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Hit the wall with my two preschoolers

(19 Posts)
Knocksomesense Mon 25-May-20 06:40:09

Easy activity ideas?

2y5m and 3y5m. They're ok generally, pretty easy going kids. Hv suspects ODD in my eldest (he's certainly quirky).

I've hit the wall. I'm tired. Im run down. I've been really poorly this weekend. They're grouchy.

I don't care about how much screen time they have but they do have a lot when I work in the mornings. Also ds1 isnt really into playing. Eg he won't want to build a brio track and play with trains. He won't want to just randomly kick or throw a ball around, even if we set up targets.

I just really need some inspiration... what the hell can I do with them

OP’s posts: |
ForeverBubblegum Mon 25-May-20 06:43:44

We're doing a lot of colouring in with sheets printed of twinkle. Also some glue and stick (eg. Print out a sheet of fish pictures, and stick on a blue sea page)

moita Mon 25-May-20 06:54:37

OP - this is exactly how I've felt this week. Does he like sensory activities? I have a 3.5 and a 2 year old. I got some cheap rice and dyed it with food colouring. They both loved scooping and pouring it. Pretend snow (all of these are on the internet( cornflour and baby oil.

They both like 'cleaning'I give them a bowl of water and two cloths and they clean their toy cars etc.

They love stickers as well.

Lostinbooksandcoffee Mon 25-May-20 06:57:14

Bless you. I was like this last week. Plodding along again now.

What does your eldest like to do? My 3yo has ASD. We do a lot of sensory and messy play (dyed rice, oats, sand, water, cous cous etc).

He also like Lego and sticklebricks so we play that as well too much

Not real advice, just take each day as it comes and don't be too hard on yourself. Being in lockdown in tough, especially when you have a kid with at least some sort of additional need.

pinguwings Mon 25-May-20 07:02:08

Have you got a garden?
Best things I've found for my 2.5yr old during lockdown- (not working but had a baby recently)
Buckets of water
Aqua-draw mat
Box of dressing up clothes (lots of old plastic jewellery)
Mini trampoline with a bar to hold

I've given up with craft, she does enjoy cooking- we quite Em often watch my world kitchen on CBeebies and recreate what they made.

TheGriffle Mon 25-May-20 07:05:41

Water play. It’s the only thing that has enabled me and Dh to work from home with our 3 year old. She has either been sat in the kitchen sink full of water with a teapot and cups etc or outside in the garden with a bucket of water and sponges and cups and bowls and things to make potions etc and washing her toy car things like that.

Knocksomesense Mon 25-May-20 07:07:08

He gets quite frustrated easily so things like colouring and fine motor stuff (eg making a pasta necklace) are ok for a few minutes but that's it.

He finds Lego too tricky.

He likes the throw rice. I set up a lovely activity with mini pom poms the other day and it all got thrown after about 20 seconds.

He likes hoovering, which is amazing! Also interestingly he's learned his letter sounds in lockdown - all of them. He is beginning to read 3 letter words but also doesnt always enjoy sitting for a book.

OP’s posts: |
Knocksomesense Mon 25-May-20 07:10:15

Aqua draw he just opens and empties the pens everywhere. Sand is sometimes a hit but often gets thrown. He loves baking but my waistline doesn't. Water play is popular. He also enjoys anything with scissors. The best was when I put some leaves and scissors out. He spent ages.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm going to do all of those activities this week, even if I think it'll be a flop because kids are inherently unpredictable

OP’s posts: |
TrashKitten10 Mon 25-May-20 07:20:54

If he's into letter sounds would he enjoy a word hunt around the house and garden? Print or write/draw some simple words and corresponding pictures (dog, cat, map, web etc.) on individual pieces of paper which he then has to find and match up. Twinkl would have things ready to print or you could make your own.

Have you tried play dough? Easy to make your own and he could help if he's into baking and then is a nice easy activity to pop out on the table with some cutters, a rolling pin or anything you've got available.

If he's into scissors you could put out cooked spaghetti for him to cut or to challenge him by making some pattern cards Cut strips of paper or card and draw different patterns- waves, zig-zags etc for him to cut along.

