I have started week five of being homebound with two little boys. My 2 year old and 1 month old. WEEK FIVE!! In between feedings, dinners, cleaning and constantly juggling my time between my two boys, I am dreaming about living somewhere warm AND trying to plan the NEXT activity.
Can I think up another NEXT activity?
Will we have something to keep us occupied for the last 20 minutes before Dad gets home?
Since I like to ‘ Make The Best of Everything!’ I have been trying to brainstorm activities left and right so we can all continue to be happy!
Here are some activities that have been successful for me, in entertaining my two year old this winter. I try not to be redundant, so If I saw it on Pinterest already, I will try not to post about it, but give some fresh ideas. 🙂
1) DIY Bean Box- Estimated play time – 2 hours-
I had to start with my favorite activity. The DIY bean box. If you choose not to read this entire article, I want you to see this activity. This DIY bean box has occupied my toddler for HOURS! DO NOT be intimidated by the mess that beans might make. It is worth the mess! I made our bean box by simply purchasing red kidney beans from the grocery store and placing them in a box with measuring cups, measuring spoons and other cups we had around that I couldn’t find a matching lid to. If you child likes water tables/bathtime/ sandboxes. Then an indoor bean box is a must!
Tips on a DIY bean box:
a) If you have beige or white carpet, use Red Kidney Beans. You are less likely to loose them when it is time to clean up.
b) A bean box should be played on carpet only. Much less noise, and much less mess.
2) Mega Block Animals/ figures- Estimated time- 1 hour
Do your children own Mega Blocks? Do they need help getting s fun imaginary game started? Download the free Mega Block app on your tablet and put together your own animals and houses out of Mega blocks. Using the Mega block app. My two year old and I spent hours making crocodiles and airplanes. We had such a great time! He even made up some of his own animals to make!
Don’t Have Mega Blocks? Find them Here -> Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag, 80-Piece (Classic)
3) Painters Tape Letters/ Numbers –Estimated playtime- 30 minutes
Using Painters tape, make letters and numbers on the floor! This is a fun activity to get your kids have a refresher lesson on their letters and numbers. When I did this activity with my two year old. He chose a spot on the floor for every letter, and we put all 26 letters on the living room floor. Then we tried to think of words/people we know that started with each letter.
4) Play Restaurant- Estimated playtime- 15 minutes- 1 hour
All Kids LOVE playing restaurant! My 2 year old LOVES making pretend food for us in his play kitchen! I have even witnessed my oldest nephew playing restaurant with his siblings, and he was 11 at the time! 2 years ago, I made my niece a pretend Pizza restaurant for her birthday. But you don’t have to go into all that detail to make a fun restaurant game for your little one! Print out some pretend menus and buy some real ” guest checks” from the office supply department at Wal-mart. They will have a blast!
5) Playing with Plastic Cups – Estimated playtime- 30 minutes
I purchased a pack of plastic cups for my son to play with this winter, and I am so happy I did! he truly has a blast playing with them! He Makes towers out of them and knocks them down. he counts them. He puts random things in them ( like crayons or toys) and dumps them out. He throws them to hear the noise they make on the tile, He and my husband also will play ” what cup is it under?” where an object is hidden underneath a cup. A very inexpensive toy that has worked out well for us!
6) Write letters to family Members- Estimated playtime- it totally depends on your child!
My son and I spent about 30 minutes writing some Thank- you cards to relatives a few weeks back. Of course, since my older son is only two, I did the writing and I just discussed with him what we should say in each letter. If you kids are a bit older, you can have them write letters to each other. or make cards for family members. You can also get some inspiration from my ” Felt Family Mail Kit” that I made my nephew Kyle for his birthday last year. This is a fun ” Make believe” activity for any small child.
7) Decorate a Cardboard Box with stickers- Estimated playtime- 15 minutes- 45 minutes
Knowing that I would be stuck inside this winter with a toddler and a newborn, I purchased a bunch of Christmas stickers after the holidays on Clereance at Target. Stickers are nice to pull out if you need an activity. My toddler and I spent about 45 minutes decorating this cardboard box one morning. If you want this activity to last longer, I encourage you to do this WITH your toddler instead of just expecting them to be entertained by the stickers. You can discuss which colors, shapes and other details about he stickers during the activity.
8) Play Detective – Estimated playtime- 15 minutes- 2 hours. It will last longer if your child has someone to play with
3 years ago, when I started this blog, This Homemade detective kit was one of my first posts ever! I made this for my nephew Adam who was turning 5 at the time. You don’t need to make this fancy detective kit, but I bet you can find some of these items around your house that will help initiate detective play! All you need is a flashlight, a detective badge and well….read the post to see all that a detective kit entails.
9) Play in the Bathtub! Estimated playtime- 30 minutes
My son LOVES taking baths! Having Busy time in the bathtub is kind of the same concept of the bean box. I invested in some bath crayons and tablets that turn bath water different colors this winter, and I am so happy that I did! My son LOVES coloring in the tub and always looks forward to the colored water! I can put the baby in his room, and give my older son a bath. It is a great way to keep him happily entertained for a while. AND we are getting something constructive done!
I highly recommend these products for indoor play bath time.
10) Playing with Balloons. Estimated playtime- 15 minutes- 1 hour
Last week when my 2 year old woke up from his nap and saw these blown up balloons in our kitchen, he acted like he had never seen anything more amazing! He played with them for almost the whole afternoon! Sorting them out, carrying them around, playing catch with them, throwing them up in the air! You see, Balloons are something different. to play with. Just make sure your small child is supervised when they are playing with them. ok?
Playing with cardboard food containers- Estimated playtime- 10 minutes per new item. ( Hey, take what you can get!)
My two year old son is being raised by a foodie. He loves playing pretend kitchen and restaurant. He even turns is Duplo blocks in to things like ” Paprika” and ” Garlic powder”. Whenever we have a clean leftover food container destined for the recycling, we let him play with it for a while. He might add it to his ingredient list, or it might end up in his bean box for a while. When he is done playing with it. We recycle it, and its never any consequence for anyone.
Note: Notice the Egg Carton. This can also be used for sorting things. Like dried beans, colored craft poof balls. etc.
10) Pull out old toys- Estimated playtime- depends on the toy!
I pulled out some old toys that my two year old used to play with when he was one. He literally hadn’t seen some of them since last spring. They were like brand new! He spent a whole afternoon playing with these old toys!
Hope this helps the cabin fever in your house! I know that I am constantly checking pinterest for new ideas and I hope you liked these!