Keeping Toddler Occupied

Monday, 17 August 2009, 8:18 | Category : Baby Essentials, entertainment, Home, Parenting, Toys
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Now that Aden is mobile, how do I keep him occupied?

Aden is now increasingly fast and mobile.  He follows us around the house.  We have done a decent job of babyproofing, but we find that when we cannot chase him we put him in his playyard.  Which of course he hates because; dammit Mom!, he wants to be movin’!

We find that at night we are spending more time with him which is good.  I don’t do the dishes or laundry and just sit on the floor with Aden.  We play with his toys and last night we played ball.  We tossed a beach ball around.  He loved that.   Which would children’s services find worse I wonder?  A kitchen full of dirty dishes or  an unhappy child in a playpen?  Aden  does seem to sleep better at night when we have given him lots of attention.

I polled friends on what they do to keep their kids busy.  Granted their kids are a little bit older than Aden.

This is what works for my child:

1) coloring, 2) singing abc’s and other nursery rhymes, 3) playing with Elmo, 4) playing with letters, 5) playing outside and if these don’t work I feed her.

As for toddler activities, here is my list.

  1. Play dough!
  2. Magnadoodle
  3. Coloring
  4. Stickers
  5. Play with water-Use whatever you have in the kitchen, put a towel down inside if it’s too hot to go outside
  6. Play with oatmeal or rice-Again, good for a hot or rainy day, use a big towel or table cloth
  7. Blocks
  8. Practice walking and holding hands (down to the mailbox and back)
  9. Play outside (ride-on toy, truck, ball, and climber)
  10. Newest activity-Throw pennies in the fountain near Gator Dockside or the wishing well at the mall (near Macy’s)

Here are some ideas that I’ve used to keep my toddler busy sometimes, although normally she’s attached to my hip so I get to participate too:

  • Make a house with windows out of the big box that her car seat came in
  • Let her drop clothes pins into a milk jug
  • Put ice cubes in a Ziploc bag
  • Table a paper towel role to the side of a table and let her drop legos, balls, or smaller toys through the chute
  • Make ramp out of a piece of cardboard and push toy cars down the ramp
  • Fill one large bowl with ice and one large bowl with water a little soap and let her use measuring cups to transfer the ice cubes back and forth (outside activity)
  • Outdoor soup – put some water in a bucket and help her add different outside things like leaves and twigs to the outdoor soup and stir with a big spoon
  • Put a little ketchup and a little mustard in a double Ziploc bag and let her squish the two colors together
  • Big Lego pieces are great to play with
  • has some great ideas too on stuff to do with your baby/toddler

My toddler stays busy by:
1)  watching Baby Einstein videos
2) reading
3) playing with her toys and stuffed animals
4) playing with the tupperware in the kitchen cabinets and drawers
5) going to the park, Publix, the mall, or over to grandma’s
6) following mommy and daddy around

I’m so lucky to have friends who are ahead of me in this arena!  What do you do to keep your toddler busy, happy, healthy and learning?

~Life as Mom


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