It can be tough to get your tot out and about every day, particularly when the weather is being typically British.
But if you have a little bundle of energy who goes stir crazy if they don’t get their daily al-fresco run around, it can be hard to know how to keep them busy without the house taking the hit.
So it can be helpful to have a few ideas on standby that will help keep them occupied while you run your daily household errands – or, even better, join in the fun!
Here are some ideas to try…
Build a mini racetrack
If your tot loves wheeling their toy cars around, make a track using masking tape on tiles or a hardwood floor.
Challenging them to stick to the track will not only help fine-tune their motor skills, but also help keep them out from under your feet!
Have a creative wall
Pick one wall of the house – most likely in their bedroom or play room – and cover it (or a part of it) with chalkboard wallpaper.
Give them some chalks and let them run riot! If any chalk does spill over the edge, simply give it a wipe with a Flash Eraser.
The wallpaper’s removable too, so it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture if you just want to get it out on indoor days.
Have a peaceful playtime
Toys are great, but they often come with all sorts of bells and whistles that are enough to give you a headache after a few minutes. Plus if you’re trying to wind them down for a nap, these can over-stimulate them.
Instead, try these DIY games that are super quiet:
Coloured cotton: Take an empty ice cube tray and colour in each square a different colour. Then get a bunch of cotton wool balls and colour them in corresponding colours with a marker pen, or food colouring. Your tot can then have fun matching the cotton ball with the coloured part of the tray.
Fabric fun: Cut up some scraps of material and place them in an empty wipes container with a hard top. Your toddler will love pulling them out and pushing them back in again – it’s amazing how long this keeps them entertained!
Wiggly worms: Grab a handful of pipe cleaners and a colander and get your toddler to try to poke the pipe cleaners through the colander’s holes. This is great for developing their fine motor skills, but you may need to supervise tiny tots to prevent any nasty pokes in the eye.
Make fun dough
Making your own dough is so easy the kids can help make it, as well as having fun moulding it into shapes afterwards.
Simply combine four cups of white flour with one cup of table salt and add water slowly until it’s the desired consistency.
Turn it out onto a floured table and let the kids knead the dough until it’s mouldable. Make sure they don’t eat it – it might be dough, but it does NOT taste good!
For younger kids, separate the dough and add a few drops of different food colouring to each ball; older kids can try painting their creations with acrylic paints after they’ve been baked.
You can use cookie cutters to make pretty shapes, or let the kids have free rein over their mini-masterpieces. To help contain the mess, keep the dough on a cutting board or baking tray.
When they’re ready, pop their creations in the oven at 180° for about 20 minutes, keeping a careful eye on them.
Once cooled they can paint (if needed) and varnish their handiworks, and you can proudly display them on your mantelpiece… even if it is just a multi-coloured lump!
How do you keep your little one occupied at home? Please do share your brilliant ideas in the comments section below.