Ashley Spontarelli, Our Children's Programming Director is going to write a blog for The Mother's Nest once a month Starring her cute little guy, Job, (2), and some fun activities shes done with him... and suggestions for us to do with our little ones!
Let’s be honest, sometimes keeping our kiddos entertained all day is HARD.
I have a two year old boy with loads of energy, whose much more interested in playing than sleeping, so I’m always on the hunt for fun, CHEAP, and EASY ways to keep him entertained.
Fortunately, there are endless resources on the internet listing activities to help you keep your kids busy, but between Pinterest and all the Mommy blogs out there it can often be very overwhelming!
So that’s where we want to help.
I recently talked to our Mom’s Group about kids activities and loved hearing all of the great ideas they had on activities they like to do with their kids.
I’m excited to, once a month, start sharing with you guys some fun activities that I’ve found help keep boredom at bay.
Soooo, here’s a few activities I’ve done with my son recently that were successful.
I’ve found the key to successful activities with your kiddos is to pick things that require little prep, that way if they don’t end up enjoying it, (and this will probably at least happen once as all children are different!) you didn’t put hours of preparation into it. The less you have to lose the better:] Also, try to prep everything ahead of time so that you’re not trying to set up something while juggling a toddler. If they are anything like my son, they will probably just be more interested in destroying it then helping you set it up, so try to prep it during nap time or the night before.
And now the fun part….
Here’s my top five Kiddo Activities from this past month:
The possibilities with playdough are endless. We LOVE playdough.
Ok, well, my son loves playdough, and I’m trying to love playdough;]
Two things we like to do to shake things up a bit with our playdough:
1) toothpicks (build houses, garages, fences, etc. For some reason kids just love putting them in the playdough!)
2) Animals! (push them in playdough to make footprints, make saddles for horses, etc!)
(Please excuse the fact that all of our playdough is now “poop” colored, that’s what happens when you’ve mixed all of them together;])
2. NUMBER JUMPING!
Write numbers on index cards (we actually had number flashcards that we used for it, but it would have been just as easy to make our own), tape them to the floor and let kids jump in a row counting from 1-10 and down from 10-1. You can also call out a number and have them run to it, have them drive cars down them while counting, or tell them to hop on one leg, dance, or crawl while counting. Be creative with it!
3. CRASH PAD!
This is an all time favorite in our house. We have a very old couch that we actually got from my husband’s 91 year old great aunt, so its quite old and we love to use it for bouncing! We take all the cushions off, line them up along with an assortment of pillows and blankets and let him jump off the couch onto the crash pad. We pretty much do this one at least once every day. If you are more attached to your couch you can use just about anything squishy (pillows, crib mattress, etc)
4. PAINT MARKERS!
I recently discovered these paint markers and they are amazing! I found mine at Pat Catan’s, but I’m sure they have them at most other craft stores too. Let’s be honest, kids love paint, but it’s messy and the process of setting it up and cleaning it up is often longer than the amount of time that they actually paint! So as much as we love actually painting in my house, we reserve that for special times and keep our paint markers for our everyday arts and crafts. They are virtually mess free and don’t take a whole lot of coordination so they are great for toddlers! The are fun to dab and make dots, but can also be dragged on the paper to make lines and shapes too. So much better than getting out the paints, brushes, water, etc!
5. BUBBLE MACHINE!
One of our moms brought this idea up at our meeting and I am SO grateful that she did! We bought a bubble machine at the dollar store for $10 and LOVE it! It’s SUPER fun to use during bath time, outside next to the kiddie pool or during an epic dance party!
I have many more to share with you, but if I give them all to you now then I’ll have nothing for you next month! So stay tuned;] I’d love to hear how they go for you.
So if you try something, please feel free share with us how your kids liked it, or how you adjusted it to better fit their personality!
Looking forward to your feedback! ;] (you can always comment below, or on facebook as well!)