Monday, January 13, 2014

6 ways to entertain a toddler at home

Looking for some easy ways to entertain your toddler in the winter?

So... how about that polar votex?  Boy, oh boy, that was some crazy weather.  With the snow, ice, and freezing cold winds, Chuck and I hunkered down at home. 

After a couple of hours of reading the same books over and over again, and playing with the same toys over and over again, and listening to the soundtrack of "Planes" for the trillionth time, I finally cracked.

Redrum, redrum?

Thankfully, we didn't make it to that point.  But, we definitely bounced off the walls a bit.  To maintain some sense of sanity, we had to do something to make the time at home more enjoyable.  So here are a couple of fun activities that kept us sane and smiling...

1.  Yarn family portrait craft

yarn hair family portrait craft
Chuck loves using scissors and the glue sticks, so this activity was a hit.  First he helped me cut tons of short, white yarn strands.  Then, I doodled a bald family on a piece of paper.  Then, he helped me glue hair onto all of their heads.  The result is this cute and funny family portrait. 

Keep reading to see more ways we entertained ourselves at home...

2. Make meals and snacks together

toddler helping mom to set up snacks
I enlisted Chuck's help in making snacks and dinners. Not going to lie, the food took a LOT longer to prepare, but it was worth it.  The time passed by much quicker when we had an activity to do AND Chuck felt proud helping mama out. 

3.  Tell stories  

child smiling while mom tells him a story
Lately Chuck's been on a storytelling kick.  He loves it when hubby and I make up stories about his small stuffed pig.  So far, we've told tales where piggy is a firefighter, astronaut, race car driver, helicopter pilot, and monster hunter.

4.  Play a simple board game 

One of my friends mentioned that her 3-year old loves playing board games.  We don't own any yet, so I tested out the waters with this super easy race car game.  Instead of rolling a die or spinning a spinner, we chose from a pile of Uno cards (0-4) to tell us how far to move each piece.  I was super surprised that Chuck actually understood what was going on.  We even played the game twice in a row.  Whoa....

5.  Spray bathtub monsters

spray bottle filled with food coloring activity
See that spray bottle?  I filled it up with a mixture of food coloring and water.  Then, I let Chuck spray the colored water on a bunch of monster faces that I doodled onto styrofoam and milk jugs. 

spray food coloring and water on monsters in bathtub
He really dug this activity!  And once the wall got too dirty, we just sprayed it down and sprayed the faces again. 

6.  Venture outside and "Paint" the snow

boy spraying food coloring onto snow to paint it
When the days got a bit warmer, we ventured outside on wintertime walks.  Since Chuck enjoyed spraying the monster heads so much, I let him bring his spray bottle out to spray the snow blue too

And that's it!  How did you guys survive the vortex?

Happy crafting!