Written by Norkor Naate-Kivimaa
Do you sometimes find yourself resorting to cartoons on Netflix to entertain your child because for whatever reason your 3-year-old is bored with toys?
My 3-year-old sometimes just wants something different to occupy his time and stimulate his creativity besides his old, run-of-the-mill toys. In this article, I will show you how you can keep your child entertained with 15 different fun and easy games. You can use household items, but don’t worry – there will not be any complicated DIY´S.
I am a mom that loves “do-it-yourself,” but if it’s too complicated, count me out. Maybe you’re also that kind of mom? Well, if so, then I have your back – below is a list of simple, fun DIY play activities you can introduce to your child.
1. Insert pipe cleaners in a plastic sleeve
I am sure you have a plastic sieve in your kitchen cupboard. One good way to keep your toddler occupied is to give him the sieve and pipe cleaners (which are available in the crafts section of most stores).
Have your toddler insert the pipe cleaners into the holes in the sieve, and because they’re colorful and can bend in any direction, your kids will love them.
2. Make a spaghetti and macaroni chain (macaroni should have holes)
Another fun activity for your toddler is giving him uncooked spaghetti sticks and macaroni with holes in them. Have your child arrange the macaroni on the spaghetti.
3. Paint an egg carton
I am sure you have an empty egg carton at home. Grab that carton and let your kid paint away.
4. Pillow walk
You and your child can gather pillows and lay them out on the floor to make an obstacle course, jumping (safely) from pillow to pillow.
5. Obstacle course
You can arrange different objects you find around the house and have your toddler navigate through the obstacles you create. This activity can be done both indoors and outdoors. Be creative and use what you have available. Chairs, pillows, big basins, sticks, and books are some examples of household items you can use.
6. Empty cardboard box to use as a car
This is as simple as it gets. When you place orders online, save the packages. Give your child a big cardboard box that he can fit into and you will be amazed at how creative your child can be.
7. 10 Plastic bowls with lids and Legos – let your child use their imagination.
There are many ways your kid can play with these. For example, they could arrange the bowls on top of one other to make a pyramid.
They could also place the Legos into the bowls and close them, or could pretend to cook and dish out food. The examples are endless.
Try to engage your child in conversation and they will tell you exactly what they are doing. You can also make suggestions. Most of the time, however, they probably won’t need your input.
8. Brush with hard bristles and beads.
In the arts and crafts section of just about any big-box store, you will find large-sized beads. Grab a container, and also a comb that has hard bristles. In a fun activity, your child can then arrange the beads on the brush bristles.
9. Attaching pegs to a hanging rope
After hanging a rope from one end of a wall to another (two chairs work as well). Then, give your child some pegs and let them attach the pegs to the rope.
10. A bowl of water with pipe cleaners (bend to look like fish)
If you have pipe cleaners at home, you can bend them into the shape of a fish. Next, you can grab a bowl of water, drop the pipe cleaners, and give your child a pencil to fish them out.
If you don’t have pipe cleaners, you can use any small objects that float eg. bottle lids. Have your child use a spoon to scoop out the lids.
11. Cardboard toilet paper roll and balls
After using up a toilet roll, save it and attach 6 in a row on the wall. Then, have your child drop a small ball in at one end and retrieve it from another end.
12. Empty egg cartons, pipe cleaners, and tongs
Turn some empty egg cartons upside down, poke them full of holes, then insert pipe cleaners. Give your child tongs that can pull the pipe cleaners out.
13. Cotton buds and a cardboard box
Cut one end of a cotton bud and color the other end. Grab a cardboard box and draw (or paint) a rainbow. Cut out some holes and have your child insert cotton buds in holes based on the matching colors of the rainbow.
14. The alphabet and an empty egg carton
Write out the alphabet at the bottom of an egg carton – 8 where the eggs are usually placed so your child can see it. Give your child the alphabet written on paper to put it in the egg carton.
15. Frozen mini animals
Freeze the toy animals in a cup of water overnight. The next morning you can give your child water in a bottle to pour over ice and “rescue” the animals.
These fun play ideas require very little DIY effort on your part. Your toddlers are sure to love these activities, as they differ from everyday play with his/her regular toys. Hopefully, these will be helpful to crafty moms everywhere! Say goodbye to boring playtime and hello to new fun!