Children under two are busy little people. How do you keep them occupied all day? Now that’s a question. It’s tricky balance between keeping them super busy and having enough quiet time so the child doesn’t get too cranky tired. I go out many mornings to break up my day, followed by some rest at home. It’s helpful to have home activities up your sleeve too. I’ve put together this post with tips and links I hope you find helpful and inspiring. What are your best tips?
Mardi from Grey Tribe Creative
Louisa from Everything is Edible
Nicole from Planning with Kids
Sharon from Hear Mum Roar
Amanda from Bodelicious
1. Yoghurt finger painting
Yoghurt painting is a wonderful sensory activity for babies.
2. Make Lunch Fun for Little Ones
Simple lunch idea to get the kids involved. Read more…
3. Coloured Spaghetti Play
This sensory activity can double as lunch!
4. Disney Family Fun: Glueless collages
Use clear contact and provide a selection of collage paper, glitter, feathers and other craft items. When the child is finished press the contact on paper.
5. Playdough Recipe
Playdough is always a hit. This recipe does not require cooking: K-3 Teacher Resources Playdough Recipe.
Tip: Add glitter to make it a bit special!
6. Goop Recipe
“Goop is great, and who really cares if they eat some…” — Mardi Grey
7. Water Play
Fill an empty container with water and place some toys nearby.
8. Bottle Boats
My kids love this: Add an empty soft drink bottle to the bath.
Introduce simple painting techniques to young children. Read more…
10. Rainbow Spray Bottle Art
All you need is an old sheet, spray bottles and food colouring for this ingenious idea from Hear Mum Roar. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon. Read more…
There’s nothing quite like the sound of a wooden spoon on a saucepan.
12. Montessori Activities
Sensory bottles: Fill an empty plastic bottle with different materials such as rice, pasta and add glitter or some powder paint.
Treasure bag: Place an assortment of baby safe items in a bag. For example: toilet rolls, empty yoghurt containers, bells, balls, feathers – you name it put it in there – it’s fascinating to watch children check everything out, then combine different things (this is a great rainy day activity to have tucked away in a cupboard somewhere).
Sensory box: Fill a box with different textures such as sand, cooked spaghetti (add a squirt olive oil), cotton balls, shells or toys. On hot days, an outside version is a box filled with ice (use an old icecream container) with toys/treasures inside. This is an activitity they’ll keep coming back to.
13. Photo books
Buy a cheap photo album and fill with pictures of people and faces. The images can be of people you know or just from magazines – babies & toddlers are fascinated by faces.
14. Play: Without Toys
Simple, easy ways to entertain your toddler with things around the house: 10 Simple Play Ideas for Toddlers (that Don’t Involve Toys!)
Facepainting crayons are a easy to use.
16. More Ideas
* Have a Picnic outside
* Make fruit kebabs: Chop up different fruits and allow the child to make their own
* Treading: Fruit, pasta, cardboard, cereal
* Bread Pizza: Spread tomato paste and sprinkle toppings on
* Blow bubbles: Add a drop of essential oil so it smells nice
* Make a cubby: Put a sheet over the table and place pillows underneath
* Ice biscuits
* Dance to music: use spoons to make some noise
* Glue magazine pictures to paper. You can add pasta or oats to the mix too!
* Cardboard box towers (different sizes)
* Sock puppets
* Finger painting
* Dress ups
Other Helpful Links
Keeping Little Ones Busy All Day: Fantastic post by Louisa about caring for under children under two and how to keep them busy.
Learn by Doing Laundry: Hear Mum Roar: Including children in everyday activities.