay' one of her soft toys on the way out of each room. She loves this!

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They have themselves. Mine do school work, art work, music, phonics, etc. They also play and clean their rooms, and the living room if they get games out. Kids can play by themselves and entertain themselves if given the opportunity. You just have to step back and let them.

Tylene - posted on 02/14/2011

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Obstacle course/ fort building! Takes some time to build and can provide a different place to do the daily activities.

Connie - posted on 02/10/2011

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I was in the same boat with my now 3 year old during the summer. I just had a new baby and it was way too hot here in the summer. I would do things like arts and crafte (paints, beading, making different things). Then play with her toys, reading, puzzles and some tv. Playhouse Disney is great for her age, the programs are more engaging. I just found many activities for shorter periods of time, the attention span is very low at this age. If possible, have some play dates. Now that I am back to work, she goes tot he sitters house and she has her own kids, both my girls have a blast. Having other kids to play with makes a huge difference too.

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Tips for Promoting Physical Activity in Children

•Embrace a healthier lifestyle; be a role model by being physically active yourself
•Plan family activities that provide everyone with exercize and enjoyment
•Help your child participate in a variety of activities that are age appropriate
•Provide a safe environment for your children and their friends to play actively; encourage swimming, biking, skating, ball sports, and other fun activities
•Advocate for more phyical activity programs in schools and in your community
•Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend performing sedentary actvities such as watching tv or playing video games; limit tv time to less than 2 hours a day

Alyssa - posted on 02/03/2011

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My son is going to be 2 on February 15th. Some of the stuff we do to mix it up a bit: Play with whipped cream on a table or tray, then take a nice warm bath. We play with different sounds different things can make. We make instruments out of old coffee cans, paper towel rolls and even straws. We even make meal time more fun by using a straw to eat yogurt or pudding. There is also a recipe for kool-aid playdough online we use once in a while. My son loves to wrestle on the floor and play chase. I also switch out toys every few months so things seem new and we have more to explore. Some places have play groups available for certain age ranges. Our local YMCA offers open swim and lessons for young children. Sometimes we bundle up and go to the park in the snow if its not too cold to be outside. Its fun for the kids to explore familiar places in the snow. Its tough to get through the cabin fever, but it's almost spring!

Kendall - posted on 02/03/2011

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Thanks ladies!

I also went on the website for the library in my area and 2 days a week they have a play group for her age range. I can't wait for spring so we can go outside! lol

Marylea - posted on 02/02/2011

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Make homemade play dough. I did that one the other day with my 21month old daughter. She loved it.

Marylea~

Allie - posted on 02/02/2011

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I definitely feel like my son is bored a lot of the time. I try and keep him as busy as possible though, we do arts and crafts... play dough... I'll put water in a bin with some toys for him to play with... we've made musical instruments out of beans/rice and paper towel rolls... he likes to bake with me... luckily he's getting to the age (2.5yrs/31months) where he will entertain himself for thirty minutes in his room.... And he's in preschool so he goes there for a few hours three days a week. Good luck! ANd have fun!

Deana M. - posted on 02/02/2011

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Ugh! Im in the same boat too!! Its so hard especially in the winter time. My baby is 17 months old and I feel awful because we always have theTV on. (She doesnt it there glued to it though). We "read" books and she pretty much plays with her toys all day. I got her flash cards and she looks at the and tells me what the pics are. Our local roller rink actuallly has a kiddie program twie a week where the kids can either roller skate or walk/run/ride around the rink with those little push toys or riding things. Other than that...Im at a loss too!

Dawn - posted on 02/02/2011

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I feel the same and since we are trapped inside because of the weather we are at our wit ends lol! I read books to my 21 month old son watch toy story play with his toys and lately he does not want to play alone he always wants momma around playing with him please let me know if you get any good feed back from your post i am very interested too.

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