Fun things to do at home with 4 year old and 18 month old

(18 Posts)
CleverPlansAndSecretTricks Mon 25-May-15 19:16:54

I would love some ideas for when I have both boys at home together. When we are out we have a nice time, but I find it really hard to play with them both at home. The 4 year old gets cross because his little brother doesn't follow the rules and knocks things over, and the little one gets bored of things quickly. All totally understandable but totally incompatible! The only thing they both like is playing with iPads or watching peppa pig, and that makes me feel like a failure. I want to be a Pinterest mum! (Joking about the Pinterest part) (sort of)

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Mon 25-May-15 19:23:48

Do you have an outside area? My two love to colour and draw out outside walls with chalk then I let the clean it off with a bucket of water and cheap paint rollers.

Also cardboard boxes make good pirate ships/cars/planes to decorate. Plus you can have a drive-in movie - aka they sit in boxes and watcha film grin

CleverPlansAndSecretTricks Mon 25-May-15 20:09:29

No, I suppose that's part of the problem. We are in a flat with no garden so all that really messy stuff is hard

captainproton Mon 25-May-15 20:16:34

I think somewhere between 18 months and 2 years they mature a bit and can have a little bit more attention span. I've noticed it with DS (21 months) and he now plays imagination games with DD who is nearly 3. They like playing lions (chasing each other as lions) and rolling around the lounge, building bricks, toy cars, dinosaurs, kitchens. I do have 2 of most toys cos sharing is not fully understood by DS yet and that has solved lots of arguments.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Mon 25-May-15 20:25:31

Indoor picnics - basically their lunch in lunch boxes on a blanket in the living room - mine love this - I think it's the novelty of it, plus you can scoop all the crumbs up in the blanket! wink

Have said this on MN before but we do animal vet hospital with the DC teddy bears with cheap bandages and plasters and blankets for beds, keeps them busy for a while and no mess! (Well you. Might get a few plasters stuck on your furniture)

cosytoaster Mon 25-May-15 20:38:26

Mine used to like making dens (sheet over the table or kind of tented over the sofa) and then playing in them. Also indoor obstacle courses - climbing under chairs, jumping cushion to cushion, then a roly poly etc - all in my fairly small sitting room!

PaulineFossil Mon 25-May-15 20:51:54

I think it's a really hard stage, but agree with pp that it does start to get a bit easier quite soon. Mine liked pulling all the sofa cushions off and building a house or playing soft play. Also lots of dancing. We do youtube safaris - obviously adult discretion required - but we start by playing a song and then have to select the next one from the suggestions that come up at the end (80s cheese works well) or you can search on a theme e.g. pick an animal. Balloons are good too.

If you don't mind mess i find baking good too. You just have to not worry too much about what it actually turns out like.

BrianButterfield Mon 25-May-15 21:07:21

I sometimes get the more babyish toys out for them both - stuff DS wouldn't play with alone gets more alluring if younger DD wants it too! So, he normally prefers to play with Lego but will play with the MegaBloks if DD is there - we make things together and she happily piles them up and knocks them down.

Painting on big sheets of sugar paper or lining paper.

Pretending to both be cats is for some reason fun.

"Teaching" DD letters or sounds and roping DS in to "help".

The best fun they had was when I got lots of balls from various toys and they just went nuts with them - no throwing - just rolling them down things, putting them in other things, chasing them...lots of laughter and didn't need me to join in!

Zippidydoodah Tue 26-May-15 09:21:55

Put them in the bath with lots of bubbles, then you can blow bubbles and use bath crayons to decorate the bath! I always give them flannels to wipe the crayon off, which is just as much fun for them as drawing with them!

CleverPlansAndSecretTricks Tue 26-May-15 15:33:28

Thank you everyone, I feel inspired! I will try out all these ideas over the next few afternoons. Tomorrow morning when big one is at preschool little one and I will be buying bandages for the vet hospital grin.

notadoctor Tue 26-May-15 21:25:07

Mine are slightly younger (14mo and 3.5yo) but these ideas are great!

Mine also both like doing simple sensory play stuff together - sand/ water table with scoops etc, also same table but filled with pasta/ porridge oats/ rice and spoons/ bowls etc for play cooking. Also, mark making with cars - tracks in flour/ sand or through paint onto rolls of paper.

BringBackCabinPressure Tue 26-May-15 21:31:38

I have a nearly 4 year old and an 18 month old. They both love getting filthy so playing with water/sand/rice/flour in the kitchen are all good and easily cleaned. Also play dough and paints.
They both like action songs like Heads Shoulders especially if you go as fast as you can and make it silly.
They both like being noisy - so animal noises or shakers/drums etc
They both like the ball pit and throwing the balls.
They both like duplo and blocks
They both like bubbles
They both like paper aeroplanes
They both like running around with something constructed from card and tape on their heads pretending to be eg fire engines

Patilla Sat 30-May-15 19:30:54

Adding toppings to pizza. If I'm feeling lazy I start with margarita and add toppings and cheese. DS made a "monster" themed one.
Decorating shop bought digestive biscuits.
Both limit the mess, while doing something practical.
Making bread rolls from bread mix that I've kneeded myself. You can make good hedgehog spikes doing little snips with scissors.
Sticking pictures of food onto paper plates.
Erm Cheerios on strawberry laces made into bracelets?
Any of these sound helpful?
For DD at that age I would mostly cut up old magazines and give her a glue stick and paper and she would be happy for hours. Or little dot stickers.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 30-May-15 20:46:35

also a flat dweller.

indoor picnics

making dens

I have a sand tray on a builders tray. it is messy but sod not having a garden. you can do sand in cat litter trays on a messy mat as a much tidier alternative.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 30-May-15 20:47:07

I have an indoor slide in the living room too. it is dead useful for drying washing on...

Springtimemama Sun 31-May-15 01:00:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CleverPlansAndSecretTricks Mon 01-Jun-15 17:35:14

Ooo indoor slide sounds fun! I think my problem is that my 2 boys have very different personalities. Half the stuff on here I think "oh yes DS1 would love that" and the other half DS2. I just have to keep trying to find the few activities which overlap!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 01-Jun-15 22:18:16

one of those plastic ones that usually go in the garden.

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