I have certainly ordered a surplus of entertainment items for our 3-year old in the form of puzzles, games and learning activities over the last month — especially when I learned we’d be his teachers for the foreseeable future.
However, at 3, he’s quite easy to entertain with basic things which can often be found around the house or are free (such as hikes turned into races).
Today I am sharing 7 free activities that we’ve done since being quarantined that have been a hit with our toddler and might be fun for you, too!
We’ve found outside to be our best friend. We do lots of hikes and he loves running. He has walked up to 2 miles on his own! We’ve found frogs, turtles and lizards and seen fish in ponds. We saw deer and rabbits and geese. So it has basically been science class when we go out. He’s very into caterpillars right now — or “callapillars” as he calls them.
We are fortunate to live near lots of trails. My daily step count has actually increased since being home because we usually do a morning and evening hike (to try and burn off the toddler’s energy!). We turn it into a game… like, I’ll race you to that big rock and then off we go. It’s fun for everyone and we all come home tired.
Art is our second favorite. Mess free painting was great for when I had a call and needed him to be entertained.
You just need:
- Saran Wrap
- Paper bag
Again, I know we’re fortunate to have a backyard to be able to do this. So many of my co-workers live right in the city in Boston and are much less limited in what they can do right now. I feel for those of you in that position, I do — go for the art!
They picked a mostly nice night… it ended up raining a bit and being windy. Per usual, L slept like a rock but Landon hardly slept.
The excitement of it all kept him up far later than normal. He likes the idea of roasting marshmallows far more than actually eating them. Tucker was ready in case anyone wanted to share.
You’ve probably seen this a million times by now but it took about 5 minutes to put together and gave him 30 minutes of entertainment. I’m also super proud of his coloring in the lines.
He was very proud of his final piece, too!
We also drew a chalk road on the driveway and he drove his cars on it forever! Wish I’d thought of that on day 1!
Of course you have to have the ingredients but for the most part, we always have have things on hand to make something sweet — muffins, cookies, brownies…
We made these delicious banana chocolate chip muffins last weekend and everyone loved them. I wish we had doubled the recipe!
On Tuesday, we popped a bowl of popcorn, opened a bag of m&ms and turned on Onward which was pushed to Disney+ instead of theaters.
It was a hit! Parents loved the movie, kid loved the movie and we all just had a wonderful night. We’ve watched it two more times since!
Okay, so the road tape isn’t free but you could hypothetically use any tape (masking tape, painters tape). And I’ve even seen parents getting creative and making obstacle courses with tape or even our best friends here took an empty room in their house and made the whole room into roads for their 2 year old.
We had a card table in the garage that we brought in for this purpose. We had the road tape already but it was new to L since we’d never used it before and he was mind blown by it. I bet he’s walked a mile a day around this table since we set it up.
It’s not easy adapting to this current reality. It’s not “normal” by any means. It’s difficult to continue working and give 100% to that while also giving your kid the appropriate amount of attention, education and exercise. Not to mention taking care of your self mentally and physically.
We’re all doing our best to survive right now. We’re trying to keep it light for the kids so that they remember lots of painting projects and movie nights — without making you feel like you have to increase your productivity or come up with a million ideas every single day.
Hopefully these easy ideas help in the way of the kids and maybe free up some time for you to sneak away for a walk or bubble bath to relax after a long day of literally doing it all.