When I volunteered to write on tips for toddler activities I thought, “piece of cake.” It’s been awhile since mine were little but since I am equipped with the attention span of a 5-year old, I play with the “littles” any chance I get.
Since I am writing for this generation of moms, I decided I should go online to discover what new, great ideas you may have. Certainly there must be innovations that are priceless, creative, and ones I haven’t yet thought of.
Well, here is what I found—you are out of your ever-loving minds!
Projects laid out in beautiful color, step by step, beginning with a visit to the craft store and ending hours later are just delightful on paper, but who has time for this stuff? You have a 3-year-old! I am quite sure if you don’t manage one or two of these activities each week there is bound to be some other mother out there who makes you feel guilty. That’s something we moms do to one another, and have forever!
Let me tell you this: your child was not placed into your care to make sure they are constantly entertained, boredom never crossing their little minds. They are here for you to love, protect, and teach all things about life. Not for you to be their personal activity center. So I’m going to give you some real life tips that I did, that will cost you nothing, and keep you sane—not just for toddlers—but some for kids of all ages.
1.You have a work project to complete from home.
Gather your laptop, a plastic bowl, cup, non-lethal spoons, spatulas or any other digging device and head outdoors. Stick your child in the mulch, dirt or sand with utensils in hand, add a little water from the hose if you like, and sit them down. Break out the laptop and complete your work while they make a killer mess. When they toddle up with half a worm sticking out of their mouth, count your blessings; they willingly added a bit of protein to their daily fare!
2. Create a lower cabinet that’s toddler-height for all plastic storage containers.
Open said cabinet when you are trying to create some semblance of a meal and let them at it. When you are done cooking and they have scattered every piece on the floor, just throw it all back into the cabinet. The family immune system is perfected when germs are shared.
Since they are masters of the plastic storage containers, enlist their help in taking them from the dishwasher to their special cabinet. Nothing like learning chores at toddler stage!
3. Let them be bored.
Then hand them empty boxes, paper towel tubes, whatever is on hand, and let them create. Depending on their age, you’ll get anything from a drum, to a caterpillar, to shredded cardboard. Boredom breeds much-needed creativity.
4. If you have a block of time, think of doing this. Lay on the ground with your little and discuss which clouds look like dogs or cats, or cars.
Let them sit on your head. Let them take off your shoes and throw them as far as they can to then retrieve and place back on your feet. The best project is to just share life.
So moms, if you have time, create the Eiffel Tower of creative endeavors and thoroughly enjoy the process. But if you don’t, remember this is not a requirement for great mothering. These “littles” were given to you to love, teach and protect. You want to raise these little munchkins into productive, self-sufficient adults. Entertainment can be found at Chuck E. Cheese.