10 easy ways to entertain your toddler

Click here to view the full magazine article


Blowing bubbles outside or in the bathtub can be a great way to have fun without making a mess of the house. Depending on the age of the child, you might need to blow the bubbles and let the child pop them, or just watch them. Older children will have fun trying to make the biggest bubble, and watching them float up in the air.


Turn on some music (or make your own). Dance around the house and sing to the words. The music can, but doesn't always have to be, the "typical kiddy music." Your child will probably enjoy watching you sing your favorite "non kiddy" song.


Besides letting the child have a little creative time, whoever the child makes the card for will feel very special. We like to let our child go crazy with art projects while outside (less mess for us moms to clean up later!). Set out stickers, beads, ribbon, glue (some assistance may be needed), cotton balls, macaroni, and other small objects for the child to decorate the card with.


Get an inexpensive recorder or harmonica ($1.00/2 recorders at the Dollar Tree stores). Take turns making rhythms! Or, make your own musical instruments from wooden spoons and pot lids, and squeaky toys. You can also spend a few minutes making your own instrument by taking a toilet paper tube, covering one end with paper (tape it well!), filling the tube with beans, rice, or macaroni, and then covering the other end with paper.


Let your child open a box of instant pudding. Measure out some milk in a large measuring cup. Have your child pour the instant pudding into the milk. Show your tot how to stir and then hand the whisk over. Enjoy a delicious cool treat a few hours later, or turn it into finger paint!


We like to finger paint with pudding so that if (or... when) the child eats the "paint," it is no big deal, and washes out of clothing very easily. Get a large sheet of paper (or a couple of sheets) and let your child go crazy!


Read a couple of animal books to your child before hand and tell him or her about all the different animals they will get to see. While at the farm or the zoo, have your child imitate animal sounds. Point out what you see the animals do "The monkey is playing with a ball! You like to play with your ball, too!"


Turn on the sprinklers, or fill a baby pool with water. Please, apply sunscreen as needed (a sunburned baby is not a happy baby!). Get in the water with your kids and start a splash war!


Get some sidewalk chalk and let your tot have free reign of the driveway. You can have him or her lay down while you trace their body. Take turns writing messages to each other, or drawing each other pictures.


Let the toddler decorate the pot with paint, gluing on decorations, or just writing his name on it with your help. Then, you can fill it with potting soil. Then, let your child push one or two seeds into the dirt and water it. Let your child help you water it every day as needed. It will be very exciting to watch the plant grow.

Return to June 2008 list of articles