Let’s be honest; Millie has been my shadow ever since Ethan has been in school and I’m finding it very hard to keep her occupied without her being “bored” and letting her have too much screen time. I am trying to come up with some fun ideas around the house to keep her occupied, but without giving me more things to put on my “TO-DO” list.
I’m sharing with you a few fun, but not so messy, ideas on how to keep your toddler busy throughout the day. Staying home as a wife/mother, I’m sure we can all relate to already having a lot of items on our list, so I try to minimize mess as much as possible around here. I let Millie take a few toys out here and there, but let’s be honest. Sometimes toys just don’t cut it. She loves being surrounded by people, and cannot keep herself entertained for very long.
LET HER HELP WITH DAILY CLEANING
Not that Millie is very much of a pro at cleaning, as a matter of fact, it takes me twice as long and twice the work, but I try to include her in as much stuff as possible when she is interested of course. For Example
- Washing Dishes- We usually just rinse and place our dirty dishes in the dishwasher. But there are times where I will let her get her stool and put warm water with dish soap in the sink, and let her “Wash” the dishes with the sponge. She does get wet, and I do have to go back and re-rinse the few dishes she washes. But this helps me clean up the rest of the kitchen while she keeps complete occupied with bubbles.
- Folding Clothes– Every afternoon while I’m folding our load for the day, she loves to point out which “item” of clothing gets put into what stack. We make it more of a game, and she enjoys every minute of it.
- Making Lunch/Dinner– I try to find ways of her helping me prep for lunch or dinner. Even if it’s her stirring the pot here and there. Or grabbing me the potatoes from the pantry.
- Sweeping/Mopping– I give her the broom for about 5 minutes (or until she is tired) and let her at it. She doesn’t like doing this often, though. lol
Even though I try to keep the television use to a minimum. I do often find myself letting Millie watch a movie or a few tv shows. It is the best babysitter for me when I need just a few hours to work on emails or concentrate on writing. She loves movies, and will take up any opportunity of her choosing one and laying in my bed watching it.
Yes, the typical coloring book and crayons are a huge life savor around here! I often find myself drawing her name in bubble lettering, and having her color them. Although, she is no Picasso. We can get a good 30 minutes of entertainment with this.
MAKE ICE POPS
We always have a ton of juices in our fridge. Whether they are store bought, or freshly squeezed. We love making ice pops in the morning with whatever juice we can find in the refrigerator. So by the time it’s the afternoon, OR when Ethan gets home, we can sneak outside for 5 minutes to eat them!
HIDE & SEEK
We don’t play the typical “You hide and I’ll find you”. Millie loves when I hide her stuffed animals around the house. So we will sneak away 5-7 animals, and I’ll let her take the time to find them around the house while packing them into the laundry basket. Takes about 5 minutes of my time, and she could spend about 20 minutes finding them! Such a fun thing to do!
We don’t typically take baths during the day, but she loves getting in my tub and giving her baby dolls a bath, full of soap and water. Which can keep her and I both busy even if I just sit on the bathroom floor with my laptop. Or just simply enjoying her company.
WATERING THE PATIO
We don’t have the privilege of being outside often in the triple digit weathers, but she loves helping me scrub down the patio and getting a little wet in the process. She often enjoys giving her bike and scooter a wash in the process.
LET THEM USE THEIR IMAGINATION
Dressing up as a different character is a serious job. Millie can be a doctor, ballerina, ninja turtle, astronaut, and a mommy all in one day. When It’s time for her to play dress up, I let her get as creative as possible, whether it’s using her baby brothers bassinet as her babies crib. Or letting her “Drive” around in my laundry basket. I try to make it as fun and simple as possible. Every once in a while, we bring out the blankets and make her house out of a fort, to let all her animal friends have a place to nap.
On a typical day, we generally stick to the same routine, which seems to make our days go by faster. We would love to hear some fun things you and your littles do on an everyday basis!
*This article is based off of Summer time. It is still triple digits, and we aren’t very lucky to have tolerable weather to be outside.*