When you are unwell the last thing you feel like doing is entertaining your toddler. That’s why it is easy to turn to the virtual babysitter – television. However, there are alternatives. Here are 14+ activities that require no preparation, are suitable for toddlers and do not involve lots of cleaning up afterwards. The activities also promote independent play to enable you to curl up on the sofa and recuperate whilst your child has fun.
1. Stacking Cups – grab some plastic cups and have fun stacking cups. How many different ways can your toddler find to stack the cups?
2. Guttering Fun – bring old guttering inside for a ramp. Explore what objects can go down the guttering – cars, balls, musical instruments etc
3, Pom Pom Mirror Drop – drop pom-poms through a bottle or kitchen roll onto a mirror. Your toddler will be fascinated by the reflections. Cut the bottom off of the bottle so that the poms poms are easy to remove.
4. Coiled Pipe Cleaner Drop – work on those fine motor skills by picking up coiled pipe cleaners with tweezers. Can your toddler drop them into another container?
5. Giant Threading – enlarge the fun by threading toilet rolls onto a broom. Placing the broom upright means they have to stretch high to get the toilets rolls on.
6. Non-messy paint mixing – Do your children still want to paint? Place paint in a zip-loc bag and watch them explore the paint – mess free!
7. Fabric Tissue Box – place fabric squares in an old tissue box to save your actual tissues from your toddler. Adam love pulling them out and putting them back in.
8. Masking Tape Pull – simply overlap masking tape to a baking tray and let your toddler try and peel it off. Easier said than done.
9. Pipe Cleaner Posting – see if your toddler can post pipe cleaners through a colander. Adam preferred pulling them out of the colander.
10. Peg Drop – grab your pegs and let your toddler drop them into different baskets. It’s amazing how long toddlers will concentrate on transferring activities.
11. Cotton Wool Fun – putting cotton wool balls into a baking tray can be lots of fun. Keeping the activity in a box means you don’t get cotton wool over the carpet.
12. DIY Reverse Kerplunk – make holes in a kitchen roll and get your toddler to post straws through them. Can they get the straws to stay in place?
13. Poms Pom and Pipe Cleaner Drop – a great way to use a dishwasher basket is to drop pom poms and pipe cleaners through the holes.
14. Coin Dop – dropping coins (real or plastic) into a money box is a fun way to practise fine motor skills. To make it easier initially, take the lid off.
Here are some other non-preparation activities to keep your toddler occupied from the Kid Blogger Network:
1. Cardboard Tube and Elastic Bands from Craftulate – thread some elastic hair bands onto a strong cardboard tube (from kitchen foil rather than kitchen roll) and get your toddler to take them off – easier said than done.
2. Water and chalk board painting from The Four H’s Household – fill up a cup with water, give the child a brush and a used/dirty chalk board and watch them create a masterpiece.
3. Pipe Cleaner Fun from Sugar Aunts – cut some pipe cleaners in half and put out an empty small water bottle and watch as your toddler posts the pipe cleaners in.
4. Block Activity For Fine Motor Skills from Hands On As We Grow – this block activity helps to promote fine motor skills for toddlers. Can your toddler use the kitchen tongs to pick up the blocks?
Are you looking for more toddler friendly play activities to use when you are ill? Then take a look at our HG friendly play activities – no preparation for maximum distraction.