At home activities for toddlers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    At home activities for toddlers

    Help! Since we've started a playgroup 2x a week my 2 1/2 year old b/g twins are much more restless (and getting into mischief) when we are at home.
    Yesterday I managed to get them interested in building a Lego "town" (lots of towers and little houses) and we also built a hidey hole from extra playmat tiles. We did Play-Doh too. DD likes stickers and DS likes his cars and trucks, but I need more! :)
    Anyone have any other suggestions for keeping us busy during "at home" days. I can't take them to Target and the Stop & Shop everyday...I'll go broke! :)
    CT-DC - what do you do with the toddlers at daycare?

    BTW - I know pretty soon we can just go outside, I just want some more inside ideas to keep us entertained.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    My BFF has a 2 year old girl, and she plays endlessly with her doll house every day.  I don't know how much they are, but she's had it since Christmas and is still VERY into it.  It's rather large; they have it set up in a corner in the living room, and it takes up the whole corner space that's defined by the couch on one wall and a chair on the other.  The size she has would definitely accomodate 2 girls playing together.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    What about drawing or coloring with crayons?  My 22 month old is mad for it.

    Also, what about walking around the mall?  I'm not sure where you are but the Natick mall has that big, quiet, carpeted space by the posh shops that's perfect for toddlers to run around.  Also, they have an indoor play space by the stride rite with slides, etc.  Totally free and fun for the little ones.

    At least they have each other .. like your own mini-playgroup everyday! :)  Good luck!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Boxes, big boxes - boxes of all sizes. DD (18 months) loves moving things from bin to bin, rearranging her box furniture, climbing in and out of boxes and building forts - even our cats seem to enjoy them.

    We keep big boxes around for several days before recycling them, and they have been a very big hit. We got this idea from the nursery school we visited (and DD will eventually go to next year)

    Coloring is also popular, turning on the music and dancing or having a parade through the house, pulling all the cushions off the couch and turning them into an obstacle course is fun too.

    Our local library also has a weekly story time (free) and that's a good outing, always manages to wear her out. :) HTH! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from wrkingmom. Show wrkingmom's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    We are a bit younger but we make musical instruments - plastic bowls or pots with spoons; dried pasta in hard containers to shake, empty chock full of nuts coffee cans and run a spoon along the outside etc and run around the house.  We will also incorporate a red light green light game where I am making the noise he runs but when I stop he stops.
    Hide and seek - obviously a less crazy version then with older kids; ds loves to read so we do books; color - we have a chalk board easel and so we work on shapes and colors and draw his favorite animals; We also will roll a big soft playground type ball around; ds loves to help clean so I pull out a water spray bottle and spray our sliding glass door and give him a papertowel or microfiber towel and "clean"  I dont know how you sahm and dc teachers do it because I do run out of ideas all the time!  Cant wait to hear what others do
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    DS does daycare 3 days a week and at almost 17 mths, they already do quite a bit of crafts.  He's come home with some really cute items.  They have made a "pizza" with cut up construction paper pieces and glue.  They made a plate of "bacon and eggs" with the same.  Made a snow scene with cotton balls glued on paper.  They painted with broccoli spears and some kind of non-toxic paint (or it better have been non-toxic as they sent home a photo and DS had it all over his face!).  Of course, I would need to buy several of those under high-chair mats and do this on the kitchen floor if we did at home.  I definitely resort to coloring when home with DS... he's finally stopped eating the crayons (for the most part).  They play dress up at daycare and the teachers will take pictures for the parents (so cute!).  Actually, taking pictures.  Your twins are probably old enough that those V-tech or Fischer Price cameras would be great for them.  If you have a color printer, can just print out on regular paper so not too expensive (and good for little hands).

    Good luck... I am also stuck in a rut many times on the weekends or days off I spend with DS.  Can't wait for days like yesterday and off to the town playground we go!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Thanks for all the ideas ladies.  Good to know we are doing most of these already. We build sofa forts and sometimes play in boxes. DS will not color (except in the tub) for more than about 2 seconds.
    I used to read all the time, but they don't seem to want to sit still for that these days. Same with music - we used to play drums and shake rattles and stuff.  They did get a doctor's kit from my mother that they like. Maybe I need to rotate some toys out so they start to miss them!
    Maybe I just need more structure - like a mini day care. I guess I'll have to make a list in the morning and plan a bunch of stuff in advance.
    Anyway - keep those ideas coming...six more months until preschool starts!!! :)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    What about a cooking project? My 2 year old loves to help in the kitchen. I could get messy with two kids but would definitely hold their interest. I think there are some cookbooks for kids out there or you could google toddler friendly recipes.. One thing we did recently is make peanut butter play dough out of all edible ingredients. Making it took up part of one morning and playing with it was our activity that afternoon. I always make a big deal out of cooking - put my DD's hair back, wash hands, etc before cooking anything and she gets really into it.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    My 2.5 yo DS' favorite activity at daycare is the dance party. Just put on the radio or CD and let them dance around. We have a couple of beach balls that he likes to pick up, roll around, chase around, kick around, etc. while the music is on. Help them burn off all that energy!!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    I know it must be really hard to take two kids places at the same time, but are there any free/cheap indoor play spaces near you?  Or other families nearby with kids the same age?
    I don't think it's so much the other kids, but for our LO it's exciting just to go to somebody else's house and see what's there.  So trading back and forth visits is great.  Everything is new.  I've been lucky to meet a few people who live close enough that it's not an ordeal to get there, and since they have kids they are not fazed by us.  Also, we've established a judgment free zone in terms of having a clean house.  :)  Is there a local parents list or a mom of multiples list where you might be able to look for someone like that?
    The other thing that strikes me is thinking about the Montessori philosophy of giving kids work / jobs to do.  Unfortunately I don't think the info online is very clear.  But there is a website for Montessori homeschooling that might be a good resource.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    This is a great time of year to start seedlings. then as the weather gets even nicer you can plant them in the yard. DS has loved to watch everything we plant grow.

