View Full Version : Indoor activities with a toddler
10-22-2005, 07:35 AM
Okay I need some ideas. Now that cold weather is fast approaching the days DS and I can play outside are numbered.
I sah with ds who is almost 16 months so I'm looking for some ideas of different things I can do with him when it's to cold to go outside.
We don't belong to a mommy and me class right now but we do go to story time at the libary but that's only once a week.
So any tips on things to do so neither of us get bored and go stir crazy.
10-22-2005, 10:00 AM
Books (LOTS of them :))
Make homemade Play-Doh
Play on musical instruments (raid your kitchen to see what you have that can be used as musical instruments - such as beating on Tupperware bowls, etc.)
Developmental toys appropriate for his age
Bring a couple of huge boxes home from an appliance store and carve out a door and window to make his own little fort
If you live in a cold climate that gets snow, don't forget to go outside occasionally and make snowmen, snow angels, pull your DC on a sled, etc.
10-22-2005, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure if this would be too "old" for him but my mom used to make a "cave" out of blankets and chairs and read to us by flashlight, or let us use our imaginations and turn it in to whatever we wanted :)
10-22-2005, 01:16 PM
A big bowl of uncooked beans or lentils and a bunch of smaller containers, spoons, etc. to mess around with can keep DD busy for quite a while.
Art - crayons, colored pencils, etc... Let the kid go wild on a big piece of paper.
Sometimes when I have nowhere to go but want to get out of the house, I take her to Ikea. They are very child-friendly and their toys and play furniture are fun to explore.
10-22-2005, 02:01 PM
When we're housebound, DD likes to play with her Aquadoodle, water (she plays with cups and bottles and sponges in the bathroom sink), and recently has gotten into playing with baby dolls. She likes to feed her baby and then put her to bed (which is quite hilarious to watch).
At DD's daycare, they paint with glitter paints or else with regular paints, but using fun things like feathers or Qtips as brushes. They also have an open area where kids play with big toys, and one of the most popular activities there is to chase the hula hoops. The teachers roll them across the floor, and the kids go nuts chasing them.
Going on outings, even to places you wouldn't normall associate as being "fun" for a kid are great, too. DD loves riding the car shopping cart at the grocery store...
10-22-2005, 06:19 PM
Thanks for the ideas ladies!
I really wish I could ds to sit and read a book with me but I guess there is just to much going on. Luckily we do get to read at bedtime though.
I can't eat out every week but twice a month would be nice.I keep meaning to take him to the pet store-that's an idea.
My mom bought him a tunnel/house thing for Christmas and it's already wrapped-I hope I can hold out until Christmas.;)
Good point about Ikea-he also likes their swedish meatballs. Kill two birds with one stone.
10-22-2005, 06:24 PM
we've been doing art projects. she's still too young for finger paints though, that was a nightmare :eek:
10-22-2005, 06:34 PM
we've been doing art projects. she's still too young for finger paints though, that was a nightmare
Today 08:19 PM
LOL. I can only imagine doing that with Josh. He'd have paint everywhere!
There are also some great books with ideas for inside toddler activities. I like The Toddler's Busy Book and Gymboree's Toddler book.
10-22-2005, 07:05 PM
-all sorts of craft projects--I put together a gigantic craft box before our basement was finished that i kept in the kitchen where she does her projects. now that it's finished, we have an entire craft/art area down there.
-water color painting
-make playdoh and other molding dough recipes together
-go to the indoor treehouse at our local mall
-take DD to DHs office and go to lunch (small family company--Grandpa loves to see her as well as everyone else)
-at 16 months i had DD in 2 classes. Kindermusik and an indoor gym class, so that took up two mornings a week.
-library to pick out books once every 2 weeks. (we were never able to get into story time as her other classes always conflicted)
-"make something" in her play kitchen
-play grocery store
-get out all the little people sets and make one huge elaborate town
-set asside a junk art box full of empty TP and paper towel rolls, old lids, yogurt containers, paper scraps, ribbon scraps etc. pull it out on a rainy day and create something. save all old crayons and one day, take the bits of crayons and melt them in mini muffin pans into new colorful crayons.
-Play the piano (if you have one. :) ) DD could spend a good 30 minutes at the piano when she was 16 months old.
