By Guest Blogger Ashley McNeill
It’s a trying time right now, and we realize that many of our readers are starting to go a little bit stir crazy while keeping children entertained, keeping our own sanity, and for many – also working a full-time job at home! Last week we ran this blog with some great ideas for banishing boredom in kids of all ages. Today we want to focus a little more on the younger ones who are toddler or preschool-aged.
We know you are ready for some new ideas and possibly for a change of scenery. We hope today’s ideas inspire you!
1. Sorting items – buttons, nuts, bolts, blocks, and more! Such a simple idea, but kids LOVE this. They can sort by shape, then by color, then by size. After sorting, you can turn it into an art project by glueing them to a frame or around a mirror. We cannot say enough good things about the Busy Toddler website. (Photo credit goes to Busy Toddler as well!) We love getting ideas from this website and also follow them on Instagram for quick boredom busters and educational activities.
2. DIY art projects – try to theme this project to your child’s interests. (Trucks, Disney, Sesame Street, bugs, etc.) Pinterest will overwhelm you with options! Most projects can be made with things you already have around the house. You can find some cute ideas in our craft section of TMoM here as well. We love the idea below from Littlefamilyfun.com.
3. Water play – nothing makes a little kid happier than a bucket of water and a couple of scoops. Add a paintbrush and let them ‘paint’ the sidewalk. (Photo credit: All for the Boys.) Bad weather? Stick them in the bathtub for an hour and plant yourself next to it with a good book.
4. Go Pick Blueberries – We have a fabulous directory on TMoM that gives you details on local blueberry farms. Due to COVID this year, some have adjusted their guidelines. We have noted which ones are available for pick-your-own and which ones are drive-up only.
5. Explore a new park – TMoM has a great directory of parks in the Triad! We list amenities at each along with walking trails. Even though playground equipment is currently closed, nature makes her own playground! Explore, go on a scavenger hunt, have a picnic! Take scooters, a tricycle, or a wagon. We also have this list of watering holes, which includes some terrific spots for creek walking with littles!
6. Make a tent in the house with sheets, pillows, and flashlights – my children loved to cozy up in their forts with a book or a movie. (This goes for all ages, too!)
7. Enjoy new books – While many bookstores and libraries are still closed, books can be picked up curbside for an unending supply of new books. We love local bookstores like Wonderland Bookshop (currently open for indoor browsing with limited hours) and Bookmarks (currently open for shopping with an appointment), both of which offer curbside pickup and often have virtual story times! Check out this archived blog for great educational activities for toddlers.
8. Ice excavating! Put a small toy in a container of water, freeze it and let them break/bust it to get it out. You can freeze animals and turn it into an animal rescue, dinosaurs for budding anthropologists, whatever their interest is. Your choice of tools for breaking up the ice can be anything from a small hammer or mallet to spoons. Make sure to have a spray bottle of water to help in excavating. (Plus, spray bottles are just fun!) Photo credit: Little Bins.
9. Make a Sensory Bin/Box – You can read our TMoM blog here with some great ideas. Toddlers LOVE sensory boxes! And you can make them with items around the house. These can be themed to a particular interest or lesson.
10. Go See the Animals – This is an item that you will have to make a decision based on the comfort level of your family during this time of COVID. There are three of our favorite venues that are currently open (with new guidelines and/or required reservations) where families can visit and enjoy animals. Check out the websites for the Lazy 5 Ranch, NC Zoo, and Greensboro Science Center for details on each.
For more ideas and resources for your preschooler or toddler, click here!
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