    Cooking is also a big hit in our house.

    But I admit sometimes I do the "lets play the matching the socks game and fold the shirts game." That one never goes over well.

    Puzzles.

    What about coloring with chaulk? You can paint a section of the wall with chaulk paint then they can draw on the wall-DS might be more engaged with that. You an also add in magnetic paint to the mix and have magnets on it too.
    The Beantown play area at the Natick Collection is fun. Safe climbing area, and not crazy busy on the weekdays. Weekends can be insane.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    I'm expecting #1 but I taught in a preschool for three years so here are a few other  cheap ideas that could work with your kids:
    (1) Freeze dance - just like the dance party that Kiwi suggested but when you pause the music they freeze.  It usually ends up with the kids falling over in a fit of giggles but they definitely burn off a lot of energy.
    (2) Cheap arts and crafts projects like paper construction chains to help you count down to a specific event - you would have to cut the construction paper for them but then they get to decorate the paper and link them all together. Hang them up in the kitchen or playroom and then each morning each child gets to remove a link from their chain.  Right now is a perfect time with both Easter and Passover coming up.

    Also, there are plenty of websites that preschool teachers use to come up with themes and ideas for their classroom.  You could use some of those ideas and start a little pre-school of your own.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Also, once the weather improves enough that you can go outside for most of the day I would suggest getting a few items that you store away for rainy days.  Whether it's puzzles, games or even a few new toys, if your twins are only given them to play with every once in awhile they will hold their attention longer.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Thanks again everyone. Great ideas.
    I will admit to being totally afraid to take them to Natick by myself.  I have a total fear that DS will run off and how will I catch him and watch DD at the same time?
    I'm going to try more "crafty" things.  They seem to enjoy them at playgroup.
    Thankfully we were able to go outside and swing and slide this morning.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    What a timely post, misslily.  Thanks!

    Love the ideas, especially the dance party/freeze dance.  I'm now it for parent Sat and Sun 10 am - 7 pm due to DH's work schedule and I've been struggling with how to keep a 3.5 and 17 month old twins happy and busy.

    Lily - I totally hear you on taking the kids places on your own.  While I'm looking forward to nicer weather, we don't have an enclosed back yard and since it's a condo we won't ever.  Everyone is on the move now and I'm petrified of exactly the situation you mentioned except with all three of them taking off in different directions?  Does anyone have any solutions for that kind of situation?  DD1 would NEVER have run away from us when out in public until the last few months.  I've seriously been thinking backpack leashes for the twins for lack of a different option but on the other side it feels kind of silly.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    I have the backpack leashes and I do use them in busy parking lots because DS simply can't be trusted. Some b!tch made a comment at the store the other day. A really old woman with her husband loudly said, "Look, I guess they have leashes for kids now."
    There have even been discussions on my MOT board about them.  One mother proudly said that she had taught her twins to stay by her knees and would never use them. The rest of us felt that between the ages of 18 months and 2 1/2 or 3 - it was better to be safe than sorry.
    I'm just not willing to take the chance that he escapes my grasp and runs in front of a car.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Can't help but chime in on the leash thing.  Those have been around since at least the 70's, if not before.  It makes me furious when people make disparaging comments and judgments about them.  Like misslily said - which is better, knowing your child is safe by your side and can't run into oncoming traffic, or being all uppity about either a) having a "trained" child (in my mind there is always the chance they'll forget their training if something tempting comes into view) b) worryng how the leashes look to others.  My godson has ASD and tends to bolt with no notice.  His mom got all kinds of sh!t for using the leash, I felt so badly for her.  Safety should be the first priority. 

    (sorry, misslily, didn't really have anything to add to your original post!)
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    we use the backpack leash in the airport. And I've gotten rotten looks and comments. My retort back to the comment was "Do you really want me to lock this entire airport terminal down while we search for a toddler who ran off?" They are a safety tool. Are they approrpriate for everything? no. But honestly I don't see how parents of twin toddlers go without them-unless you have stroller compliant kids!