If he struggles with fine motor activities you could try big mark making- rolls of paper or wallpaper for him to draw on. You could even stick it on the underside of your table so he lays on his back and draws above him- great for strength development. Chalks for him to draw on the patio or pavement or a pot of water and brush for him to 'paint' the shed, walls or fence.

ItsReallyOnlyMe Mon 25-May-20 07:25:10

Painting with water outside - is extremely easy, nothing to clear up and develops fine motor skills.

Cutting up an old magazine - mine used to use the Argos catalogue and sticking pictures onto a big piece of paper. Just requires glue, paper and safe scissors.

If you have a plastic table just take it outside and squirt saving foam on it - then they can make patterns with their fingers. Not too messy - but you could add a blob of paint and then it is more fun but messier ! You can then make a picture by just putting a piece of paper over the top.

Chalk drawing on a patio.

Threading Cheerios through string to make a necklace.

Let them put dried pasta in a plastic bottle (one by one for extra time) to make a rattle instrument.

Pots and pans with Wooden spoons if you want a noisy afternoon.

Biggest tower competition.

Obstacle course in the garden - then races

Decorate plain biscuits with plain icing and sweets. Could use food colouring with icing.

Just a few ideas. Good luck !

Knocksomesense Mon 25-May-20 07:26:53

Brilliant! Big paper, i have some of that. I was going to do some leaf printing after I finish work. I think I'll do it on big paper.

I need to order some cream of tartar. I guess he might also enjoy scissors and playdough.

Spaghetti and scissors sounds great

OP’s posts: |
Readysetcake Mon 25-May-20 07:28:04

I feel your pain. I have a 2 and 4 year old. Running out of things to keep them busy. We do lots of water play in the garden with soapy water when warm. Coloured water and Calpol syringes for potions. Rice and spoons into different containers. Treasure hunts. I find five minute mum on instagram useful for ideas in this age range. Simple ideas not just pretty Pictures of ridiculous crafts or expensive toys.

Sending solidarity cakebrew

AshGirl Mon 25-May-20 07:29:03

For these ages the Five Minute Mum website is your friend. Also on Instagram

Readysetcake Mon 25-May-20 07:29:10

Ooo and if you’re happy with scissors cutting up old dead flowers, grass or weeds keeps my 4 yo busy for ages.

AshGirl Mon 25-May-20 07:29:48

@readysetcake Snap! smile

geojojo Mon 25-May-20 07:31:51

I have two a similar age. We are all keeping sane with spending loads of time in the garden and very long walks, not that helpful for when you're working though.

Knocksomesense Mon 25-May-20 07:34:46

We are very very lucky that i work mornings and dh works afternoons. It's starting to get hard now though.

Love the ideas. Thank you all so much.

We do short walks but ds1 has some gross motor issues and therefore lacks stamina. This is slowly improving though

OP’s posts: |
MadamFlutterby Mon 25-May-20 07:46:43

Get a giant roll of paper and unroll it on the floor and get your children to lay down on ot for you to trace around them.

Ince they have their outlines get them to draw in their faces colour their hair in and draw in their clothes. Great fun!

Window stickers are good fun, the gel type ones.

Good old fashioned memory game - a few items on a tray, get them to try sndxrekrmber them then cover over with a tea towel. Get them to close their eyes and whip one item away. Take off the tea towel and ask them to open their eyes and guess which item is missing.

Bowl of water with washing up liquid and a sponge and get them to clear their outside toys in the garden.

How about blowing bubbles?

Old magaze and safety scissors - they can cut out the colourful pictures.

Pavement chalk! They can draw on your patio or driveway.

Egg and spoon race.

Paint some large pebbles or flower pots.

Plant some seeds.

Big cardboard box and make a playhouse out of it - ask on your local facebook group if anyone has one they are chicking out.


Just a few things off the top of my head. They are a great age OP. Exhausting, but a great age.

MadamFlutterby Mon 25-May-20 07:47:29

Sorry about the typos.blush

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