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

Keeping a toddler busy.

I’ve been meaning to get this post up for WEEKS but Little Knight has been such a poorly girl with tonsillitis and a nasty cold that has been making her vomit snot all day and night. Try not to be jealous of my glamorous life.

Anyway! Little Knight is coming up to 19 months now and when she’s not poorly she is WILD. I am really loving this crazy age but it’s challenging to think of ways to keep her entertained when the winter weather keeps us cooped up inside.

These are a few of the cheap and easy activities that we do to keep her occupied.

  1. Play doh. I also got a little pack of tools from Wilkinsons for super cheap which give her a bit of focus. Sometimes I’ll roll up lots of little balls and then she can squash them which she finds quite funny. 
  2. Cotton wool posting. This is ridiculously quick to set up. I just cut up some paper in different sizes and rolled them into tubes then stuck them up at different angles for Little Knight to post cotton wool balls into.  
  3. Cake tin lining. This is particularly good if I’m trying to do something in the kitchen, I just give her an empty muffin tin and some sillicon cake cases to line it with.
  4. Colouring. Little Knight likes a combination of crayons and chunky pencils. I pick up cheap colouring books whenever I see them so we’re stocked up.
  5. Painting. I must admit I will only do this on days where we aren’t going out and when she needs a bath anyway. We do it in our kitchen as I don’t trust the messy mat enough to venture onto the carpet. We have a box of finger paints from Early Learning Centre.
  6. Stickers. Little Knight is crazy for stickers now which I’m quite glad of as I’m hoping when she’s a bit older we can do reward charts for things. Right now she just loves sticking them around the room and on her toys.
  7. Water beads. I ordered a load of packs for a couple of pounds from Amazon. They start off tiny and then you add them to water and in 4 hours they grow. They feel great and are bouncy so are really fun to play with and squish. They last about a week before you need a new pack.
  8. Water play. I put towels down and fill a bowl with water and bubble bath with a few different pouring toys. Little Knight loves splashing around and sometimes I’ll add a few water beads for her to try and find (they sink). 
  9. Reading. It’s even more special now that she chooses her favourite books and remembers certain parts. She has a book box downstairs and shelves in her bedroom so I try and rotate them regularly for a bit of variety. Also if we can venture out, she loves the library (which is completely free!) 
  10. Cornflour. We add water to cornflour on a large tray and Little Knight loves getting stuck in.  

So they are just a few of my ideas, PLEASE share any of your toddler/baby activity suggestions as I’m always looking for new things to do. Often the best ones are the simplest!

Thanks for reading,

Knight Mummy x