20 ideas to keep babies & toddlers entertained at home
Trying to keep a little one entertained is tough at the best of times, but with nursery & parks closed being a parent has become even more of a challenge. We’re sharing 20 ideas on how to keep them occupied so they stay happy & you can stay sane come rain or shine!
1. Make pictures for loved ones
Little ones love sharing their creations & we know that family (especially those much-missed grandparents) will love receiving them.
2. Camp out
Build a fort inside or set up a tent in the garden and fill it with pillows, blankets, snacks & cuddly toys for a mini-adventure.
Little ones love listening to stories and audiobooks are great for keeping them entertained whilst you’re busy & means they can listen to the same one on repeat without you getting bored. There are plenty of websites like Audible or check our your local library website as they may offer resources.
4. Scavenger hunts
Teach your child colours by asking them to find something yellow, something blue etc or print out a page of photos of objects from around the house & get them to check them off when they find them.
5. Digging for treasure
If you have a sandpit, hide objects like cars or even spoons for them to find. Alternatively, if you don’t mind a few holes in the flowerbed, give them a shovel & see what they find.
6. Sneaky house cleaning
Toddlers love feeling useful, so give them a wet cloth or broom & watch them go. It may not be up to your standard, but it’ll keep them busy.
7. Share creations with friends
Whether it’s lego or a picture they’ve made, get them to send a video, photo or even make a zoom call & share it with their friends who can share back.
8. Muffin tin sorting
Ideal for those smaller ones. Fill a muffin tray (or plastic cups) with various engaging items & they’ll happily move them from place to place.
9. Chalk drawing
Perfect for adding some colour to your garden path, or spread a little joy & decorate the pavement outside your house. You could even create hopscotch or a maze for the older ones.
10. Start a band
There are so many household items that can be used to make music. Have your little one’s sing & dance with pots, pans, spoons etc. Let’s just hope the neighbours don’t mind…
11. Host a picnic
Invite all of their favourite toys, get out the finest plastic cutlery & enjoy some imaginary (or maybe real) treats.
12. Make a sensory farm
Great for babies & toddlers. Using a plastic tray or tub, you can set up different areas for each animal using corn kernels, oats, sand or even cotton wool. Then add in their favourite farmyard (or other) animal toys. For those little-bit-bigger-ones, you could get them to help make it & decorate barns made of recycled cardboard.
13. Make friendship bracelets
Out of beads, yarn or ribbon to post to family & friends.
Blow, chase & pop! Little ones love playing with bubbles. If you don’t have bubble mix, you can make your own with water & dish soap using pipe cleaners as a wand.
15. Make a mud pie
Children love to get messy & as long as you’re happy doing the washing a mud pie is a great option. Find some mud, add plenty of water & get them to mix it with a spoon or their hands. Then find decorations around the garden such as leaves, twigs & stones.
16. Bird watching
The perfect spring activity. Children can count, listen to their songs or draw the birds they see.
17. Splash about
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean they can’t have fun outside. Get out the raincoat & wellies and watch them enjoy splashing in the puddles.
18. Listen to activity songs
Classics like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ will keep them occupied, if only for a few minutes.
19. Get baking
There’s no denying that baking has become the hobby of lockdown. Get your little one involved by asking them to mix the ingredients or cut out the cookies.
Sometimes screentime is necessary & there should be no shame in that. You can cuddle up with your little one or put on their favourite film whilst you work.