Now that we’ve got the school-aged kids off to school, we still have to entertain younger siblings who are at home and potentially bored. We scoured the internet to bring you a few of our favourite ideas for keeping younger siblings busy. They may even work on developing a skill or two, but you don’t need to tell them!
This first idea is a favourite one we found on teachingmama.org. It’s simple but will keep toddlers entertained and curious! And the necessary tools are easy! A paper towel roll, some pompoms and a bit of tape will do the trick. Show them how to drop the pompoms, pick them up and start again! Once the novelty starts to wear off, sort the pompoms by color to create a new bit of fun. Using a spoon for color sorting will add another of challenge for toddlers while helping them develop fine motor skills.
Use the masking tape you rounded up from our first favourite idea to create a gross motor skills development challenge for toddlers. Tape up a doorway in your home, making sure you have access to the sticky side.
Throw crumpled newspaper or cotton balls at the tape and see if you can get them to stick! To keep it more basic, hang paper Dixie cups with string to the inside of a short box or just by attaching them to tape in the doorway. Kids can then try to hit the hanging cups with the balls. Toddlers will be thrilled to be allowed to toss things around the house!
Rainbow Shaving Cream bath paint takes the 3rd spot on our list. We can’t help but wonder if the whole family might enjoy it! We found this on Meet the Dubiens family blog. It’s simple to make and making a mess will be so much fun. And it’s a clean mess!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- foaming shaving cream – use a sensitive skin version!
- food colouring
- container – (recommend a silicone muffin pan)
- paint brushes
Oh, and a tub! And a restless (even dirty) kid! Older siblings are likely to love this one too.
Our last two favourites sort of go together and are great for getting kids moving! It’s important for their development to be active but without structure this can sometimes overwhelm parents. Here are a few structured ways to get them active within a context.
The first part is super fun for all ages but definitely for 1.5 to 4 year olds. You can grab this printable activity here on Twittchetts.com. Download these dice to facilitate an interactive animal game! Kids are encouraged to ‘act like a monkey, sound like a cow’ and more.
Take this to the next level and take your animal imitation game outside as suggested here on GoodLife Kids Foundation! Kids can swing, climb, play ball and more. And the gross motor skills help them develop without them even knowing it’s good for them! Plus if you take it outside, kids can look for animals to imitate. We have lots in Vancouver from woodpeckers to squirrels to raccoons and more. You can help kids learn wild animal safety at the same time. It’s a big win that is loaded with fun.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own Adventure Zone! Sure we are a bit prejudiced but you will be hard pressed to find a kid who doesn’t LOVE to play here. From climbing to interactive iFloor to the ball room, kids of all ages are delighted with this space. Parents can go in with smaller children to help them get around or watch through the mesh walls for kids old enough to enjoy it alone. No matter what, it is a great, energy burner that includes motor development and a place for parents to let them run wild! We are open 10am to 6pm daily so come play!
Have your own activities that toddlers love? Share them in the comments and we may feature your toddler challenge in a later blog!
Catherine Mellon is a digital media marketing strategist, a mom and a proud Vancouverite. Feel free to say 'hi' on any of the Kids Market's social media profiles!