Pretty much every parent will tell you that they’ve had at least a day or two where they’ve really not known what to do with their kid.
If I’m totally honest, I’ve had far more of those days than I would like to admit, but entertaining a small person can be really hard work, especially when they have a short attention span, far too much energy, and you’re feeling less than your best.
As I’m becoming a SAHM and will be battling the wills of two small people (though admittedly one will be far more controllable than the other) I decided I needed to come up with some ideas of how to keep Henry entertained, and keep myself reasonably sane.
So I scoured the internet for ideas of little things I can do with Henry on a day to day basis. As he’s going to be with me solo parenting three days a week in June and four days from July, I wanted to put something together that would mean we would have varied days and weeks.
And thus the activity jar was born!
Inside is 40 different activity ideas for indoors and outdoors, that we can mix up and pick out.
The idea is that depending on the weather and money, we’ll choose indoor/home activities, or an activity to do away from home, outside. If it’s a home day, we’ll pick a couple of activities for the morning and another for the afternoon. For days out, just the one activity should be needed, maybe with one indoor activity for before or after we go out.
I’ve bought supplies to ensure I can do all the activities in the jar, and tried to make them as toddler friendly as possible, and ones that I wouldn’t normally think to do, as well as things that we already do, but less often. Some require some set up, and others don’t so it’s a real mix.
I’m also going to keep adding to the jar as and when I think of new things to do or try out, so it’s always evolving.
So far we’ve had some really great days at home using this, meaning both myself and Henry are happier and get to have fun together.
See below for the full list:
Indoor and rainy day activities
1. Play with the sand and water table
2. Rice and pasta sensory play
3. Bake a treat
4. Build with wooden blocks
5. Build a blanket fort
6. Build a plastic cup stack
7. Play with the toy kitchen
8. Throw a dance party
9. Water and ice sensory play
10. Get the play dough out
11. Create a tape race track
12. Bean bag toss in a bucket
13. Read books (in the teepee or blanket fort)
14. Do some painting/crafting
15. Decorate the inside of a box with paint, crayons or pens
16. Play with kinetic sand
17. No water bath
18. Play with the train table
19. Have a sink bath with bubbles
20. Make music with pots and pans
21. Play balloon volleyball
22. Make an obstacle course
23. Wash the muddy farm animals
24. Shaving foam sensory play
25. Play with the rabbits
Out and About
26. Go to an art gallery
27. Go to a museum
28. Go strawberry picking
29. Get some books from the library
30. Go swimming
31. Feed the ducks
32. Go to soft play
33. Go to the park/recreation ground
34. Go for a bike ride
35. Get the train to a local city
36. Explore Ikea and have lunch out
37. Take a trip to the beach/marina
38. Play football in the garden/park
39. Go for a walk in the woods
40. Have a picnic