Easy Activities for Busy Toddler Moms
One thing you should know about me is I like to do things that are easy. This probably isn't the best quality to have but, hey, it works. I don't generally enjoy doing things I'm not very good at or don't at least show some promise in and I really don't like to waste my time (or anyone else's for that matter). I've got things to do!
My affinity for the easy road has definitely transferred over to my parenting, espcially when it comes to doing activities with my son. Now, don't get me wrong, I love doing activities with my son... or any child for that matter. Playing games, singing songs, doing crafts totally makes me feel like I'm in my mommy groove. But, again, it has to be easy. Not only is my time limited as a work at home mom but also my artistic ability is pretty limited... to that of a Kindergartner. Maybe.
Here are some easy activities that my son and I enjoy doing together:
We are (mostly) out of the everything in mouth stage, so I recently decided to introduce sidewalk chalk. The first time we played with it was actually during pretty yucky weather, so I just pulled in a box from the garage (a very cool thing about being an influencer is there never a shortage of packages around here) and let my son get inside and have at the chalk. Boxes in general are entertaining but the chalk just took it to a whole other level.
When outdoors, my son loves to scribble with the chalk. I love to utilize the chalk to teach my son things like numbers and shapes. I will draw different shapes on the ground and go over the names. I recently wrote numbers inside the shapes and let him count as he jumped inside the shapes. Learning colors is also great with chalk!
Awhile back I saw a pin on Pinterest about saving pouch caps. Although I never actually read it, I made a mental note to save them. Again, since we are pretty much out of the insert object in mouth stage, I recently decided to pull out the caps I've been saving and make some activities out of them.
One activity we do is use an egg carton and the caps to count. I wrote numbers in the carton to help with number recognition. I took another carton and colored the bottom of the carton coordinating colors with the caps, for color recognition.
Another really fun pouch cap activity I have done is put some water in a food storage container and place the caps inside. I grab another container or plastic bowl (without water) and have my son take the floating caps out of the water and put them in the bowl. He loves doing this because it's wet (why do they love wet so much?) and he also really enjoys counting, even though he only ever says "three"! Bonus: put some food coloring in the water. We did green dye for St. Patrick's Day and it was a big hit! (We've also done it in the tub.)
The word "stations" makes this sound a lot fancier than it is. Basically, I will gather items like cake/brownie pans (not glass, of course), muffin pans, food storage containers, bowls and measuring cups. Then I add a sensory item like plain old water, rice (not suggested for young toddlers) or ice (dyed ice for extra fun). Then, I just let my son explore by pouring the items int he pans, bowls, cups, etc. Please note: Pouch caps activities are not recommended for children that tend to put things in their mouths. Also, children should be strictly supervised during these activities.
UNO Card Colors & Numbers
For my son's first birthday, we had an UNO party and I still have UNO cards galore. I took some of the cards and made sets of 1-5 for each color. These make really great "flash cards" for numbers and colors.
This might be the easiest activity. Ever. Just buy some stickers and give the child some paper. Done.
Construction Paper Shapes
I actually saw my friend, Tiffany, from Short Sweet Mom do this on her Instagram Story and I thought it was such a great (easy) idea. I hadn't done any kind of gluing with my son yet but I got brave and we did it... and he loved it! I just cut out some shapes with construction paper and then assisted my son in gluing the shapes on a piece of construction paper. He really enjoyed it, I think the fact that the glue stick we used was purple helped keep his attention, too!
Pipe Cleaner Shapes
For this activity, I just took some silver pipe cleaners and made shapes with them (basic shapes, nothing fancy). Then I taped the shapes on a piece of paper and let my son feel the shapes while I named them.
Ok, so I spoke too soon about the stickers. This is actually the easiest. Especially, if you let a machine do all the work!
So there you have it... just a few of the activities I do with my son. What easy activity ideas do you have? (Remember, I only do easy!)