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Ideas for entertaining/playing with young toddler?

(18 Posts)
Queenmummy Mon 22-May-06 19:21:13

I have a very energetic young toddler and am finding it hard to think of new ways to entertain him. He's good at reading books and playing on his own (for a limited time) but soon wants to do things with me again. He's still too young for crafty/cooking etc activities (can't wait till that stage!!! surely easier?!).

Anyway - anyone got any good ideas?

Marne Mon 22-May-06 19:26:31

How old is he?
DD likes helping with house work, playing with wooden spoons and saucepans, drawing with crayons and she likes to have picknics on the rug with me and her teddy's.
DD has just started doing painting she gets it evrywhere, in her hair on her arms and on the floor.

welshmum Mon 22-May-06 19:28:19

Musical activities, maybe a song cd you could do together? Blocks?

Queenmummy Mon 22-May-06 19:28:53

thanks for replying Marne - he's 14 months. He's a bright lad and very active with it (been walking 4 months already). He's lovely but very demanding

Surfermum Mon 22-May-06 19:29:25


sparklemagic Mon 22-May-06 19:44:26

if you can bear the mess, why not do water play? bowl of water on the floor for him to play with, throw things in and out of etc!

Let him bang around with pots and pans, wooden spoons, DS loved this though you have to be prepared for the noise level!


Bugmum Mon 22-May-06 20:14:54

DS and I (getting on for 16 months) do a lot of dancing; we put on the Wiggles DVD (!!) or an action songs CD or just regular reggae etc and boogie on down. Sometimes we do it just with me singing (oh dear), and he croons along. He LOVES it.

Queenmummy Tue 23-May-06 02:10:32

thanks everyone - some good ideas there. I do most of them with him anyway......ah well, I clearly need to develop a higher boredom threshold!! Like the water play idea though and the dancing one - will give them a go

threebob Tue 23-May-06 02:15:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ghosty Tue 23-May-06 02:34:19

Agree with threebob ... I went out lots - and still do - rain or shine ...
Even a trip to the supermarket is an activity for DD ... But not if you need to do a big shop and have limited time. I do the big shop at the weekend or after DH comes home from work but on a rainy bored day, a little shopping trip can be fun. Pick a time where he isn't tired or hungry, you aren't in a hurry and it isn't full of lunchtime shoppers or people hurrying home from work. I take a basket and we wonder around all the aisles. If she picks something up to put in the basket (which she loves doing) I let her and then when she isn't looking I pop it back on the shelf .
Luckily my children have never been the type to scream for stuff in supermarkets but that is because I have never fed them anything in a supermarket so they don't realise they can IYSWIM?
She likes to help put the stuff on the belt too.
Some people think I am mad doing this but if I am not in a hurry and only need some milk and bread then it works.
I very rarely take both of my children to the SM (that is disastrous) and I am as frazzled as the next mum if I have to take her on a big shop day.

UM ... what else ... We go for lots of walks - we are lucky as we have a beach down the road so we do lots of shell collecting etc.
I understand about crafty stuff but play dough is less messy for younger toddlers.

threebob Tue 23-May-06 07:35:51

Feeding the ducks, Supermarket, Post Office, Library, anything free like a museum or art gallery. I use a hip seat so when ds gets tired I can pick him up - and also so he can chat to the post office lady etc. but he gets worn out from all the other walking.

I can't stand being at home with him unless he has little friends around or he's in the garden. He is much better company out of the house.

liath Tue 23-May-06 07:43:07

Things my 14 month old dd enjoys - going to the park & the swings, going through the cupboards (I keep a couple unlocked with plastic bits & pieces in them), dancing (Madonna a favourite). The recent rain has been a bit of a trial to be honest as I depend on getting her outside to run around - I think by the end of the day she does get bored.

We have a couple of toddler friendly soft play areas nearby, she LOVES swimming and is just getting into drawing.

Difficult at this age as tons of energy and mobility but the attention span of a gnat!!! Am also waiting for that arts & crafts & cooking stage ....

FloatingOnTheMed Tue 23-May-06 07:46:03

lol ghosty i am a single mum so i have to do all the shopping with dd! if i am doing a little shop she stays in the pushchair, i get her down for the big shop! How odd! I think because for the little shop i prefer to just whip round and get it over with, but the big shop i turn into a real trip out! dd loves it, and she's like yours, she's never kicked up a fuss in the SM. Plus she knows if she plays up she'll be back in the buggy...

I remember the relief when dd used to come across something that kept her occupied for a while. it was like holding your breath until she got bored...your ds is prob a bit young because of choking hazard, but my dd has always loved playing with little things, just putting things like stones, uncooked beans etc in & out of jars & pots etc. But you would have to watch him for that. Perhaps find bigger items that he won't choke on for the same purpose.

ghosty Tue 23-May-06 07:54:52

LOL FloatingontheMed

girrafey Tue 23-May-06 08:02:04

i still do cooking activities with my dd who has just turned 1. I melt the chocolate and then when cool enough she sits with a big bowl of rice krispies and just mashes together with her hands. she is naked for this and goes straight into a bath ( pre run) this togther kills that hour after tea before daddy gets home some times. i then spoon the remaining goo into cake cases and we present to daddy on his arrival home!!!!
( only thing is to stay ontop of her hands going into mouth as obviously if not vigilant alot of it goes via mouth and then one hypa child!!!)

liath Tue 23-May-06 08:12:10

Fab idea, amyjo - that last hour is always the hasrdest to fill. Will try that one .

kitbit Tue 23-May-06 08:49:38

ds (now 18mths) loves balls, bouncy balls, lightweight kiddy footballs, ball-pit style balls, all of them. We got him a bag of ball-pit balls when he was about 14mths and he loves to open the bag and get stuck in, sometimes they come flying out one by one, sometimes he sorts them into colours, other times he takes them out one by one and places them carefully around the room. Takes him ages . Sometimes I up-end the bag and they go everywhere, cue lots of excitement and chasing especially if I start rolling them around the room as well.

Also dh made him a "posting box", basically a cardboard box with a letter box cut into it, as kids this age love to "post" things. He'd go around the room gathering everything that wasn't nailed down and run over to his box to post it. Advantages - you can always find the TV remotes/shoes/missing piece of wooden puzzle/other sock etc, and also you get the tidying up done for you!

We also build obstacle courses out of boxes and pillows and I chase him across the room through the course. He charges off squealing and has to climb over everything. Really wears him out
Difficulty is calming down afterwards, but doing it gradually usually works without getting overexcited and ending in tears!

have fun

wannaBe1974 Wed 24-May-06 08:21:30

instead of playdough can you make some biscuit dough for him to squidge/pat/cut out, obviously you will have to help with this but it can be done in the confines of your kitchen and therefore the mess is limited also. if you make the biscuit dough in advance you can wrap it in clingfilm and store it in the fridge and it's a lot less messy when it's cold. Then if he puts it in his mouth it's really not such a big deal and you don't even have to cook it if you don't want to.

Also you could make biscuits and buy a set of food colouring pens for your ds to draw on the biscuits.

music/dancing is always great. also a metal container, i.e. cake tin with wooden spoon is good fun if you can stand the noise.

or you can make shakers with dried peas inserted into a plastic bottle. Generally the noisier the better.

The swings in the park always were very popular with my ds.

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