Monday, March 10, 2014

Winter Blues Boredom Busters - Part 2

Hoping the next time I do a post on boredom busters for my busy toddler we can include some outdoor activities!  We are all itching to get outside, but are doing our best to find creative ways to keep Cruz busy and limit our screen time at home.  The activities I list today have all seemed to surface freely - simple, everyday things from around the house that take on new life and fuel Cruz's imagination.  I tell ya, all these Christmas presents and we always seem to have more fun with the box they came in. :)  

1.  Cars, cars, and more cars

Next to dinosaurs, Cruz loves his race cars.  One of his favorite and most used presents from this Christmas was this Hot Wheels carrying case.  He loves to sort through his cars and take turns picking out our favorite ones.  Thanks to all the wonderful people who have showered our little loves with presents after Mila's birth, we've had an abundant amount of cardboard boxes around here.  One night, I decided to transform one of them into a makeshift parking lot for Cruz's cars.  Now, as we pick out our favorite cars, Cruz has a place to line them up while practicing his numbers at the same time.  When we play, I like to say things like, "put this car in spot 12," or ask him to count how many spots he has left to fill.  It's educational and he doesn't even know it! 

2.  Balloons 

Somedays, I should let my husband come up with the activities!  After our Suess Day Sunday, we had some leftover helium balloons.  I was putting Mila down for a nap and came into the kitchen to see Beau creating a little science experiment of his own for Cruz to tackle.  Using a little paper snack cup like these, he punched holes in three sides and tied the balloons to the cup as if assembling his own little hot air balloon.  The two of them had a blast, making inferences about how many objects it would take to make the balloons sink.  They used marshmallows, lima beans, fruit loops, etc., and we all took turns guessing.  Once he gets a little older, it would be fun to make a picture chart and have him write his guesses in the chart.  Cruz loved this and was truly disappointed the next day when he woke up to find his balloons too deflated to float!  If only there wasn't a helium shortage!

Another balloons activity we created on Sunday involved nothing more than a couple of paper plates and some wide popsicle sticks.  Using a non-helium balloon, we simply taped the popsicle sticks to the back of a paper plate to create a raquet (I used packaging tape to make it a little more secure).  Using our balloon raquets, we took turns hitting the balloon in the air, attempting to keep it from hitting the ground.  Great hand/eye coordination for Cruz and pretty safe playing!  

3.  Bathtub masterpiece

Cruz loves the bathtub, but it can sometimes be a struggle talking him into the tub.  Once he's there, he's fine, however, it sometimes takes some coaxing.  One of our surefire methods of getting him excited for his bath is luring him in with bath paints.  I've been making him bathtub paints for a long time and he loves it.  Just buy a container of the cheapest white shaving cream you can find, add some food coloring, and give the boy some brushes, and you have created lots of entertainment in a confined, easy to clean up space.  He loves painting, but loves using the shower head to wash away his masterpiece even more! 

4.  When movies are in order...

The other night, Cruz and I made a snack necklace for him to eat while he watched a movie before bed.  Using any snack with a hole in the middle (Cheerios, Fruit Loops, pretzles, Gummy Savers, fudge striped cookies), let your child practice stringing them on a piece of string before tying it in a knot around their neck.  They remind me of those candy necklaces I used to love, only much better for those tiny teeth to chew on!  I found a plastic yarn needle at Hobby Lobby to make the looping much easier.

For my December boredom busters post, visit here.  

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