Activities for Little Ones

by Ally- Life as I know it, 8:11 PM

Somehow we are in week 4 of all this but yet it feels like we should be on week 8, right?! I can't believe it's only been a month since we were living our normal lives, that might as well be last year. I'm very fortunate that my children are little still, 1 and 4, so I don't have to home school them but on the flip side, with them being so young I need activities to keep them busy. The baby is actually really good with playing solo and finding stuff to do but Oliver needs motivation a lot of times. I also got burnt out from setting up a grand activity from them to do, you know something you found on Instagram and you just know they're going to love it and it'll keep them busy for hours! The truth is, nothing lasts more than 5-10 minutes and you spend more time cleaning it all up than they actually spent playing with it. I also try to avoid small objects because a certain 1 year old has an oral fixation and taste tests everything new or throws it all over the place. You just have to find what works for your kid. With all that said, I thought I would share what activities/toys Oliver and Elsie are enjoying during this quarantine.   

Solo cups- Oliver will play with these for the longest time! He loves building towers and knocking them down, over and over.

Baking soda/vinegar volcano- They both love this so much, I only wish it lasted longer! You just pour baking soda in a cup or a bowl, then pour in vinegar until it starts foaming up. Oliver could do this for hours if we had an endless supply of baking soda and vinegar. We do this on the porch or in the backyard because it gets really messy.

Shaving cream- I found shaving cream at the dollar store. When I've run out of ideas, I'll pull out my Gathre mat on the porch and give them each a plate of shaving cream. What I also love about shaving cream is it may look messy but it wipes right up and doesn't stain clothes.

Puzzles- Elsie enjoys Melissa and Doug puzzles and Oliver likes this big puzzle you do on the floor.

Waterbeads/Kinectic sand- I actually have a love/hate for these. The kids do enjoy them but somehow they always end up all over the place. And like I said above, Elsie loves to taste test. I think if Oliver could play with them by himself it would be fine but that's not realistic. 

Sand table- I used this Ikea table and poured sand I found in the garage in each bin. I give them beach toys to play with. Definitely do this outside!

Water table- Always a fun activity! 

Bounce house- I have mixed feelings about this one and a lot of people have asked me if it's worth buying. First, I bought it secondhand from a friend so I did not pay even close to full price. Oliver really enjoys it but he gets bored with it since he has no one to play with. Elsie is starting to like it more but Oliver can be too rough with her and her attention span is only so big, so she's usually done after 5 minutes. I think it'll be great to have when we have friends over, birthday parties, etc. I'm glad we have it and I do think as Elsie gets older, she'll enjoy it more. Just keep that in mind if you have a 1 year old like I do. 

Legos- Elsie just got this set for Easter and she and Oliver both enjoy playing with it. Oliver spent a good hour or more playing with it today, which I was ecstatic about! 

Magnatiles/Bristle Blocks/Wooden Blocks- all fun things to have at your house. They may not play with them daily, but they always do come back to them.

Outdoor swing set- I am so happy the kids got this as a Christmas gift because they play on it every single day. It could not have come a better time!

Library story time- this can be hit or miss depending on who is reading the stories. Actually, my two enjoy the story times where they sing more songs the best. They tend to lose interest once the story starts! Charleston County Library airs theirs at 10am each day from their Facebook account. I stream it from my phone to the TV with a Chromecast. I have a techy husband, I could never do this on my own! 

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  1. Love these! We do a lot of the same ones. I haven't tried the shaving cream one yet, but now that I know it's not bad on clothes, we may try it! Another one I recommend is homemade ice cream! Get a large ziploc and fill with ice and salt. Take a smaller ziploc and fill with 1 cup of milk, a tsp of vanilla, a tbs of sugar. Then have them shake the heck out of it! It turns to ice cream! My 2 and 4 year old LOVE it!! We normally wait till after naps and have it as our afternoon snack. It can be messy, so a great outside activity.


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