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15 Self-Directed Activities for Toddlers

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The Imperfect Homemaker: 15 Self-Directed Activities for Toddlers

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

15 Self-Directed Activities for Toddlers

One of the biggest challenges I face while making dinner is how to keep the children busy.  They are constantly hanging on my legs and telling me they're hungry.  They don't seem to understand that the more they whine the longer it will be before I can get dinner finished and they can eat. 

That's why I started having them sit at the table to work on an activity while I cook.  I have a cabinet that has fun things that they can do by themselves.  They only get to do these activities while I'm cooking so that they stay fresh and fun. 

A lot of the things I have are educational games I have bought on clearance.  But there are a lot of different ideas around the web that you can make yourself.  I have three criteria for the activities that I choose to make or buy: 1. They aren't expensive or extremely time-consuming to make 2. They aren't too babyish for my 4 year old but not too hard for my 2 year to do by herself 3. They won't create a big mess. 

Here is a round up of some ideas that meet all of those qualifications.

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

Popsicle stick color matching

Build a cupcake   

Building with velcro and craft sticks

Pipe cleaners and a spice jar

Button practice with felt

Clothespin Color Match

Weaving with pipe cleaners and a cooling rack

Practicing shapes with stickers

Popsicle Stick Shape matching

Pom poms and tweezers

Printable Sewing Cards

Block puzzles

I spy book

Magnetic items and a cookie sheet

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Blogger Shari said...

Wow! What a great list with several very original ideas I haven't seen before! I think I need to invest in some pipe cleaners! :D Mine are 3.5, 2.5, and 18 months so activities throughout the day that keep hands and minds busy are life savers! :D

February 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger The Monko said...

great activities, i'm going to try threading pipecleaners through a cooking rack.

February 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these fabulous ideas :) I bookmarked the page right away!
This is just what I needed!

February 16, 2012 at 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Mandy said...

What great ideas! Can't wait to try them out on my kids!

February 16, 2012 at 4:12 AM  
Blogger Aelysium said...

Really great ideas, I have the same problem at dinner time. It drives me so crazy! Thanks for sharing.

March 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE this!!! I have three children between the ages of one and four and thus is PERFECT!!!! Thank you!

May 16, 2012 at 11:09 PM  

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