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.

Encouraging solo play

Has anyone had an success with encouraging solo play in your toddler(s)? My 15 m/o is very loving, cuddly, comforted my closeness and reassurance, which is adorable most of the time, but challenging as I work from home and sometimes need two hands for things. What have you liked for helping your little ones entertain themselves?

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday

    At 15 months kids aren’t able to play alone for very long. You can start with small stretches and give her practice

  • Anonymous
    Yesterday

    My child has bee playing alone for 20-40 min since he turned 1. The trick that I found was, to give him a limited amount of open ended toys. Like REALLY open ended. That paper that comes in your Amazon box as packing filler. He played peekaboo, he scrunched it, be make a path and walked it, he ripped it, he put it up around the sides of his playpen. I feel like modern toys often discourage crea... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Monday

Activities for 10 mo

My 10mo daughter stays home all day with her nanny from 8-5:30 every day five days a week. The only outing is an hour at the playground. I am wondering what other nannies/parents are doing with their babies around my daughter’s age. I am just worried that I am dumming down my daughter or something by having her just stay with her nanny at home all day. Are there any classes to suggest taki... More

  • Anonymous
    Tuesday

    I don’t think it really matters as long as your kiddo is getting lots of interactive playtime with somebody. Kiddos this age learn through play doesn’t matter one person or more. As long as your nanny is talking to her, reading to her, playing with her; she’s learning and growing. Outside “classes” can stimulate her but aren’t really necessary on regular basis. Playing and seeing kids every no... More

  • Jenn
    Tuesday

    I have a 13 month old and was a nanny for infants and toddlers. I was out of the house every day as a nanny to many different places. Parks, splash pads, pools, library, music class (Music Together), gym class (My Gym, Gymboree, Little Gym), zoo, indoor play areas when it was raining or too hot/cold. As a parent, I do the same thing. My LO and I go out at least once a day when I'm working a... More

Anyone doing their local summer reading challenge?

We are doing ours and it’s pretty cool. Since our son is a pre-reader he can get credit for other non reading related activities that help boost learning and development.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jun 03

Do you use audio fairy tales?

Do you have any resources for this? (maybe an app or website)

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment May 31

Toys for toddler

Toys r Us is history. Learning Express is pricey. Amazon offers very few engaging options. What are some other places to get educational toys for toddlers? I am trying to keep my 2.8 year old away from tv and electronics till he is 4,m. Possible?

  • Nikki
    Jun 03

    Melissa and Doug make great educational toys. Amazon sells them, but Kohl’s sells some items too. Using their coupons, you can come out with some great buys! AC Moore sells them as well and they have a rewards program and coupons too! Many of their toys are wood, as opposed to plastic.

  • Jenn
    Jun 09

    I've gotten lots of good stuff at consignment stores, yard sales, Facebook marketplace.

Hello to all. I am a single mother to a sweet and smart 4 yr old girl. Need ideas.

My daughter gets very bored easily, and I feel she needs something more challenging and fun to keep her occupied. Anyone has any ideas for arts and craft ideas? Thank you!!

  • Angie
    Jun 03

    I am also a single mother to 3 year old. Beading necklaces can be fun and supports fine motor skills, baking cupcakes with her helping mix ingredients and decorate, dot art, painting, getting Barbies dressed, built blanket forts with her under kitchen table while u cool with her baby dolls tea party, balance bike/scooter outside, wash her ride toys day...soapy fun mess with sprinkler.

  • Jazmine M. Gonzalez
    Jun 03

    Thank you, ladies!!! This will certainly help my daughter to be less bored. She is four years old and I feel she is in need of something that will help her keep occupied and spark creativity and knowledge so that I can get some quiet time and get things done around the house, and these activities would be awesome for us to do together as well. Blessings and have a great week!!! 💜🙏🏼

Find the Most out of the way Campgrounds

We're aobut to head out on our yearly two week camping trip! We use a pretty cool app for finding camping sites called ParkAdvisor.  It shows all the private and government owned campsites in any area, including a huge number of them we never would have found, but loved.  Many of the campsites we wound up in were an hour or so up ever narrowing, apparently deserted, dirt roads through the m... More

Any one worry about kid being too advanced...

It's a double edged sword I want to teach my kid everything I know and more, but he is already adept at pre k curriculum at 28 months. I'm worried that he wont be engaged and challenged when he actually goes to kindergarten. What else can I teach him right now? To be competitive and well rounded in current times but that will supplement a standard education.

  • Suzy
    May 30

    When in elementary school, if he’s not challenged have them test his capabilities (bc public school now is all about taking and passing tests), if he shows he can bump a grade ask them to do so. I skipped a couple grades with my parents help.

  • Anonymous
    May 30

    My daughter is 19mo. She knew all her colors by one year. She can count to 20, knows most of the alphabet, and knows all of her shaped (including trapezoids and hexagons). I'm nervous that she'll be picked on for being smart as there were several kids I saw throughout school be made fun of simply because they were smart. I'm also nervous because she wont play with kids her age. The... More

Learning body parts

I have been trying to teach my 22 month old body parts. We started learning them when he was about 18 months old because I didn’t realize he was supposed to know them already at that point. I was able to get him up to 5 different body parts but we spent about a week or two not talking about it and he forgot all of them! I have been trying for a month now to get him to do body parts again but he... More

  • Raji
    May 21

    We just randomly ask our kiddo about her body parts and then ask her to point to our body parts. She likes songs n pointing and etc. if your kid has some kind of doll or action figure you can reinforce it by having him point body parts.

