E has just turned 16 months. I love him to pieces, but man can that kid get under foot! The worst is when I’m trying to cook dinner. I almost hit him in the head with a big skillet the other day because he was right behind me when I turned around after taking it out of the cabinet.
That’s when I decided that I needed to make sure that he had something to do when I’m cooking.
It needed to be engaging, simple, and not too messy. He’s pretty young, and finding activities for toddlers can be pretty difficult, especially activities that they can do without a lot of supervision.
So I came up with a few of my own and found a couple more that I’m going to try.
Clothes Pin Drop
This has been a favorite of both my boys. It’s super simple, all you need are clothes pins and an empty container or two.
He will sit here and drop each clothes pin in, then dump them all out. Over and over and over again. It’s one of my favorites because it keeps him engaged and he loves it.
I started off with just using the milk container, but then added a few different ones for him to practice with.
Ok, so this one is a favorite. I grab an plastic box (we use this one for most of our messy/water activities) and add a few inches of water. I put some big spoons, balls, and cups inside. Oh, and I always lay down towels underneath.
There is just something about water play that kids love!
A few notes about this activity. Your child will get wet, so plan on an outfit change before dinner. And, you don’t want to leave your child unsupervised when playing with water. I set this up in my kitchen while I cook so I can keep an eye on him.
Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures does some really creative activities recycled lids with her daughter. She set up some really creative ways to play with them, that will keep a tot engaged for minutes! I know my son would have a blast with these.
Asia from Fun at Home with Kids is always coming up with something great, and I can’t wait to set this up for my little guy. She made a sticky table for her kids to explore! How awesome is that?!
I love sensory bins and have done them with my four year old since he was a young toddler. Well, now it’s my baby’s turn to get in the fun. I love this First Sensory Bin from Jen at Plain Vanilla Mom. Everything is nice a big so that babies won’t choke an full of great textures for them to explore. Looks like it’s time to get E started on some sensory boxes!
I have my fingers crossed that these simple activities will keep my little guy busy and playing so that he doesn’t get maimed while I cooking!
So, do you have any other tips for me? What are some of your young toddler activities?
More posts like this:
Simple Activities Using Dollar Store Supplies
Alphabet Games for Toddlers
Top 10 Activities for 3 Year Olds
Need some more play ideas for your baby? Here’s a whole book of them. Click the picture to find out more!
Great ideas, thanks! Always on the lookout for stuff my 13 month old can do in the kitchen while I’m cooking. One I use a lot is taking the magnetic letters off the fridge and hiding them under 8-10 plastic cups. It takes him awhile to discover them all and then he plays with covering and uncovering them for awhile.
Oh that’s a good one! I have letters and cups, and that seems like something my guy would spend ages on! Thanks for the idea.
Love the tips and activities! There seems to be a typo though, on the photo toddlers is missing an “L”
Thanks Melanie! Thanks for pointing out the typo. That’s what I get for finishing up a post last minute!
Great ideas!! I’m trying the clothes pin one tonight! I often will have my little girl “cook” along with me (She gets her own separate bowl, spoon, and a little flour), and that will do the trick for a while, but I’ve been in desparate need for a non-tv distraction for those times when I need to get things done quickly!
Question… How did you get them to get involved with these? I have 14 month old twins that won’t participate in activities by themselves. If I set anything up anything in the kitchen then start working, both girls start fussing and grabbing at me.
These ideas are genius, and so simple! Definitely pinning. ?
Seems like some great ideas to try.. Mom to a 20 month old very active little fellow, I mostly end up serving burnt food every other night.. rescuing him from climbing the fridge, dining table or even my window grill :/
I desperately needed some activities I could have him do in the kitchen while I cook.. Thanks alot 🙂