With the coronavirus in full swing and schools being cancelled all around the country (as well as most restaurants and playgrounds), there is more time for creative indoor activities. I love following accounts on Instagram like Busytoddler and DayswithGrey (local mom who presented to MOPS last year) who provide invaluable advice and activities for at home activities. These activities help kids learn, fight boredom and give moms (and dads) a break!
With the vast amount of activities to choose from, you can quickly become overwhelmed and honestly, feel a little like a failure of a mother who has not tried many of these activities. Take it from me, I have tried a few activities and think to myself…that was supposed to be easy and clean, how in the WORLD?! So to simplify a few things and to learn from my messy lessons, here are a few activities that I have tried that are truly SIMPLE and can be done from things you most likely have at home and clean up is easy (at least for the most part!),
- Stickers on egg: Super easy and can be done with any shape and any stickers you have around the house. For our activity, it was Easter themed so I drew an egg shape and had the boys decorate the inside of the “egg” with various Easter stickers I picked up at Target for $1. My four year old is able to take off the stickers by himself and give them to his brother, which adds another level of team work along with fine motor skills. Win, win!
- Sensory bin with cereal. There are SO many ideas for sensory bins out there and some let me tell you get MESSY (never use flour and oil…take it from me, just don’t!). I love using cereal because I’m not concerned with Walker eating it and it helps with fine motor skills. Bonus, it is pretty clean as we have a dog that will eat the cereal that is dumped to the side 😉 I put different trucks in Reid’s bin and various cups and spoons for Walker (based on their individual preferences!).
- Bins with water and ice (use food coloring if you are feeling adventurous!). With the warmer temperatures, I am so excited we can finally do water play OUTSIDE. My two year old loves playing with water and ice. Simply put large mixing bowls, various sized cups and random mixing spoons together with water and ice; and voila, independent play!
- Car (or toy) line up with painters tape (or on a piece of paper with a line). For my son who doesn’t like arts and crafts, he certainly loves trucks! I simply put a piece of painters tape on the floor and have him line up his different trucks. To make it more educational, I have him line the trucks in patterns (monster trucks in between all the trucks or grouping different colors together).
- Coloring pages and tracing letters found online. This is a new one for me, but super simple and FREE. Just google different images online and print. My oldest has never liked art projects or coloring, but my youngest enjoys it and being able to print things that interest him (like trucks and dinosaurs) keeps him occupied for at least 5 minutes 🙂
I am so grateful for the community of moms out there helping each other with fun activities to keep our little ones busy at home. These are just a few simple and clean ideas that hopefully will allow you at least 5 minutes of peace while social distancing 🙂