Activities & Enrichment

Discover and share the best things to do with kids, including free and cheap ways to have fun, crafts for kids, and games that promote intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Activity Cube or Activity Table

My little one will be 8 months tomorrow and he loves to pull himself up on things. Which toy do you think he’d get more use out of?

  • Ivy
    Thursday

    We have an activity cube that I love and my 4 year old still uses it. My 9 month old uses it too, and they play on it occasionally, however, my 2 year old has pretty much never really been interested in it. I chose a cube because it’s better for storage, and was cheaper, but I think if you have the space and budget, a table could be nice. I think both would be great options in any case

  • Stacey
    5h ago

    We ended up with two tables. The second one he has only had for a month or so but he has had the other one since he could stand. He doesn’t play with it as much ( he just turned 2) but he loved his table when he younger. He loved anything with buttons and switches and if it has sound that is even better.

I need help finding activities to do with my 8 month old on a low budget

I’m a stay at home mom and my biggest struggle is keeping my little boy entertained. The past few months I’ve been letting him watch TV, but I’ve noticed lately that he hasn’t been reaching some milestones with language and emotional connection... I realized with how often I let him watch TV, it isn’t helping him develop what he needs, but I don’t know what to do to help him learn! We don’t hav... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Nov 23

    Check out hands on as we grow, the blog. They have a variety of activities and most of them either use materials you have at home or you can sorta look around and swap it in. It’s very hard to keep babies that age entertained and safe without being the one entertaining. As far as education, they’re simply Learning by listening and watching you. So when your cooking, give the baby some Cheerio a... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Nov 14

Anxiety about walking toddler

So I'm a SAHM and my kid is 20 months and she gets into EVERYTHING. I think a daily schedule is needed but I have depression and anxiety so its hard for me to even have the energy to follow a kid and internally freaking out everytime she gets into something, does anyone know what I can do to improve?

  • Kieli
    Nov 15

    Definitely baby proof, if all the dangerous things are put up and the only things she can get into is toys, then let her play and dump them all out. I have a 2 yr old and a 6 month old and I don’t really have a set schedule, just kind of a routine I like to follow. Starts with breakfast for both, then nap for 6 month old and independent play for 2 year old. Usually by the time the baby wakes it... More

  • Angelica
    Nov 16

    There are lots of toddler schedules online that you can base yours off of. Designate a couple of rooms, like the child’s room and maybe a play room or living room where you and your child will spend most of your time. Put away problematic things in those rooms and baby proof them so that these rooms are safer. Baby gate the other rooms so your child can’t even get into those rooms. It doesn’t t... More

Extended Pretend Play

Anyone else struggling w/extended pretend play? My 4, soon to be 5 y/o is obsessed! We have some “Inception” play going down; MLP Mane 6 pretending to be Disney Princesses. If she had her way - and she tries - she would have us play from the moment she wakes up and she passes out from exhaustion. I’m so tired.

  • Beth
    Oct 03

    Sounds like she's having fun! Maybe change up the routine and go to the park, library, play date, and the like. Your busy, you got other things to do. Like have some quiet time. We have "quiet time" from 1pm to 3pm where my kiddo plays in her room. It used to be nap time. I play with her after I've had my morning coffee, for about 30 minutes and then again after dinner or ... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Sep 17

My babe will be one soon!

How should we be spending our days? I love the Montessori and Reggio approach. So I try to include lessons such as those in our days. And I’ll take moments to speak to her in Spanish. But I find when I’m cleaning the house or even just sitting and watching a show - guilty with phone in the hand at times. I’ll have the tv on and she will just play by herself. Or we will cuddle on the couch toge... More

  • Anonymous
    Sep 17

    Sounds like you’re doing great to me :) her playing alone is an amaaaazing thing, defintely not something you should be upset about- but proud! Independent play isn’t always easy for one year olds. I’d say if you’re doing little lessons and plenty of reading you’re doing great, my son likes to “help” cook as well! Really he sits on the counter and I talk about what I’m doing and he stirs thing... More

  • Anonymous
    Sep 18

    I really appreciate this! The mom guilt was overtaking my sensibleness. Outdoor walk and talks are such a good idea as well!