-local children's museum
Even when it's freezing cold out, i make it a point to leave the house at least once a day. I would go CRAZY if we didn't. DD has been sick all week this past week and we've both been literally going nuts. we NEED an outing to break up the day for both our sanity. :)
10-22-2005, 07:56 PM
Diito to all of the above.
At ds's daycare they sometimes fill a tin with flour or oatmeal and let the kids fill cups or containers with it and just touch it. Then they ask them questions about what it feels like or what they are doing. They take pictures and make a poster telling the parents about what the kids had to say about the project.
Washable markers on paper or a white board is big at daycare as well.
If you have room for a small climber or even just a little tykes type slide that would allow some gross moter activity.
Get a bird feeder that attaches to the outside of a window. DS might get engrossed in watching the birds for awhile.
We have alot of fun with the gossermer like scarves from kindermusic - though you can probably find a cheaper version. Dress up, tossing them, peekaboo. Don't know why they are such fun but DS loves them.
Puzzles work great with my kid but that may just be him. He loves games and toys that have to do with spacial relations.
Itzy bitzy yoga - we took a class and got the book.
join or start a playgroup.
See if there is a parents paper in your area that lists all the events for children. There may be free story hours at bookstores as well as libriares, and check out other towns as well as yours.
See if your library has passes to local museums. Ours has passes that get us in for free or reduced price to the Aquarium, childrens museum, art musuem, science museum and other place. Great deal. And don't immediately discount an art museum. A short visit may be fun. DC may enjoy telling you about what she/he sees in a painting, or telling you the colors he/she sees, or just climbing on and off the benchs. But do be conciderate of other patrons who may not want to listen to a child babble all through their viewing of painting.
10-22-2005, 09:08 PM
come visit Linda.
10-22-2005, 11:42 PM
Make cookies! I just discovered this the other day. Don't know why I didn't try it sooner...I stuck DD in her high chair and gave her a mixing bowl/spoon/plastic measuring cups and let her mix a bunch of oatmeal, water, flour, and chocolate chips while I made the real thing at the counter. She was happy for at least an hour, and then wanted to do it again the next day! I just made simple drop cookies, but I think decorating cut-out cookies would also be a big hit.
10-23-2005, 06:44 AM
come visit Linda. LOL the best idea yet
These are some great ideas. I think some of them might still be a little old for ds but I'm sure by the time Jan/Feb rolls around I'll be able to use them.
A little slide is a good idea and we do have room for that. He would love the bird feeder.
AS long as it isn't snowing out or a chance of snowing I will take ds out but being a Floridian living in Pittsburgh I'm not to confident driving in the snow. So hopefully we don't have many snowy days.:D
10-23-2005, 09:06 AM
Good question Jen! I've been wondering too. Edward gets sick of sitting in the stoller when we go places, guess I have to relax a bit! hehe!!
Great ideas ladies...I'll be subscribing to this thread and bookmarking it too!
10-23-2005, 01:50 PM
A little slide is a good idea and we do have room for that.
Don't buy, we have one that you can have.
10-23-2005, 04:52 PM
I'm making DH bring in the outside slide for Edward. We're also putting the sandbox in the basement in my laundry room so he can play down there too. I figure I can always shop vac the basement floor if I need too and it will let me get the laundry done once in awhile...
10-23-2005, 08:48 PM
I just bought a second hand Musini toy from Neurosmith yesterday and it looks like it will be a good toy for getting some exercise on rainy and snowy days. It plays music based on the vibrations it feels through the floor when you move. DS was dancing, crawling and rolling around to make music. We had alot of fun.
10-23-2005, 09:00 PM
One thing you might want to look into is MOM's Club International. It is only $25 a year and they form play groups and activities (several) a month. Many things are free or very little money (3$) to attend like the zoo or ice skating rink where they haul in snow (for those of us who don't get it so easily). Brady loves going to the activities, but he usually does his own thing and explores on his own rather than follow the group. That is totally fine too!
10-24-2005, 07:32 AM
I think I'm going to take Edward down to the defunct mall in town. There's nothing there anymore except the post office and a pizza place but it's got lots of places to run and he can make all the noise and I doubt anyone would care. So that's my new plan...
