8 answers

What to Do with 2 & 3-Year-old During the Day

I am looking for some advice for what to do to keep my step-kids busy over their visit for the next 10 days. For reasons beyond our control, we have not seen them since January...we have FINALLY gotten things settled in court & are thrilled they are coming. Right now, I have my own home-based business & my two kids (8 & 10 years) live with us & I am seven months pregnant. I stayed at home with the olders kids when they were small but that was a long time ago... My step-kids usually go to daycare all day long so I am sure that they are used to structured activities throughout the day that keep them busy. What I am looking for is advise/suggestions to keep them occupied during the day while my older kids are at school & my husband is at work. I understand that I am probably not going to get any work done & that's fine...just want to keep them happy & me sane! =)

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My daughter is 2.5 and she absolutely loves the foam sticky things. The ones with the paper on the back of them, you just peel and stick. It works her fine motor skills and keeps her occupied. I can set her at the kitchen table with some paper, colors, and the "sticky things" and she is good for a long while. She also loves Playdo (however you spell it), give her some cookie cutters and a fake plastic kids knife and she is in heaven.

Side walk chalk can always be fun, finger paints. Almost all of the malls have free playground to play in. It is always fun to go play at McDonalds, either for lunch or just an ice cream. The park is fun, and someone mentioned jumping places. In McKinney we have JumpNLand, my 2.5 year old loves it and they are open every day. www.JumpNLand.com You could always go to Peter Piper or Chuck E Cheese, the Zoo, The Dallas Aquarium, Wiggly Play Center.. The possibilities are endless, have fun.

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Yeah for you guys! I am sure this will be welcome chaos! That said, I would take advantage of play places everywhere. You can do the malls, or places like McDonalds. (When I dont want the kids to eat fries and burgers, we just go for an ice cream cone) Also, maybe they would like to see a cartoon at the dollar theater..not sure if anything is out, but Kung Fu Panda may still be. Story time at the library or even Barnes and noble is always fun. We tend to do B&N, but that is just because it is in our mall, so we do story time, play with the trains and books there for a bit, have a pretzel, then head down to the play place for a bit. (It buys me like 2 solid hours of fun, and makes them tired for a nap:) Also, things at home that you can pull out for specific play would be play doh, or washable markers...even washable stamping is fun. And, of course, get outside and play. There are lots of parks, several that you could take bread and feed the ducks even. The best plan for me is to get out from about 10-12, and then we can manage at home for the rest of the day. Good luck!! ~A.~

1 mom found this helpful

I have just scanned the other post, so I hope I can give you some ideas. I have a 2 (almost 3) year old granddaughter that we are always doing crafts and play with.

Play doh - very inexpensive and fun to squish around.

Art - anything goes, use what you have around your house to let them glue and paint (I usually do cutting) or go to the craft store and buy small kits.

Cooking - we make cinnamon rolls a lot, they don't look perfect, but she loves to put them together.

And there are the activities I have seen in some of the other post -zoo, parks, reading, dancing, etc. Toddlers are really very creative and if you just ask them will probably have some ideas of what they would like to do.

I have a friend that blogs about her children's crafts and she posts instructions for all to see. She is at http://jennwa.blogspot.com. Her children range from toddler to school age and they all do crafts together.

Have fun.

I'm sure some structured things would be fine, but playing with blocks, teddy bear, pretend things like going to town, pretend feeding it, playing with little cars , their attention span isn't real long, but just playing can take up part of their day, and if you have a yard they can go out in and play a bit, works wonders, they sleep better when they have got to run around outside a bit. Have a tea party, have them draw a picture ( their age don't know ) but they usually love to color if they are past putting them in thier mouth.

Lots of people gave great advice. One thing you also need to keep in mind is what are their sleep habits (nap, etc). There are a lot of fun things to do, but if they get cranky or overstimulated the evenings won't be fun :).

Another thing both my kids loved to do was sand. (They still do at 5 & 9). We have plastic swim pools we put sand in and they use their hard plastic toys for playing in it. If it's a warm day, they can add a little water. I know it's messy, but it's a lot of fun as well.

