Keeping young children busy.

Twoligans. Threenagers. etc. etc. It’s a funny stage isn’t it?

My daughter is turning 3 this week (sob) and she just has SO MUCH ENERGY! I need a lot of quick activities/games that I can whip out and keep her occupied or reset her mood if she’s having a difficult day.

Here are a few we’ve been enjoying lately. Hope you find them helpful. They are all fairly quick to set up and cost barely anything.

Threading pasta onto spaghetti. I think I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s a classic and great for those fine motor skills. Also good with cheerios instead of penne pasta.

Sticker colour matching. I did random blocks of colour all over a piece of paper and then gave her a sheet of coloured stickers to match them up. I have a stock of these coloured stickers as they are so useful and you can get them from pretty much anywhere.

Tissue paper tunnel. We managed to get 2 activities out of this so it was well worth the effort of ripping tissue paper and taping to her table. She enjoyed crawling through it and hiding for ages. When that got boring, we got some scissors out and a bit of cutting practice.

Glitter glue. I put down a little messy mat and let her create her own picture. It’s quite tricky to turn the lids and then squeeze the glitter out so it was a good challenge. She also loves anything messy! I gave her a glue spreader to play with the glitter once she had squeezed it out so it lasted a bit longer. You can get packs of these from pound shops and places like that.

Sand pit/table. We’ve got her a big bag of play sand for the last 2 Summer’s and they tend to last us the whole season. She just has a bucket, spade and random shapes and old toys in there.

Baking. I am not a natural in the kitchen by ANY stretch of the imagination so we just buy ready made kits where you throw in an egg. They are super easy, pretty cheap and don’t take too long so Little Knight’s doesn’t get bored halfway through and abandon ship.

Painting. We do paint inside with the messy mat down too, this was an example of extreme painting! (Though please note how CLEAN the actual paper is…) Sometimes we use plain paper or make cards or I rip the colouring pages out of her magazines for her to paint.

Role play.  This is probably Little Knight’s favourite at the moment. We have a doctors kit, a cash register, a play kitchen, a baby and cot and this is us having a tea party with some teddies. (Also managed a cheeky cup of tea, just to get into character, of course.)

Shadow play. Little Knight rounded up a few toys, I tried to find the most unusually shaped ones, and put them in front of the door when the sun was shining through. I like this on a warm day when you don’t want them to be in the main heat of the sun.

Cornflour ‘gloop’. I mixed some cornflour with water and then poured it all over a few toys in a tray (make sure it’s a tray with sides!). She enjoyed pouring the mess all over her Teletubbies for ages, I’ve also done it with cocoa powder so it’s like mud. I then filled a bowl with bubbles and water and she gave them all a bath. Repeat x100000 times.

 Shape sorting. I used masking tape to mark out shapes on the floor and then we hunted around the house for certain shaped objects. This could obviously increase to more shapes as your child gets older and needs a bigger challenge. You could also get them to mark out the shapes as they advance. 

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I hope you find a few of these useful! Please feel free to share your own easy activities for keeping your children out of trouble.

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x

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