Low- to no-prep ‘keep your toddler busy’ activities

low- to no-prep 'keep your toddler busy' activities

We were waiting on The Husband to finish having his hair cut, and The Child wanted a babyccino. Unfortunately, this steamed dairy product only lasts a couple of minutes as she uses a straw and inhales it like it’s the last cup of milk she’s ever going to drink. I’ve long since learned to take crayons and a notepad with me for her to scribble on, but sometimes we need to change things up a bit. So here are some activities that work for us:

  1. Craft stick ‘blocks’: stick hook and loop tape (or dots, whatever you’ve got) to the ends of craft sticks. The Child is currently into showing off that she can make triangles — she hasn’t moved on to squares just yet. This held her attention for around 15 minutes, which is amazing.
  2. The ol’ rubber band game: probably more suited to a quiet activity at home, get a bunch of rubber bands and an unopened tin of something. Stretch one rubber band over the tin, and encourage your child to do the same. This failed so badly the first time, The Child didn’t care for it, but I left it a few weeks and tried again, and she suddenly decided it was the best thing ever.
  3. Cocktail sticks ‘sorting’: this needs supervision, since they can be sharp. My mum discovered this while entertaining The Child while her tired parents got some shut eye. She had a plastic box of cocktail sticks and shook them all out (the container must be the kind with a small hole from which the cocktail sticks emerge). The Child took great delight in putting them back in, one at a time.

The bonus? All of these are pretty good for fine motor practice!

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