20 Quick Ways to Entertain Your Toddler

ways to entertain toddler
Image via Mindi Stavish

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom, or a work-out-of-the-house mom, there are times when you need just 5 or even 10 minutes of time down time throughout the day to recharge. These short-lived moments are your sanity savers. On hard days when your kids have been fighting all day and the baby just wants to be held, these moments can push you through the neverending day. If you have a toddler running around your feet, quiet time is hard to come by. Here are some easy ways to entertain your toddler in exchange for a few minutes of mommy time.

{ MORE: 5 Everyday Items That Foster Creative Indoor Play }

Image via Mindi Stavish

Keep your toddler entertained with these:

1. Puzzles

2. Books

3. Crayons and a coloring book

4. Dedicate a bottom drawer in the kitchen to plastic dishes that your toddler can pull out and play with

5. Feed the dog/cat treats

{ MORE: These 5 Waiting Games Really Help You Pass the Time }

colorful lego blocks
Image via iStock

6. See who can clean up their toys the fastest

7. String large beads onto shoelaces.

8. Lego Duplos

9. Wooden trains and tracks

10. Play kitchen food and dishes

Image via Mindi Stavish

Let your toddler get messy with these:

11. Play with water in the sink

12. Spray or dollop whipped cream on a high-chair tray

13. Glue dry noodles onto construction paper

14. Squirt a few colors of paint in a ziplock bag, tape it to a window, and let your child go to town squishing the bag

15. Draw shapes and letters on a dry-erase board

kid art
Image via iStock

16. Play dough at the table

17. Watercolors and a brown paper grocery bag

18. Drive toy cars through shaving cream

19. Finger paint with yogurt

20. Rip magazines

Of course, always supervise your toddler, especially during water play and with pets.

{ MORE: The Gift of Boredom }

What activities do you pull out when you just need a few minutes of down time?

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What do you think?

20 Quick Ways to Entertain Your Toddler

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Nicole Nicole says:

    “Drive toy cars through shaving cream”… What???

  2. Profile photo of Emeline Emeline says:

    I think most of these are terrible ideas. If my goal is to find something to occupy my toddler for 5 minutes so I can have some down time why would I choose something so MESSY? What is the point of 5 minutes of down time when 20 minutes of clean up is created?! I have a toddler and 3 infants, so I don’t have the time or the energy to clean up whipped cream, play dough, yogurt or anything else along those lines. My toddler has plenty of age appropriate toys (that encourage learning shapes, colors, etc) in her room to play with and she loves to sit and “read” her books so I encourage her to do that when I need her out from under my feet. I have enough messes to clean up without creating more for no reason.

    • I could not agree MORE!! Every-time I read one of these “great” toddler time occupying activity lists. I think I am going to be mind blown with some awesome idea. But it’s always these la la land unrealistic ideas. Clearly posted by someone who either does not have children. or has a maid to deal with whip cream (which is greasy and impossible to get off things) all over toys, highchair trays, and everything within arms reach of said highchair tray. Or a baggy filled with PAINT?!? Seriously?
      These ideas really are NOT time savers. They are just added work/unnecessary chaos. To already chaotic crazy, stressful days.
      ~~the juice is not worth the squeeze~~.

      I would like whom ever wrote this artical to put themselves in their home with just two children ages 3 and or younger. Then take all the 5 minutes they accumulate with these 20 ideas and write another artical letting mothers know


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