10-24-2005, 08:07 AM
Instead of fingerpainting with paint, try chocolate pudding. It is messy but it does not stain and is also fun to eat.
I used to mix a little water with cornstarch and sit a little boy I babysat on the linoleum floor. The mixture has an odd texture and it used to keep him entertained for a long while. Clean up is a breeze and if he ingests it, it is harmless.
10-24-2005, 08:26 AM
Kindermom - They do this at DS daycare too, they call it goop, most of the kids love it. My odd ball son thought, eh.
10-24-2005, 09:28 AM
I've only skimmed the thread, so pardon me if any of this is a repeat. :)
* Stickers, stickers, and more stickers. I get ours at AC Moore - big booklets for about $.60 to $1.00 for like 300. Cheap fun and it keeps DD entertained for quite a while.
* stamping. Melissa and Doug has some wooden stamps and a stamp pad that is great for toddler hands. She gets a kick of out making cards for people (and uses her stickers too.)
* It may just be my DD, but she loves music. We often put on our Music together cd's and just dance around the house. (Bonus: I get some needed excercise too, LOL)
* Similar to above but without music: Singing songs like "open/shut them," "head shoulders knees toes,' "5 little monkiess, etc."
* I have some old spice jars/containers that I fill up with flour or sugar (and add food coloring to the sugar too). I just give her a big bowl on the kitchen floor and let her dump it into the bowl and "cook."
* storytime at library. I've been thinking about getting us a library card too, but haven't done it yet
* Little people, well that goes without saying. ;)
10-24-2005, 10:20 AM
Go on a scavenger hunt in your house to find red items, blue items, yellow items, etc. Count how many red items you can find. This reinforces colors and numbers.
10-24-2005, 01:07 PM
Jakedog, I just wanted to say thanks for the restaurant suggestion. DD had her flu shot today so as a treat afterwards I took her out to a burger and malt shop by myself - and she was a perfect little angel!! I couldn't believe it because we've been in tantrum-land lately. It was so nice to go out with her - usually I'm not brave enough to take her out dining without a wingman, but whaddaya know... :D :D
10-24-2005, 01:14 PM
It was so nice to go out with her - usually I'm not brave enough to take her out dining without a wingman, but whaddaya know...
I took DD on our first solo 'lunch date' last week. It was a great activity and she actually behaved quite well - probably since she had my undivided attention and wasn't 'competing' for airtime w/anyone else at the table.
These are all great suggestions, but I have to say that I think joining a Mom's club of some type (Matching Moms, MOPS, through a Yahoo group, or start your own via Church, friends, etc.) is probably the best idea in my book. IME, no matter how many activities I plan, unless I'm doing at least a little socializing w/other people, I still feel lonely and DD still doesn't burn off quite as much energy.
10-24-2005, 02:35 PM
mamax2Have you been to a MOPS meeting before?What kind of things to they do or talk about during the meetings? The church we belong to has MOPs but I've never joined b/c I'm not very religious. I suppose I could try it out once and if it's to much for me I don't have to go back.
There isn't a Moms Club near me-I've checked.
Guess I'll need to start going back home to Florida once a month until spring is here.:D
10-24-2005, 09:51 PM
Here is a free site to locate moms whom you can start frienships, support and/or playgroups in your area.
Good luck ladies~ :)
10-25-2005, 06:46 AM
Jen, I attended my first MOPS group. I thinkevery group is a bit different. Ours was not overly religious at all. THey did do prayer intercessions and said aprayer but that was it. My girlfriends group does bible readings and discussions and such. My group was a bit less so. They did some games had a speaker. I thought it was a bit, well, simplistic, but it could just have been the day. I go back next Tuesday. We'll see if it's any better.
10-25-2005, 08:12 AM
mamax2Have you been to a MOPS meeting before?What kind of things to they do or talk about during the meetings?
I haven't been to MOPS yet. I WOH 3 days/week and they meet on a day that I work and it's 30 miles away. I'm thinking about joining once I'm SAH full-time again. Like a PP mentioned, I think every group is different in terms of how much emphasis is placed on religious activities. In my old city, I belonged to a playgroup at my Church and we didn't do anything remotely religious besides meeting in the Church basement when it was cold out. It'll really depend on who leads the group.