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Sep 11

Teaching colours

I've tries board books with color themes. He picks up everything else (surprising amounts of details and even remembers the order in which the animals and birds etc come in the book) but is having hard time getting his colors. What can i do to help. He is 2 and knows his numbers and the letter song (for reference). Im not worried but just wanted to see if there is something i could do.

  • Anonymous Mom
    Sep 12

    My daughter is same she turned two today and knows abc song and colors and she can even count and can count down from ten too. Lol I do it a lot. But her colors she knows but then doesn’t. Idk what’s going on. Some days I ask and she knows most but others she only knows a few. In time I guess

  • Tris
    Sep 15

    My son was slow with learning colors but advanced in everything else. I started making up the color of the day kinda like Sesame Street number of the day. For example “Today’s color of the day is red.” And then all day I ask him questions about the color. “Can you wear a red shirt? Red shoes? Can we eat some red food? Can we find red toys?” Etc, etc. focusing on them one at a time was mor... More

2nd birthday

My son turns two next month and i dont know what to do for him. I dont want a party but would like to take him out. Do you guys have any suggestions?

  • anonymous mom
    Sep 10

    When I used to live in your neighborhood, I loved heading up to croton on Hudson and going to the Blaze pumpkin display!!! Maybe something cool like that!? Happy birthday to your little guy:)

  • Diana
    Sep 10

    At 2, I thought my child would love the aquarium... it was a flop. What she did love was being outside and walking through brightly colored botanical gardens. IMAX movie about her favorite (butterflies) - flop. But she loved the dinner and a show at the local medieval times and watching the horses. In retrospect, I think she would have been ecstatic if I had found a local farm where she could ... More

Advise on helping baby speak.

Baby is almost 18 months old and he only speaks mama and papa. How do I help him improve his vocabulary?

  • Abigail
    Sep 15

    Thank you all for sharing . If I may ask ? What are some of the titles of the books you read to your toddlers and where can we get some to buy. Thanks

  • PK
    Sep 15

    The best books for toddlers are the books about stuff they are interested in. My son loves dinosaurs, animals, trucks, trains and Halloween. So we have a lot of books about or related to those topics. What is your toddler interested in? Another way to discover new books to love is to go to your public library, get a library card and make it a point to go at least twice a month to check out som... More

Almost 3 Year Old says she does not want to go to swim, dance, school, etc.

My daughter used to love going to swim and dance and for the most part school. Lately, before these events she says she does not want to go to them. It is a struggle to get dressed and in the car to go to them. For the most part, once she gets there she is fine and participates, but not as well as she used to. She doesn't always want to listen to her teachers or instructors. We obvi... More

  • Fred
    Sep 05

    we had the same experience at the same age. It did seem to be a phase. In the interim, I actually showed up to her place 15 minutes ahead of pick up and video-taped her having the greatest time. i showed it to her but i presented it not as court room evidence but in such a way that we both had a great laugh. it worked like magic. good luck!

  • Beth
    Sep 12

    She could just want to rest and hang out at home instead? Might be wanting to test if she gets a choice in these matters. When my three year old and I are out everyday doing something she starts to ask to stay home when we get ready to go. If it's something like the library or museum then I'll let it be a stay at home day and she plays with her toys and we snuggle on the couch and read.

Outside

How often do you take your two year old out? I work and go to school and I’m so tired . I usually take him out once a week but I feel it’s not good enough. So other mom and dads, how often you take your children out and about ? I’m just curious

  • Lil Ma
    Sep 24

    Oh and I am also a sufferer of chronic joint pain ( Lupus & fibromyalgia) so the littlest I can do goes along way for me with my kids who are all special needs ( Autism) so I wouldn’t worry mom your doing your best!!!

