Keeping a toddler busy can be about as easy as nailing Jello to a wall. But there are ways to capture their attention for a few moments that don’t involve children’s music or draining your cell phone battery. And when you need a few minutes of quiet – like when you’re on the phone or when you’re at church – these activities will fit the bill perfectly. Not only that, but the tasks involved will work on your child’s fine motor coordination, and any number of other skills (colour matching, counting, adding & subtracting, letter recognition, etc).
Pick up these supplies at the dollar store:
-plastic toy links
-zippered bags or pencil cases to keep everything organized
Rescue this from the recycling bin:
-plastic parmesan cheese container or other dispenser that has holes in the lid
Assemble your activities:
1. Clothespin Squeeze: Show your child how to open the clothespin and hang it on the crazy straw. Then show them how to take it off again. Extra points if they can slide the clothespin along the straw!
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs: Show your child how to drop the pipe cleaners through the holes, and how the pom poms won’t fit. Then show them how to open the larger hold on the other side of the lid to drop the pom poms into.
4. Twisty Letters: Pipe cleaners are so versatile, but I use them for letters and numbers. Show your child how to bend them into the letters of their name, or various numbers (their address, phone number, the year, etc). Or, just let them create people and animals or whatever they like!
What are your favourite ways to keep your child occupied when you need some “keep quiet” time?