Have you tried:
Matching Moms (posted above)
A local parent-oriented newspaper/magazine for ads
Classes: Gymboree, music, Parks & Rec, Library story time (obviously, the last 2 are the least expensive options)
I noticed that you live in Pittsburgh which is a pretty big city so I'm sure you probably have a lot of options available to you, but you might have to look a bit. Good luck - we've moved twice in 2 years so I know what it's like to be in a new place w/a baby and starting over again!
10-25-2005, 08:18 AM
Thanks Rita. I guess we'll hit church this weekend and get some more information on Mops. It doesn't hurt to give it shot right? :)
mamax2-I did try Momsclub but believe it or not they don't have a group in my area. We've done gymboree but it's out of the budget for this term. Maybe January. I'll have to check out some of those you posted. Thanks
Thanks for the link TrulyBlessed, I have tried that site but haven't been back in awhile.
01-12-2006, 06:45 AM
* bump *
01-12-2006, 12:17 PM
These are great ideas. Any more?
04-26-2006, 03:27 PM
My DD is obsessed with matching games. We put all the tiles face up and she hands me matches.
We also do musical instrument parades with DH. She shakes a tambourine or maracas, etc. and we follow her with any other noisemakers. She runs her little butt off around the living room and we follow, (or pretend like we're following :) .
DD also loves taking care of her dolls - feeding, putting to sleep, etc.
Color wonder markers are a big hit.
I dig a stack of books out that DD hasn't seen in a while and it keeps her occupied for a long time. I do the same thing with toys - I pack them away in boxes and then pull out a box she hasn't seen in a while and it usually buys me enough time for a phone call, etc.
We pull the cushions off the sofa and DD has a blast jumping around on them.
11-02-2006, 08:21 AM
*bumping* since it's going to be getting/already is cold outside!!!!
11-02-2006, 11:29 AM
We like to go to open gyms at My Gym, Gymboree & The Little Gym.
Occassionally we go to the mall & DD plays around the fountains.
11-09-2006, 08:33 PM
Please dont shoot me for posting this but I have a long list of links of activities as well as arts and crafts for kids (both indoors and outdoors) There are some printable crafts, finger puppets and coloring books in these sites as well as songs, poems, etc. Enjoy
01-25-2007, 02:17 PM
*bumping* since we are in the middle of winter!!!!
ETA: wow December27JJB that is quite a list, thanks for posting it!
01-25-2007, 02:27 PM
I don't know if this is really an "activity" but we are currently cooped up in a 2 bedroom condo so I have to be really creative.
Last week I bought DD the cutest pink tent at Target. I set it up in her bedroom and we play "house" in it. She LOVES it and it has really encouraged her to use her imagination when she plays. She "cooks" and has tea parties for all of her stuffed animals. She brings blankets and pillows in it and bounces around. I put a bunch of play balls in it and she went crazy. She sometimes even watches a DVD in her portable DVD player in it ;) while I make dinner. It has been a very good investment. Unfortunately we don't have a play room but this has sort of given DD a little place of her own which she loves :)
Target also had "boy" themed tents ( I think one was maybe a rocket theme) as well as some other really cute playhouses for under $50.00.
01-25-2007, 03:05 PM
At the moment DS is really into playdough baking. First we had letter shaped cookie cutter and he cut out cookies, lifted them with toy spatula and put them on a real cookie sheet. Then he made words out of them.
Then another day, I pulled out toy baking pans. I helped DS make a crust out of one color playdough. Then I made a coil of dough in another color and let him cut it into smaller pieces with kid sissors (real not plastic) and I rolled them into "berries" then he put the berries on the crust and put them into a "oven" to bake. We had this for pretend dessert with dinner.
Then the next day, I pulled out a toy spring form bunt pan. Showed DS how to use the regular insert to creat a circle of dough and a cover from the playdough to cut out a hole for the middle. We put that down as a crust, filled with berries the way we did the day before, but another crust, another layer of berries and one more crust. This cake looked soooo cool we removed it from the pan.
We baked real cookies two weekend ago. DS helping with locating ingredients, measuring and mixing.