  • Oscar T.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Oct 11

    I think it is really hard work to take care kids, family, work and school. You are amazing. Though it is good to know how others doing, I recommend not to compare too much. You have enough stress on life already, you don't need additional unnecessary comparison. (since this is kind of like a nationwide discussion group) Take care of yourselves and plan your time wisely. Running errand or... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Aug 28

What are some STEM activity ideas to do at home with toddlers? Thank you!

Daughter loves watching videos of herself.

My husband and I are really good at limiting screen time. We do not watch much tv anyway and the most our daughter watches is maybe an hour total a month, if that. We do use our phones to take pics or record videos. Our daughter (age 2) will often ask to watch the videos of herself. My husband is worried allowing her to watch them will turn her into a narcissistic YouTuber/social media influenc... More

  • annag
    Aug 15

    oh also, it sounds super healthy that your kid is aware enough to care about her image and recordings. "Second", on the comment above about becoming aware, as parents, of media, both social and otherwise, because it is a huge part of the world she is growing up into, even though it may not be a major factor in your personal lives. Kids need to learn about privacy, too, and she'll ... More

  • Christine
    Sep 02

    My husband and I consider it screen time. She's so eager to look at the phone and then starts whining and becoming very attached to looking at herself on the phone. I don't know what the negative consequences are.. but we decided to limit her watching herselfs as part of screen time.

My 5 y/o keeps asking me for play dates with his classmates.

I’ve never approached parents before on this topic. I run anxiety thinking I’m bothering parents if I ever suggest this. The problem with this thought process is that I’ve become socially awkward. To overcome this, what are some opening lines you have used to suggest a play date? To a parent you haven’t really talked to but your kids play with their kids at school and are bffs. Thanks! Hugs!

  • anonymous mom
    Aug 09

    I start by saying something like, “my daughter was asking if they could get together with your child sometime. If you’re willing, do you want to trade numbers? That way, if we’re at the park or something sometime we can try to coordinate a play date.” But I have to say, I rarely actually chat it up with the parents. I’m pretty hands on, and not here to make friends with other parents, but i... More

  • Jennifer
    Aug 09

    You know, it really comes down to one of the moms making the initiative. My daughter has been to her daycare since 2yr old. But during May before she turned 5yr old, the school decided to move their location. Usually when I pick up my kids, I see the other parents and just briefly say hi to them but I know all my daughter's friends, as I'm the type of mom that likes to get to know th... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jul 20

Activities outside with twins

I have twins 18th months old I want to go with them to a Park o do something outside with them, but is difficult for me since they walk, runs in different ways. I don’t have someone who come with me no relatives close. Any advise? Thanks in advance!

  • Aye
    Jul 23

    Fenced in parks and back pack leashes or the ones where it clips to your and baby’s hand. I hated the idea of it but now with a 17 month of my own and a 6 month old makes life easier and let’s her have her independence. Or look into indoor parks. There’s bounce houses, trampoline areas, etc. they all have toddler time and/or zone too.

  • A
    Jul 25

    I never had too big of a problem with my twins at the park ... they did/do tend to run opposite directions,. However, they never got too far. Lol And, honestly I would just chase whoever decided to do the more dangerous activity 🤷‍♀️ Probably terrible advice but ... truth. Also, just activities in the backyard - fill up a baby pool, run through the sprinklers. We did a lot of walks too. When th... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jul 17

What are the best toys you've bought?

