Keeping your kids occupied and entertained can cost quite a lot of money. Parents of young children would surely prefer easy, inexpensive and educational play ideas – and it would be a bonus if the setup is quick and it is easy to clean.
Here are some go-to “lazy parent” ideas that would work a treat with your young ones.
1. Sensory play with sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Scooping and pouring is a huge hit when it comes to sensory play, and sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great materials to use. They are easy to clean, and don’t get into cracks or spread out as much compared with rice, flour or sand.
Simply provide spoons, cups, and old pots of different sizes, and you are good to go.
Here’s a lazy parent tip: use a picnic mat to contain the mess. Otherwise, an inflatable pool works really well, too.
2. Coloured ice
This is a great activity to try during a hot day: simply fill an ice tray with water and add some food colouring. Then place the tray in the freezer. Once the coloured ice is ready, fill a tub or deep tray with water, place the ice in, and watch it melt!
This is a great way to learn about colours, and to introduce words like cold, melt, solid, liquid. As with the seeds, you could even throw in some cups, scoops, or even brushes.
For added fun, include small toys in the ice tray. When the ice melts, the toys are slowly freed!
3. Just add string
Give your child a new way to play with their toys. Attach a string to a toy car, animal plushie, or whatever their favourite toy is, and have them pull it along.
Alternatively, attach a string to a balloon, tie it around your wrist, and ask your child to try to hit it. It’s a great way to teach them about hand-eye coordination.
Threading – basically placing small items onto a length of “thread” – is a great way to develop your toddler’s fine motor skills. But you don’t actually have to use string; certain household items fit the bill and can be a lot of fun to play with!
Ask your child to place Cheerios onto uncooked spaghetti, or use Cheezels and chopsticks. To keep things tidy, try using a bit of Play-Doh as a base of the spaghetti or chopstick, and keep the round food items in a bowl on the side.
5. Hide and seek
It’s really cute when toddlers realise how fun this game can be. If you have never played this with your young one before, you could demonstrate this by roleplaying with your partner.
Hide with your child first, and ask your partner to find the both of you. Then swap roles, and your child will understand the “rules” quickly enough.
Change it up by hiding a toy and asking your kid to find it.
6. Painting with a twist
Painting is fun, but it can get boring after a while. One way to keep it interesting is to use your child’s toys – for example, a toy car or motorbike. Simply dip the tyres into paint, and roll them along on paper. They would love seeing the different patterns they produce.
Alternatively, dab figurines, or dip animals’ feet into paint, and stamp them on paper to produce some really fun prints.
Do look for water-soluble paints that can easily be washed off; alternatively, choose toys that you (and your child) wouldn’t mind getting dirty.
If you prefer to keep the toys clean, use common household items such as cotton buds. Your child could go nuts with dot painting!
7. Spray bottle and cloth
Children love to imitate their parents. This is a practical activity you could introduce, and, as an added bonus, it would help you keep the house clean.
Provide your child with a filled spray bottle and a small cloth. Start them off by cleaning their own toys, before guiding them to wipe the table and windows.
Take this outdoors and ask your kids to use the spray bottle on plants, and water your garden!
8. Broom and dustpan
Sweeping is another household chore that could be made more enjoyable by involving your young one. Buy a smaller-sized broom and dustpan and teach your child how to use them.
Guide them by sweeping alongside them and they’ll soon get the hang of it.
You could even incorporate idea No. 1 and get your child to clean up the sunflower and pumpkin seeds they played with. Have fun!
Click here to read the original article.
This article was written by Kristy Tan for makchic, a Malaysian-based online site for chic, curious, and spirited parents. makchic and has been providing trustworthy and authentic family-related content since 2013. For diverse stories of parenthood that inform, support, and uplift all families, visit makchic.com and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.