K.M. asks from San Mateo, CA on October 05, 2007
Bored 3-Year Old
I'm looking for things to do with my 3-year old at home. I have 5-month old twins and I am feeding them every 3-4 hours and it demands a lot of my time. My poor 3-year old is bored and is constantly asking me to play with her, but I just can't be everything to everyone. I'm looking for ideas on things to give her to do by herself while I'm busy (instead of watching TV to keep her occupied) and I'm also looking for organized activities we can to together that will engage me as well (I can only play make-believe so many times before my creative juices stop flowing). Anybody have any brilliant ideas? I've learned that the things that keep her interested are often the easiest things that are sitting right in front of my nose; I just don't think of them.
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So What Happened?™
I appreciate everyone's input and feedback. It means a lot to me that so many others out there are willing to help. What I didn't mention is that I have my daughter in a Mom's Day Out program 2x/week, on Tues/Thurs and I am involved in a local Mom's club. However, I can't get out to activities much anymore now that the twins are here. I'm mainly looking for simple ideas of things that she can do by herself when I'm busy feeding the babies and can't attend to her at the moment. Any additional suggestions would be wonderful. Thank you again and have a blessed day.
H.C. answers from Dallas on October 08, 2007
My husband built a sandbox for our daughter that has provided her endless hours of entertainment. It was relatively inexpensive and easy to make. Sand is very cheap so we replace it often.
If you aren't bothered by a mess I would also suggest finger paints. We have an inexpensive plastic table outside that I allow our daughter to paint on. I literally strip her down to her panties and she will paint for hours.
You may already be doing this but I found that engaging my daughter into everyday chores is fun for her. She loves to help sort the laundry, wash the dishes, dust, etc. Even though her "help" is not necessarily accretive she finds these chores very pleasurable. When I cook I allow her to pour the ingrediants in after I have measured them.
2 moms found this helpful
J.H. answers from Dallas on October 05, 2007
familyfun.go.com has some great ideas cooking for kids and crafts.
Also Joanns has little craft ideas that come in boxes.
Michaels has a class they offer one day a week I think for toddlers. thats only an hour.
They have little crafts there too.
You can always start planning for Christmas and find little stuff for her to make
Oriental trading company has packets too that are like 12 units of a craft great for gifting! And not expensive!
Hope that helps
1 mom found this helpful
C.C. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2007
I have been a part of the Allen Early Childhood PTA since my oldest was 3months old. There is always something fun to do, as well as a group of mom's that are always there for me when I need help. www.aecpta.com. Check them out!
J.K. answers from Dallas on October 05, 2007
I have recommended this book before, I really think it would be good in your situation it is Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready. It is real practical, educational activities that you can do with her that use common household things. Also there is a book that I use to keep my 3 year old occupied while I homeschool my oldest and it is Activity Bags and you can get it on www.activitybags.com. There are many things that you can get her started on and she can work on her own while you are feeding or doing other things. They are also educational activities. I hope this helps.
D.W. answers from Dallas on October 07, 2007
There are some great Mom's groups in the area at meetups.com. they do lots of group activities during the week.most of them are free. i have met a lot of sahms and some terrific kiddos through these groups.
C.E. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2007
Have you considered putting your daughter in a Mother's Day Out program for 1 or 2 days a week. My daughter is in one and loves the social time with other kids plus she is learning things to get ready for kindergarten.
Books are also something we like pull out and look at/read together. Stuffed animals are another--she will line them up, read to them, dress them in clothes, feed them bottles, etc.
A. answers from Dallas on October 05, 2007
Keep it simple and fun at the same time:) My kiddos love to be allowed to have scissors and just cut up whatever I give them. And, if they are really lucky they get to have glue:) Also, they really enjoy the paint brush pens that elmers makes (I think it is elmers). Does she have any stamps with washable ink pads? Another thing that is funny is that my kids to use is the bingo dot markers. Or does she have a leapster or fun computer games. Given that she is your first child, you may be surprised to discover how many things she can do on her own once you show her how. My kids will even enjoy taking a clorox wipe, or a magic eraser and cleaning their toys. Good luck with this crazy time, I am sure you are exhausted! ~A.~
H.H. answers from Dallas on October 06, 2007
If a trip to the park seems too daunting then this might work--play doh occupies kids for a long time even though it is messy. My boys love the play doh scissors and the "electric saw" that cuts the doh. If you give her a project like--make 3 different animals or a house and a family it might jump start her imagination. The scissor thing is always a hit along with dry erase markers and board or those markers that write on the windows the boys love--just be cautious where that activity is! My boys also like board games (but that requires more mommy intervention) like Cariboo and Jenga. Outside activities are your friend if you have a fenced backyard send her outside with a bucket of water and some toys to "wash" or fill up a baby pool with just a few inches of water to see what in the backyard floats--sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. My kids seem to be able to occupy themselves outside easier then inside. Have her go on a treasure hunt for acorns, leaves, special rocks, grass blades and you can even hide a toy or two outside for a surprise. I think you are in one of the hardest stages because it is hard to do something all the kids can participate in--your life should get easier once the babies are walking and can take part in games and activities--good luck! The local multiple club is great and can give you a lot of support.