We have the game Kids on Stage which is a kids charades/board game. DS loves it and it takes a good half hour to play. There was a learning curve before he understood the concept of charades.
We got a $1 set of domino at the target dollar bin and DS loves to play with these.
DS has at least 8 regular pillows in his room, several throw blankets and a few throw pillows. We use these and sheets to make nests, ponds, and tents.
DS dictates a story and I write down in a journal I bought for him to scribble in
Typing on the computer. You would be amaze how fun it is to type out 100 "m" and them make them disappear. :rolleyes:
sliding down the stairs on our bums
01-25-2007, 05:10 PM
Renrel ~ Your house sounds fun. Can we come play? :p ;) Off to buy some berry-colored play-doh...
eta: Where did you find all the baking accessories like the springform pan? We have plastic pots/pans and I'd like to trade up to something more realistic.
01-25-2007, 06:08 PM
maxma2 - keep in mind DS is in preschool full day, so we only need to keep busy evenings and weekends. The pan were handme downs from a niece, so I can't help to much in finding a set, but if you can a set, maybe even an adult set of mini pan, I think a spring form pan is a great idea.
And our berry were not neccarily berry colored. The were blue berry, smooch berry (orange) and green berry. With a nice purple crust. I wish I took a photo, it was soooo cool looking.
And I used to worry about the colors getting mixed. Something my mom drilled into me as a kid I think. But when I bought 4 cans for under $2 I wondered what the big deal was. So if they get mixed fine. We can buy more.
01-26-2007, 12:51 PM
Renrel, is it like this? http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2311000
I've been looking for toy cookie sheets for my daughter, and came across this set. I don't even know what a real springform pan is for... so you can make a cake and then snap the pan off it without damaging the cake?
01-26-2007, 01:12 PM
Where did you find all the baking accessories like the springform pan?
We found the neatest kitchen things and baking pans at IKEA.
We happen to live near one, but they do have a catalog as well.
And it was REALLY inexpensive and fantastic quality. I was shocked!!
Really nice stuff!
01-26-2007, 01:14 PM
It's literally 10 degress out today so I put some stale bread crumbs out on the deck. DD loved watching the birds come. I need to put up a bird feeder on our deck, but I don't necessarily like the mess the birds leave.
baking stuff I found a set at Bed Bath and Beyond over Christmas for $5. It had a real mini baking sheet, cookie cutters, rolling pin, wisk, and other stuff. It was in a vinyl tote bag. I also found that Crate and Barrel has mini cake pans for $2 each (very sturdy and are teflon coated) as well as a mini springform pan for a bit more.
ETA - JennZ ITA about IKEA! I found a small stainless mixing bowl for DD to use in her play kitchen for $2. I have to go seach through Ikea again.
01-26-2007, 01:37 PM
Maxma2 - That set looks very similiar. The one we have the springform has to inserts, a plain round cake bottom, and a bunt cake bottom with the tube coming up the middle. I don't think we have a cup cake pan, but we do have a loaf pan and a small heart shaped pan.
We also have a mini rolling pin and a light full size one (which we got from the target $1 bin over the holidays).
On a Spring form pan the side of the pan is held closed by a tight latch. When a cake is done you unlatch the side and it pulls way from the sides releasing the cake.
On the topic of playdough, any recommendations on good playdough tools. We have one of the presses, also a handme down, but it does not work very well. Most of the dough seems to squeeze out the back instead of though the special hole. I remember having the same problem as a kid.
01-26-2007, 09:13 PM
Blech, Ikea has a great pan set at the right price ($9.99), but it's not available online and I'm not going to drive 3 hours for a toy :p
I did feel inspired today though and picked up:
1/2 price games from Kohl's:
* Hi Ho Cherry-O
* Chutes & Ladders
* Memory (the Leap Frog bilingual version)
* The 'birthday bucket' of Play-Doh accessories (DD is currently very into have a birthday party every.single.day)
* Even more Play-Doh (thanks Renrel for reminding me just how cheap it really is and to get off DD's back about not mixing colors! I did buy a great combo pack of 15 mini-tubs for $2.98)
* Some new play foods, but I think I'm going to return them and order the kind that velcro together so she can practice slicing/counting as well.
