Was going crazy today for some fresh ideas on a rainy windy yucky day- and I go crazy here in the summer when you can't go outside because it's over 110!!
Here is a starter list- feel free to share! My toddler is extremely active with a short attention span-and not quite old enough for organized games or worksheets or other quiet things that worked on my daughter-- so I think I can get a whole morning out of this... I've added the time I think it would rein in an active toddler's attention. Let me know how you do!
1. Bath tub + Water Colors = at least 20 minutes of washable fun
2. Lay out a table cloth on the kitchen floor. Put some rice or oats in a cake pan- add a couple of plastic cups and your toddler will happily pour from one cup to another. There- at least another 15 minutes done!
3. Find a spray bottle and a washcloth. Show him how to spray and then "clean up". Seriously- they love it. Let him loose on the tile. Probably worth at least 10 minutes.
4. Make some homemade play-dough. Making it is easy and fun (10 minutes) playing is better (20 minutes). Add a rolling pin, plastic fork, Popsicle sticks and clothespins-- you may get an extra 10 minutes from it.
5. Build a fort with a sheet and the kitchen table and chairs. Throw some pillow under the table and squeeze in there for a story. (20 minutes)
6. Bubbles! Maybe while taking a bath. (15 minutes)
7. Organize the kitchen so that you have a cabinet of plastic cups and containers that can be stacked. Giggly fun and big crashes. (10 minutes)
8. Turn on the radio to the oldies and do a silly dance together. (5 minutes)
9. Is it nap time yet?? Lunch first- Let him/her help spread PBJ on bread. Messy and yummy. (15 minutes)
10. Stickers! Add markers and paper and you should be able to rest for about 5 minutes.
11. Build a ramp from the couch to the floor out of taped together cereal boxes or a cardboard shipping box. Crash cars down the ramp and repeat (20 minutes)
Well that gets about 3 hours in anyway. Let me know if you have more and maybe I can get a whole day out of it. Now to implement!
Here are some ideas (in no particular order) to fill up your afternoon-
Cool Whip on a baking sheet (I think this is safer than shaving cream for little ones that lick their hands)
Macaroni in a rubbermaid container with measuring spoons and cups. If you get different shapes you can also include a shoelace and they can string some of the shapes on the lace!
Have him help you unload the dishwasher. Mine particularly likes the silverware- I just unload the knives first ;)
Magnet time on the fridge
A cup of water and a paintbrush with some construction paper
A damp sponge on the windows (this requires later clean-up but they are helping!)
Chalkboard time in the kitchen
Dress-Up time with some old hats and shirts
Here's one I heard-- give your toddler junk mail and some safety scissors. Contain them in a large cardboard box or laundry basket and let them cut away. I give this one 4 stars- Easy clean up and super engaging!
Big floor puzzle- we picked up a big foam puzzle from a discount store and he enjoys the larger pieces. Make an activity out of it and make your own using an old poster or print tacked down to some cardstock or cardboard. Coat with a thin layer of ModPodge and then carefully cut out chunky pieces. Make it a picture of thier favorite cartoon superhero and you will get lots of mileage from this puzzle. - Total time ~15 minutes because he wants to wreck the puzzle (half the fun!) and do it over and over.