Little people are so inquisitive. Can you blame them for wanting to get involved in the lesson you are teaching the big kids? They love to feel like they are right in the middle of things. Sometimes that is a huge distraction. Here is a list of creative busy toddler ideas to help distract baby so that your time is productive.
I have learned that my kids cannot avoid watching their cute little sister if she is in the room. Luckily I have the room to separate them. I will often busy little bit in her high chair at the dining room table while the big kids sit as desks in their room or hallway. I also shut her in a bedroom with baby gates if she will not let me contain her that much.
- Play-doh – keep your collection close by to whip out at a moments notice
- Ripping Paper and Taping it together – my chunk loves to destroy, I can give her a piece of construction paper and encourage ripping and she is off to kill – she loves to fix it all the same so pieces of tape extend the fun
- Shaving Cream – the texture amuses them so – although messy, it can be contained if you lock them in a high chair
- Sensory boxes, baskets or buckets – I have seen many themed boxes but sometimes I do not have that much time to invest. I grab random things that are usually off-limits for her and things not usually seen as toys and fill a basket for her to explore.
- Flash card pick-up – my little bit loves to empty flash cards out of a box and try to put them back
- Movies – TV is fully acceptable as a babysitter in this situation
- Food Play – a couple of bowls and some Cheerios can be fun to play with
- Water Play – fill a long shallow tub with water (enough that it’s too heavy for them to move), place on a towel to prevent a mess – provide some plastic toys and cups
- Recycled fun – Milk jugs, cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, etc. can all be used to entertain your little one – Dropping pom poms in holes put in plastic cups or in the tubes – Putting the top on and off the milk jug – Turn soda bottles into music shakers
- Sorting – different colored construction paper squares are fun to sort – or learning manipulatives used for the older kids math can be sorted
- Lacing – there are many lacing beads, cards, etc. toys available to buy – if you want to make your own you can punch holes in a cut-out of a cereal box and use shoelaces to lace
- Indoor Basketball – laundry baskets make great goals and stuffed animals make awesome indoor balls