Most importantly spend time with them. I know it sounds cliche, but if they go to daycare all day, they're not used to having an adult's undivided attention. Reading to them, talking to them, noticing butterflies, birds, etc., are all important things and don't cost anything! My kids love to go on walks and pick up trash (we always bring a trash sack). We talk about how we take care of the earth God made for us.

Blessings!
L.

have them help you pack a picnic lunch (or a bunch of snacks) and go to a park to play and have a picnic. or my girls also like it when we play at the mall and eat our picnic in the food court. it saves money and i just get them a cookie or ice cream if they behave.

story time at the library - free! most have kid movies to check out that you could watch later in the day.

if they like to sit in your lap you can search the web for pictures of whatever they ask for - animals, elmo, etc. also check out this site that has some fun games (like whatever character they hit on the keyboard it makes a mark and you can draw a picture, etc.) http://www.babygamer.com/online_games/free/toddler/toddle...

petsmart - some of the bigger locations have doggie day care and you can watch all of the dogs playing through the big glass window. this gets lots of giggles.

i'm sure you will have fun. like another mom said -- if we can be out and about from about 10:00 to noon then the rest of the day seems to go just fine.

2 & 3 are really fun ages.
Here's a list of things you might like trying:
-visit the library, let them check out books/movies they like; pay attention to what they're drawn to & go from there at home (i.e. a kids science activity book or a kids cookbook can turn into *hours* of fun at home)
-play & dance to a lively cd (my 2 yo loves Nemo soundtrack, the Veggie Tales Silly Songs, and - sorry to say, but true - the Beastie Boys ("play the comin home song, mama!")) :P
-make puppets & have a puppet show when your husband comes home
-let them play in the tub in the middle of the day (for a diff twist, don't put water in the tub right away & let them play with a few open boxes of baking soda, some measuring spoons, & some bowls for a while. Then add water to clean up & rinse the mess away (or have a nice soak later when they're in bed)!
-sort laundry, let them take turns putting in the detergent
-ring around the rosie
-hokey pokey
-old macdonald
-duck duck goose
-itsy bitsy spider
-playsilks or tulle (this is neat w/ a fun cd playing too; lead them to go up up up high and then down down down low, to go in big circles then small circles, to make fast moves then slow moves, and other opposites)
-story time, let them take turns sitting in your lap as you read
-make musical instruments (pots, spoons, big rubber bands on shoeboxes, etc.)
-meaningful work that can be fun -- that's not really crucial to get done (i.e. raking leaves, scrubbing the floor w/ damp rags, cleaning the baseboards, etc.); believe it or not but my kids really like "helping" by doing "important, grown-up" stuff like that!
-make & fly paper airplanes
-skip & hop (you might wanna just "imply" the actions, though!)
-make paper balls & bat them in the air (approx. 1/2 inch wide strips, 6 in long, taped together kinda like a paper lantern; another attempt to explain: tape one end of the strips together fanning out in a circle like a large asterick, then tape the other ends likewise to close the loops & form a ball)
-roll a ball (or 2, or 3...)
-have a treasure hunt (draw picture clues that lead them to hidden items)
-blow bubbles
-glue random stuff to paper with glue sticks or glitter glue (tissue paper, foil, leaves, etc.)
-Doodles and Scribbles are fantastic coloring books; they can be guided to follow directions or not - it's fun either way

HTH & have a sparkling time!

My daughter is 2.5 and she absolutely loves the foam sticky things. The ones with the paper on the back of them, you just peel and stick. It works her fine motor skills and keeps her occupied. I can set her at the kitchen table with some paper, colors, and the "sticky things" and she is good for a long while. She also loves Playdo (however you spell it), give her some cookie cutters and a fake plastic kids knife and she is in heaven.

Side walk chalk can always be fun, finger paints. Almost all of the malls have free playground to play in. It is always fun to go play at McDonalds, either for lunch or just an ice cream. The park is fun, and someone mentioned jumping places. In McKinney we have JumpNLand, my 2.5 year old loves it and they are open every day. www.JumpNLand.com You could always go to Peter Piper or Chuck E Cheese, the Zoo, The Dallas Aquarium, Wiggly Play Center.. The possibilities are endless, have fun.

I dont know where you live but some jumping party places have play times for the younger crowds during the day. And sometimes mom group get togethers. Even invite some people over for a play date..
HAVE FUN!!!

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