    DS loves his travel monkey-he actually puts it on at the house...
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    DD is almost three, here are some of the activities we do:

    LOTS of cooking, we make english muffin pizza, regular pizza, cookies, muffins, etc
    Glue, she loves using glue.  Sometimes I will cut shapes and then she will glue the shapes
    Music time, I keep our instruments put away all the time.  I only take them out when we have music time.  I bought some Music Together cd's from Amazon
    Birthday Party - We pretend that one of her dolls is having a party, usually we will bake them a cupcake and then have a pretend party.
    Doctor, she loves that

    She will paint or color but not for very long stretches.  We did just paint then had a bath - she loves a mid day bath, its a huge treat.

    Puzzles are good but only at certain times of day.  I got a magnetic pattern board and she likes playing with that.  She also (recently) started liking matching games.

    One favorite for outside is collecting rocks in a bucket and dropping them in the sewer - she could do that ALL day!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Sort of on the topic of leash-worthy situations, but more along the lines of stupid people who make stupid comments,
    DH, DD, and I went to IKEA last weekend.  It was crowded, of course.  DD is VERY good about not going all over the place but she does love spinny chairs.  Both DH and I were watching her as we walked to the next "room" in IKEA.  She ran ahead -- like 4 or 5 feet ahead, but directly in front of us and loudly announcing which chair she was going to jump on next-- to get onto a spinny chair in the directly adjacent "room."  Some old woman stopped me, stood BETWEEN me and DD, and started telling me some parenting "tip" about how her sister had written "Mom = (name) phone # = (number)" on her kids arm just in case when they went to Disneyland. 
    The most annoying thing was because of her fat, bossy a55 being in my way DD and I actually lost sight of each other for a second and DD started to get upset.  I basically said "well, I'm going to concentrate on not losing her in the first place.  Excuse me, and brushed by her." 

    So I guess either way we're not parenting well, leash or no leash haha.

    On the subject of keeping kids busy, I have had a lot of success with bubbles (even in the winter--we just go in the bathroom or kitchen), sidewalk chalk, and tents made of sheets. Dance parties are fun.  DD is getting old enough for pretend games right now, which is really fun.  We can pretend to be cats or pretend to be dogs or elephants or I can pretend to be a kid while she's the mom or whatever. 
    I'm also one of those people that probably is going to end up with a concussion situation or a broken TV or window one day, but I definitely play running games in the house.  DD is a big fan of her nerf basketball hoop too.  That can keep us quite occupied for some time. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    All these great ideas make me want to quit my job and stay home. :)
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    In Response to Re: At home activities for toddlers:
    [QUOTE]The most annoying thing was because of her fat, bossy a55 being in my way DD and I actually lost sight of each other for a second and DD started to get upset.  I basically said "well, I'm going to concentrate on not losing her in the first place.  Excuse me, and brushed by her."  So I guess either way we're not parenting well, leash or no leash haha. 
    Posted by lissafro[/QUOTE]

    LOL Lissa.  Classic.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    MissLily - my DD is a little older (3.25), but she loves doing art projects at daycare that use the foam stickers (and has loved them for at least two years). They have done all sorts of things with them, from simply putting them on paper to covering pumpkins for Halloween. She also loves to play with her play kitchen - making food, serving to DH and me, and recently her dolls. Another activity that might be fun is blocks - wooden blocks are great, but they also make foam blocks if throwing is a concern - and there are large cardboard "brick" style blocks that are great for building forts a toddler can play in. I think that having a variety of toys you can cycle through is great, I notice that DD has times when she is super into one toy, then ignores it for weeks when something else comes along, but gets way into it again when she rediscovers it. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    We do running games too. It's called "chasing babies" as in "Mama chase babies now?"
    I love the idea of more art projects.  Seems I need to be prepared with some supplies like construction paper, glue etc. And smocks too!
    And I love the idea of foam stickers!!

    And my DH got a big piece of 2 inch thick foam and a fitted flannel crib sheet and uses it to cover the big flat screen in the family room.  Keeps stray blocks (which aren't a huge problem anyway) from hitting the screen. A crib mattress pad would probably work too!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: At home activities for toddlers

    Notice that none of the Nosey Nates driving around pull over and seek out and harass the moms of the three year olds riding the Big Wheel up and down the block supervised by an eight year old, or get in the face of a 300 pound woman slapping the bejeezus out of a kid, or the parent of the Cheeto-guzzling five year old who's forty pounds overweight and wearing clothes that look slept in...they find an ostensibly mild-mannered, garden variety middle class mom and nitpick on matters of opinion that don't really matter.  What's with the leash?  Don't you think that poor baby needs a hat on?  Are you sure she ought to have a second cookie?  Aw, the little one just wants some attention, that's right she just wants some ATTENTION (when you dare do anything other than directly interact with kid for two whole minutes).

    Sorry, soapbox time, but I recently had someone claiming to be a physician accost me in the parking lot and tell me that my 12 year old's cough (the same one I and everyone in the neighborhood and half the kids at school had all last week and survived perfectly fine thank you very much) meant she should see a doctor immediately.  Yup, on the orders of a total stranger who sat near us in church, I will drag a perfectly fine middle schooler with a cold to urgent care on a holiday weekend...because I could not possibly know or care to keep an eye on it and call the doctor's office if it got worse, after a combined 30 plus kid-years of being a parent.  You'd think this baloney would end once they are in elementary school, but apparently not.
     
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