kids Life Parenting

When Life Hands you Lemons…

How to keep a kid occupied while stuck at home.

Make Lemonade! Actually, that’s probably the one thing we have not done during our COVID-19 quarantine! I did bake brownies with Maggie once and that was enough fun for me.

As I mentioned in my last post, with Maggie home from daycare from mid March to mid June, I knew we had to come up with some fun ideas to keep her toddler brain occupied. While she’s not one to sit and watch anything for a long period of time on TV, she is OBSESSED with the phone and iPad and watching YouTube kids (Hello, Blippi!) and I knew that I did not want her to have too much of that.

My mom got me these two books – Play and Learn Toddler Activities Book  by Andrea Thayer and the Rainy Day Toddler Activity Book by Krissy Bonning-Gould which contain a lot of great ideas for toddlers and even older kids. I utilized those as well as many Instagram accounts for toddler ideas and sensory play. I was also fortunate that her daycare teachers sent a long a lot of fun activities.

So, I really really suck at crafts. Like, anything I make rarely turns out the way I see it in a picture. But you know what? Who cares. I was doing it with a toddler who isn’t super verbal so she couldn’t make fun of me anyway. I could tell the dog was sometimes judging me though.

I started to get crafty with my ideas and learning – we had the very hungry Caterpillar book so I cut out shapes and had her make a caterpillar. She loves the Wheels on the Bus song so we did a bus craft. Ditto for the Crayons books – we made a crayons craft. I also made my own Play-Doh (and then bought actual play-doh). All the time I was thinking to myself: WHO AM I???? WHAT HAVE I BECOME?? and then racking my brain for the next day’s activities.

Of course, I never forced her to do anything – if she didn’t want to do a craft, she didn’t have to. If she wanted to play independently (which was rare, she usually liked me right there), she could. These were just things I had to get us to nap time or bed time. For us, if Maggie’s bored, it usually leads to meltdowns…


Here are some non-crafty ideas:

  • A water table is a MUST toy for you – Why? Because you can use it INSIDE OR OUT. I pulled it out of storage in late April and let her play with it in the basement and she loved throwing her toys in there. When it got warmer, it went outside for water playtime.
  • Plastic Eggs – We pulled these out before Easter and she would do little Easter Egg hunts.
  • Walks Walks Walks. She’s only now starting to get interested in digging in the dirt, playing with rocks (UGGGHHH) but she loves being outside. The downside is she’s not really into her stroller anymore so walking her and Tucker at the same time is difficult for one person.

What are some ideas you have that have successfully kept your kid’s attention? Let me know in the comments section!

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