01-27-2007, 11:53 AM
Renrel--We have the Melissa & Doug clay play set and it's great. It comes with some really lame clay, but all of the tools work well with Play-Doh. Includes four rolling pins with different patterns, four mallets with different patterns, a rolling cutter (like pizza cutter) and four, maybe more, sticks for doing who knows what. Anyway, we use these with our Play-Doh brand bucket full of plastic cookie cutters, plastic scissors and a tube thing where you can squeeze out different shapes, which actually works pretty well.
01-27-2007, 08:17 PM
mamax2 - That birthday bucket looked good at target today, as did the duffle of tools. I almost bought them but decided DS does not need me to buy a toy just because. He is currently trying to earn a toy by going to bed on time and progress is very very slow. I did however buy a 24 case of playdough for under $10. We playeds some more tonight. Cutting sheets of playdough with his sissors and then covering another layer of playdough with the pieces like a mozaic. Gave me and idea for some interesting sugar cookies, if I ever find the time to bake again.
01-27-2007, 09:09 PM
Renrel - that sounds like fun!! Thanks for the great idea. We're practicing with scissors right now so it's perfect for us too.
Knzbound - are the Melissa & Doug tools wood? Are they hard to clean? I saw them but decided against them because I figured I can always throw the plastic playdough tools in the dishwasher. (In a mesh lingerie bag so I don't lose parts!)
We have gotten a lot of play out of toothpicks when playing with playdough. They make good "hair" for playdough people, etc. Straws and popscicle sticks are fun too. Buttons would be fun now that I think of it. String is interesting too - you can cut the dough with it, connect pieces by string, make jewelry, etc. It might be fun to stick clean rocks on a rolled out piece of playdough too.
01-28-2007, 01:46 PM
I remember some mom telling me(or maybe I read it somewhere) that her kid would be entertained for quite awhile sticking dry spagetti into playdough while mom cooked dinner.
We are on a playdough roll at the moment. DS gets into one toy for a week or two and that is all he wants to play. This morning he make a super ice cream, which consisted of just carefully mushing every color of playdough he had into a big mound and putting small pieces on top for a "special treat." But then DH had to write down the "recipe" as DS dictated it (since I did that the other day because I was impressed with how he was calling for ingredents (blue sugar, green light and purple oil) and explaining how to make his creation as he made it. I wanted to record it. Now he wants all his "recipe's " written down. And he made DH draw a picture of it as well, after I suggested he take a picture with the camera he got for chanuka. The camara was not working well due to low batteries. I would have perfered DS drew the picture himself but he does not get into drawing much and maybe if he sees us draw in his book he might decided to do it himself at some point. Anyway after that we had to put it in a plastic bag to save it for next Sunday. Then we had to find a box to put it in, which became a toy refriderator (yes he does have a play kitchen), then he made us sit in the playroom while he put on an "ice cream show" which mostly consisted of us repeating things he said about the ice cream. But the play certain took interesting turns and was time consuming.
01-28-2007, 07:48 PM
Wow, Renrel - I second that I want to come over to your house to play!!! I'm gonna keep watching this thread for your ideas. (Hint hint! *grin*)
... off to find that stack of weird blank recipe cards I have in the kitchen...
01-29-2007, 09:42 AM
Ah shucks.:o The credit really goes to DS for this activity though. I brought out the materials, made a few suggestions to get started and then he ran with it. My major contribution was to follow his lead and let him boss us around a bit. He insisted on us writing down his recipe. He commanded us to sit and watch his show, where to sit, how to particapate. This can be great for allow his play to expand and become very creative, but does cause issues when we want to resume control as the adults.
01-29-2007, 11:41 AM
This can be great for allow his play to expand and become very creative, but does cause issues when we want to resume control as the adults.
This is a great point (and maybe a separate topic such as "preschooler play" or something to that effect, but I digress...). HOW do you transition when you're no longer the one 'in charge'?! We have this problem all the time. My DD likes to play 'The Mommy Game' and when I'm done playing, I can never get out of it because, well, I'm only 3 at that point and she's the Mommy! Today we managed a long-running stint of 'Grocery Lady' which was much easier since we were peers, but it's just a mess trying to transition out of the Mommy or Daddy role-playing game. I've tried a timer which is generally very successful for us, but she resets it telling me "Mama says we're still playing". Any ideas?!?!