My daughter will be two in October and she is bored with all of her toys. Her water table holds her interest for maybe 20 minutes. She no longer cares about her sand box. She's lost interest in playing with chalk. She might kick a ball around for 10 minutes but there's not much else she wants to do. She doesn't want to ride her bike. She hasn't touched her indoor toys for month... More

  • Melissa H.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Aug 25

    Sounds like its time for preschool (completely selfish answer). Each state has developmental guidelines and activities that go along with every age group. Check out what activities and learning goals you can be achieving with your daughter. Better yet just google Massachusetts' early learning guidelines for preschoolers, since they are the best in the country for early childhood education. ... More

  • Carolyn
    Sep 26

    I agree with those who say toy rotating! Once I took away a lot of options from my son (mostly bc he’d throw fits from having to clean up “too many toys” at night), he started playing longer with each thing. I only allow a certain number of things out at a time, and if he wants something else, he has to clean up what’s out. It makes him more purposeful about deciding what to play, then sticking... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jul 13

Swimming with a newborn

Just curious on when everyone took their baby swimming. I have a 5 week old and was curious when it was alright to put them in the pool?

  • Anonymous
    Jul 15

    I started both of mine at 3 months. No real reason just worked out that way. I would also ask your doctor about sunscreen, and how much you should or shouldn't use. There are a lot of terrible ingredients in them!! I've heard recommendations of none until 6 months to none until 2 years, but I live in the south and it feels like the surface of the sun right now so there are times that it... More

Screen time? Too much? Not enough?

I’ve read the articles and I think I understand why most studies show that too much screen time can be disabling to children. However, I believe that it can be a useful tool to their growing brains as well. Of course, if done in moderation. He’s only 3 and my wife and I are very conscious of how much TV, phone, tablet or video games he can have or have access too, but I’m curious. What do othe... More

  • A
    Jul 11

    It depends on the day, but we are somewhat lax on the rules too. My 3yr old twins probably watch an average of 2hrs a day. We try to stick to high quality stuff, PBS kids I great. We deleted YouTube from every device we own. 😂 I know the studies say it’s bad but I think for us, it is a little bit of a sanity saver. Usually we ll have the tv on in the morning while I let caffeine hit my blood st... More

  • Stay-At-Home Dan
    Jul 13

    Honestly just do what is best for your kid. My daughter watches too much some days and other days she doesn’t watch at all. Like previous posts, she is hitting milestones above her age. She is only 22 months and already into advance things like the life cycle of a butterfly and outer space (Thanks to The Cat in the Hat!) You have to be the one to monitor their screen and determine what is too m... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jul 06

Aggressive playing toddler?

Anything I can do about it or is it just his personality and OK? He likes to smash things against hard surfaces, swipe toys off the table really hard so they go flying, dumping toys, etc. I always thought this was normal toddler behavior so I never really say anything to my son to correct his behavior... I just make him clean up his mess once he’s done. But why is it that when we are in a ro... More

  • Jada
    Aug 07

    Now days you can’t be certain on how far one can go with discipline & not go to jail or get turned in for abuse.Just like when they start school,if they are over hyper some of the teachers want them on meds,& then their like zombies in class or even on the playground.A lot of that comes to just making the pressure on them more tolerable.Ive never been afraid to discipline my own or gran... More

  • Melissa H.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Aug 23

    I would suggest either playing with him, and modeling how to build with the toys or whatever you are doing, or redirect him to an activity that requires higher energy like bike riding, running, soccer, climbing, dancing, swimming, or give him play-doe to smash (not to throw) and a large mat on the floor. If he is throwing, give him a ball, and take him outside to play throw... better yet, give ... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jul 05

Shy two year old

So my son tuned two on the 3rd. And we had a big party with family . He wasn’t social with any of them . Even with his cousin he wasn’t . He was on me too much and he is never like that at home . So I’m asking how to make my son more social. I can’t afford day care or those Classes that cost 120 a month. I do take him out to parks and etc.. but he stay to his self . I’m like that also but socia... More

  • becky
    Jul 11

    My son is the same way. I found he does better with one on one playdates than big group things. Just his personality. He didn't want anyone at his 3rd birthday so we just had us there!!

  • Anonymous
    Jul 11

    Yeah for next birthday it will be small .

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