Yesterday my incredibly hard-working husband neglected to tell me/remind me that he had two obligations after work that would mean he wouldn’t be home until close to 8pm. A far cry from his usual 5:15-5:30. My first reaction when I saw his text was, um, PANIC. I collected my thoughts and came back down to reality. Anyway, my real fear was how the heck am I supposed cook dinner when I don’t have my partner in crime to entertain at least one of the babes?
Quick mom thinking, that I was rather proud of, kicked in (I am usually a slave to Pinterest and Google for good ideas). Earlier in the day, M & I broke out our new washable Crayola paints and a little cardboard rhino that was on sale at Target and had a little paint party. It was adorable and M loved it. After washing up the sponge paintbrushes I kept them by the sink to dry. Fast forward to dinner time. Sure enough 2 minutes into trying to cook with a baby in a carrier and a toddler literally climbing on the counter tops, I got out a small bowl and filled it with a LITTLE bit of water (KEY WORD LITTLE!) and gave M some construction paper and the paint brushes and he “painted” with water. It kept him entertained for a good 15-20 minutes and gave me time to rice some cauliflower, shred some cheese, and finish the rest of my dinner prep. As M would say: TADA!
Here are some other really easy and fun “busy” activities that have been successful in our house!
- Daytime bath time with the wonderful Crayola Washable Paints and foam paintbrushes (or just your hands!). I saw this idea on Pinterest here.
- Ripping construction paper. Who knew this would be so entertaining! M loves chicken tenders so this started out with daddy being silly and taking some already ripped paper and pretended it was chicken tenders. Now we love to rip paper and play pretend with it.
- Playing with/Stacking plastic cups. M loves this and I actually have to buy some more plastic or maybe even paper cups because he wore them down so much. This usually buys a good 20 or so minutes and M asks for this activity regularly!
- Playdough. Cheerios. It will make sense, I promise. Please see this wonderful blog for reference!
- Match the Shapes! This one was fun and I was so proud of my little guy for knowing all of his shapes. Well he knows 3 shapes but I’ll take it! Please take a look at this mama’s blog!. I used an old Trader Joes bag and just cut off one side then drew on the shapes. I had some extra felt on hand and cut 9 shapes (3 triangles, 3 squares, 3 circles).
Here are some other fun and quick ideas that have been successful at our house!
Lets also discuss the elephant in the room. Sometimes when you just need your kid(s) to chill out while you get something done (cooking, blogging, etc) we turn on the TV. It’s just necessary sometimes, guys. HASHTAG NO SHAME! Anyway, I’d love to hear other mama’s ideas on how to keep our toddlers busy as well as if you tried any of the above! Get busy, loves!