Budget Friendly Ways To Keep Toddlers Busy
Being a mother of a toddler isn’t an easy job. You are always chased by them wherever you go or no matter whatever you are doing; may it be pooping. It’s quite obvious that all this running after or before your toddler makes you yearn for a ‘me’ time; be it for relaxing or doing some piled up tasks. For sneaking out at such a time, it’s essential to keep the baby busy.
If you look around for ways to engage your little ones, you probably would think of a babysitter, leaving your sweetheart at a daycare center or in a playhouse which mostly turns out to be heavy on your pocket. However, in this article, I am listing some tried and tested ways that helped me save out an hour or so from my busy mommy schedule. Here are some things that you can purchase or you may already have to involve them in a play:
Bubble wrap: My dear son gets super busy with popping those bubbles in a bubble wrap. Once he starts popping, he doesn’t even raise his head to look around for me or anything. The good thing is, I never even purchased a bubble wrap but keep the ones that come with the deliveries as packaging. However, if your kid is too young to understand that they shouldn’t put it in their mouth, then dump this idea.
Colouring/Drawing book: Colours are always an attraction for the young ones. They love to do scribbling with crayons. If they are 2.5 years old or above, they can learn to colour neatly too. This also helps in improving their fine motor skills. Older kids can draw their imaginations onto a drawing book too. I remember my son drew his first masterpieces when he turned 2.5 years and those are now adding to the beauty of our living area.
Clay: Clay is another easily available thing. Children can be first taught how to make different shapes with clay to raise their interest, then they may be left independent to make the things they wish to make. It may sometimes turn out to be messy but cleaning the mess of clay is a matter of minutes. Kids become so engrossed in playing with clay that at times, it becomes difficult to make them leave clay.
Stickers: Your toddlers busy with pasting stickers can spare you a lot of time. Children love to paste colourful and glittery stickers. If you don’t want them to paste them all around the house, then either instruct them to use their drawing book for it or give them a little space on a wall or a closet where they are allowed to stick them. The stickers of their favourite characters or toys may make them more engaged in this sticky play.
Piggy bank and Coins: The simple game of inserting the coins in a piggy bank seems very fascinating to these innocent beings. They insert the coins, empty the piggy bank and insert again and so on. This is repeated several times until they get bored. For this, the piggy bank must be the one that can be opened by the kids easily. You can easily make one at home by tearing out a hole in a small cardboard box.
Puzzles: There are so many puzzles available in the market and on e-commerce sites that are not too costly. You just have to buy one that is appropriate for your child’s age. I recommend getting the one that has characters or pictures that attract your toddler. There are educational puzzles also available.
Building blocks: Building blocks are a must have for every kid. My boy loves playing with blocks. The main reason for this liking is that he can build a number of toys with them- a gun, a castle or a robot. Firstly, he is busy making a new thing, then plays with it for hours. There are a variety of blocks lying on the shelves of toy stores these days but the classic ones are the best in my opinion.
Fidget toys: Fidget toys like spinners or push pop are popular among people of all ages. These are so engaging that even adults lose the track of time while playing with them, then why won’t children? Moreover, there are many fidget toys at home too such as flipping a coin, rolling a dice etc.
The above listed things can prove that you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket only to engage your toddler. You just have to introduce these to them as if they are really exciting things to play with. It is known that kids imitate emotions and expressions. Excitingly bringing up something to them will raise interest in them. Also, if your kid gets bored easily, you can give more than one of these to them at a time in order to get enough time. I hope these will help you to clear your to-do list a little or to chill with a cup of tea for a while. There may be some more of such ways that have worked for you. I would like to know about them in the comments.
Manjot Kaur is a Vice-Principal of a leading school in Punjab, India. She has been teaching Science to secondary school students since years. Being a teacher as well as a mother alongwith the passion for writing directed her towards blogging. Her interests include studying psychology and doing art and craft projects.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.