The summer is just starting, older children are getting out of school, family reunions and vacations are looming large on the horizon, and so are endless afternoons of the littlest members of the family feeling bored and maybe a little left out of all those extracurricular activities. Your daily life will be different and the youngest members of a family can sometimes struggle with the change in schedule. Here are a few ideas to keep little hands and minds engaged in the hot days to come..
1. Animals in an Iceberg
There’s nothing much better than playing in the water on a hot summer day, but for the younger members of the family this means a constant watchfulness. Here’s an alternative that lets your little ones play in the water without the eagle eye supervision needed for a visit to the pool.
- Several plastic cups (tapered so the bottom is smaller than the lip)
- A handful of small children’s toys
- An empty toddler size wading pool
- Toss the toys in the cup, about halfway full
- Place in the freezer and allow to freeze solid
- Place your toddler and the now frozen “Toy-berg” into the pool
- Watch while the melting and wonder begins.
They’re going to get wet, cool down, find new toys, and have a lot of fun.
2. Buried Treasure
If you have a sandbox, a galvanized tub, or even an old Rubbermaid container, you can make this fun activity work. Kids like to play in the dirt, it’s a fact of childhood. By giving them some sand to dig in they can have the fun of digging without the mud and mess that typically accompany this activity.
- A tub at least 6 inches deep
- Several bags of small dollar store toys (plastic animals, bugs, rings, and coins, strands of bright colored beads, shiny rocks, etc.)
- Enough Quikrete sandbox sand to fill the tub
- A plastic digging spade
- Add a layer of sand to your tub
- Add a scattering of toys to your tub
- Repeat until the toys and sand are all in the tub
- Hand your child the spade and tell him or her to get busy. (You might want to give them a little bucket to put their treasures in, otherwise they’ll be handing them to you to put in your pockets.)
3. Scented, Edible Body Paint
If you have a child that absolutely loves sensory activities, this is the perfect activity for them. This recipe is quick and easy and will provide lots of messy fun for your toddlers.
- An empty toddler pool (to contain the mess, if you’re worried about it)
- 1 container of plain yogurt
- A rainbow array of sugar-free Kool-aid packets
- Small plastic containers for each color of Koolaid
- Put three heaping tablespoons full of yogurt in each of your plastic containers
- Add a packet of Koolaid to each container and stir until dissolved
- Place your kid in the pool with the containers and watch the artwork unfold!
This is such a fun activity for kids, particularly young toddlers and babies who are beginning to develop fine motor skills. They can “paint” on their legs, arms, and bellies without the frustration of holding a brush. It’s good, gooey fun.
Images courtesy of babble.com, befickle.blogspot.com and funathomewithkids.com