Now that I have a three year old, the old games we have been using are old news. I can see it in his eyes every morning when he wakes up, this kid need to be stimulated. His brain is like a sponge needing to be filled with knowledge about the world around him. So, faced with the task of keeping him growing both in body and mind, I have tried several inventive activities (and am trying more every day) to keep him appeased. And of course I will let you in on my favorites AND least time consuming for mommies everywhere. And keeping up with my “use what you have in the home” theme, most of these you won’t send you out shopping….much.
1) Sun Catchers
These are so lovely. I can’t even tell you how much we love these. They give your child an activity that not only gets them out into nature but has a satisfying end result everyone will love. Here is what you need:
- Contact Paper
- Mason Jar Rims
- A Stick
2) Easier Sun Catchers
- Paper Plates
- Flowers and Leaves
- Contact Paper
Same idea, different take.
3) Homemade Play Sand
- 8 cups flour
- 1 cup baby oil
4) Straw Shapes
- Pipe Cleaners
Place pipe cleaners inside of your straws and you can do just about anything. Such a great learning activity.
5) Box Maze
This photo is ambitious but on a smaller scale can be so easy and fun for your little ones of any age. Any mommy on Amazon Prime could do this with leftover boxes. Just having 4 boxes laying around can make your child his or her own indoor playground in minutes.
6) Fun Chore Chart
Trying to get your toddler to start doing things on their own is a task, if you print out fun pictures and make a chart like this, they can feel the accomplishment each time they problem solve or care for themselves.
This is a great Montessori inspired activity that is fun but also teaches the brain several different things. Your toddler can sort and weigh any items in your cupboard. You can show them the heavier vs. the lightweight objects, beans and rice, you name it. Get creative.
8) Homemade Water Activity
How easy is this? Poke a few holes and find a hose, done and done.
9) Rainbow Fan
Teaching colors this way is so fun. Have your toddler paint each fan blade a color of the rainbow. Then:
10) Self Maintenance
Having things on a tray helps our kids see the task and handle it much easier. Here is a tray for morning time and bedtime. They will become familiar with it and eventually after practice they will look forward to using it, much like it’s a game of some kind.
11) Race Car Track
- Painters Tape
12) No Mess Finger Painting
Finger paints poured into a ziplock bag is a little slice of heaven. It can show your child what colors are made when you mix and match, its fun, and keeps everyone clean!
13) Sensory Boards
I’ve posted about this before, but I have to add it to the list because it never gets old. Go to Home Depot, get fun things, screw them into a board. Done.
14) Sensory Bags
- Baby Oil
- Little Bit of Water
- Food Coloring
- Small flat objects to find
- Tape (for the top so it can’t be opened by tiny fingers)
Little fingers can move the colors around and explore what happens when you mix oil and water.
15) Box of Lights
Box. Holes. Lights. Easy.
I found these great ideas from:
http://www.danaspinkribbon.blogspot.com / http://www.handsonaswegrow.com / www.playcreateexplore.org / www.iheartartsncrafts.com / www.flamingotoes.com http://www.diyhomestips.com / http://www.mylifeandkids.com / http://www.apartmenttherapy.com / http://www.babble.com / http://www.mynameissnickerdoodle.com