01-29-2007, 12:03 PM
Another mama that wants to come play at Renrel's house! :D
01-29-2007, 07:26 PM
Not as time consuming as playdough, but I realized this weekend that instant pudding requires no cooking. So it is an easy cooking project. A chance to teach a bit about measuring and the chemestry and reading a recipe plus the fun as eatting and serving your creation. And if you want to add a bit more fun cut up apples and dip them in to use for spoons. Pampered chef makes a good serrerade(sp) knife for kids that allows them to really cut (saw through) food that is not too hard. It works pretty well in a soft apple, at least with a little help. So that is another part of the activity to add for a more desterious child.
01-29-2007, 07:46 PM
booksie--The Melissa and Doug tools are wood. I haven't had any issues with cleaning them, but they don't have any small holes like some of the Play-doh tools.
01-29-2007, 08:15 PM
Here's a fun (but a little messy) thing to do with toddlers.
Mix cornstarch and water. I can't remember the measurements (probably because I never use any!) but it's way more constarch than water. Put the cornstarch in a bowl and slowly add a little water at a time. You've got it right when it becomes REALLY hard to stir.
It's called Oobleck, and it's a blast. If you let it be still, it turns into a liquid, but if you move it (with your hands, by stirring, pouring, whatever), it becomes more like a solid. Toddlers don't get the science behind it, but it is fun to play with! Just put down a splat mat, because it will make a mess. (Though the good thing is that once the water dries, it's just plain cornstarch again and can easily be swept, vacuumed or washed.) You can also add food coloring to the water to color the oobleck, but that adds to the mess.
01-30-2007, 07:59 AM
Here are a link to a few fun recipes for things like Gak and Flubber. My mom made Flubber (not necessarily this exact recipe) with DS and my nieces and it is a fun project, so long as you child likes touching "icky" stuff. My nieces apparently were engaged in this stuff for over an hour. DS was not into touching "icky" stuff that day and spent less time with it. But we have played with the stuff since he made it and he was happy to touch it. My mom likes to pour the stuff into letter molds made for sand in her class and plop the letters out for the kids. Over a short time it all melts back into a blob again.
02-22-2007, 08:53 AM
DS got me playing a game a few days ago that he learned in preschool around halloween. It is very simply and fun. He calls it witch's brew and we just sit on the floor, as if we were in a circle (since he learned it in class) and take turns pretending to throw something yucky in to a pretend pot on the floor. Things like sneakers, dirt, broccoli, whatever makes your kid giggle. We added another step where we used golf clubs to stir the brew reciting something like "and we stir stir stir the brew." If you want to add a bit more creative learning to the game encourage the use of adjectives - smelly sneakers, sticky mud, icky broccoli.
Another variation we use in the car is to make up silly soup or sandwich recipes where all the ingretents have something in common, usually that they start with the same letter of the alphabet, but if you child is not up to that it could be things that are a color, or fruits, or toys, whatever catagorie they would understand.
02-23-2007, 09:51 AM
We just spent hours doing this simple gluing and tearing craft project. DD is 3 and she spent over an hour doing this yesterday afternoon, again after dinner for an hour +, and first thing this morning before she even ate breakfast and again for an 1-2 hours this morning. I am pretty sure she will ask to do it again today and then the obsession will be over and we'll move on to something else. DD 17 months wasn't very interested but it kept one child happily occupied!
Construction paper for the base
Strips of tissue paper that you either tear or cut into small squares
Glue stick or Elmer's glue
Randomly glue pieces of tissue paper to base paper.
You can either scrunch the tissue squares for more texture or glue them on flat.
Definitely more of a process over product activity. DD did at least 25 abstract glue pieces. She was REALLY into this. I did a few where I drew an alphabet letter in glue and stuck the tissue on top and a few where I'd draw something basic, like a flower or animal and fill in the shape with tissue scrunches and DD enjoyed watching me and then went back to her abstract expressionism.
Just thought I'd share since it was such a success here.
11-06-2007, 02:08 PM
04-05-2008, 09:23 AM
New thread - http://www.constantchatter.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40795
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