  • Jenn
    Jun 13

    Head shoulders knees & toes was my daughter's favorite song for a while. I did all the pointing to the body parts with the song for a few months. I would reiterate body parts while in line at the grocery store and facial features in the car (she has a mirror so can see my face). As she was learning I also asked her to point to things on the dogs, her stuffed animals, daddy, etc.

Hi moms. When should I start taking my little one to playgrounds?

I do take walks with her daily, she hates swings and doesn’t walk yet (14months), she doesn’t sit in the stoller, I end up picking her up when she is screaming therefore can’t be outside for more than an hour.. any tips? 🙈

  • Anonymous
    May 18

    Are there any sand playgrounds? She can crawl around and still be near you. Or just and try and play with toys. Library story times? Kids museums?

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment May 06

Recently became stahm looking for stuff to do with my son during the day

I recently became a stay at home mom and I feel like I’m failing I don’t know what to do with my 3yr old during the day. I know he needs to be doing hands on things and playing and not just on his tablet several times a day (only hr and half at a time). I feel like all we do is play on our electronics and then go out to the yard for a bit then he’s asking to come back in cause he’s bored so we... More

  • Natasha
    Jun 09

    Indoor activities can include : drawing with mess free markers or crayons, painting with washable paint, Pinterest or google toddler activities. Build with blocks, read a lot of books, play with puzzles etc..

  • Mrs. HHH
    Tuesday

    Play dates!

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment May 03

Saying no to toddler

Lately, I feel like my husband and I are constantly telling my 26 month old son not to do stuff: don’t climb, don’t touch, don’t grab, don’t jump, don’t...! I am now worried that in our eagerness to keep him safe, we are making him anxious about learning things with our unending no’s. I try most of the times to tell him consequences of doing stuff, but at his age he needs lots of reinforcement,... More

  • Jess
    May 10

    Put more safety apparatuses in place so he doesn’t access some of that stuff but other things you can redirect him with other items and places in the house to play. Sometimes they keep exploring the same dangerous items and actions to act out when they’re bored.

  • Anonymous
    May 11

    Catching yourself at the moment is important... even-though our first instinct is to say no, hold on to that thought for a moment... you want the best for the little one, so just go along for the ride to see what happens. Just stop yourself from saying "no" as that becomes their first and only word.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Apr 18

Swim floaties for toddler less than 30 lbs

I’ve been researching and can’t find swim floats for toddlers that weigh less than 30 lbs. I was able to find life jackets for as young as infant but my son (15 months) is terrified of wearing the life jacket as it’s hard to move his neck and see with it on. While I intend on holding my son in the pool this summer and he’s signed up for swim lessons, he’s a very independent child, he’s quite st... More

  • Christian
    Apr 20

    Our child’s swim classes used these. Help him learn how to swim! RESTAR Foam Back Floating Safety Swim Bubble with Adjustable Layers Swim Belts Comfortable Waterproof Floaties Device for Kids Swimming Beginner - 4 Color Split Float 11.8in https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KP15JR1/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_m4VUCbV4BZ6RR

  • Jenn
    Jun 13

    The blow up arm bands are the only ones I've found. 15 months is probably too young to be using those other floaties anyway. If you can find a way to do it financially, ISR swimming lessons are the best thing for helping anxiety about falling in. They teach kids to float completely by themselves (very slowly, step by step). It was expensive but the peace of mind was so worth it.

Encouraging independent play

My son is an only child. He does not play well by himself. I always have to play with him or watch him do the playing. If I step away to do some “adulting“he’s begging that I watch this, look at this look at that. I try to mix up His toys but he is a child that really needs someONE to play with not things, I think. He’ll be an only child so he needs to learn independent play. How do I encou... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Apr 15

    He will definitely at moments need social Play. But there are also ways to encourage independent play. The hands on as we grow blog (handsomaswegrow.com, a pop up will show up in a few seconds inviting you to the challenge) has a week long challenge coming up next week that is focused on independent play, they give you an activity each day to try. My personal advice is it’s a combo of rotating... More

Activity for introverted 5 y/o

I would really like to get my son involved in an activity. He does not like group sports due to the sensory overload. It is not a good fit for him right now. I think he would do well in music lessons or karate where it is a more individual experience... my main goal is to build his confidence. Anyone else have any activities their introverted child has done well in? Is 5 old enough ... More

  • E
    Apr 10

    Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts?

  • Laura
    Apr 10

    Harmony Road music (classes). They’re small group classes, and my son loves them! He’s 5, and I think there are 6 kids total in his class.

Sensory play ideas for baby who eats it all

My 7 month old is an epic chewer - EVERYTHING goes into her mouth as she explores. I'm vigilant at home to keep choking hazards out of reach, but I want to start taking her out to the park and trying some sensory play activities but how do i let her semi-independently explore and learn without swallowing rocks and sand and trash? Any advice? And what were your favorite play activities in ... More

  • Lauren
    Apr 08

    My lo loved the jello dig. I put toys in jello and let him have at it.

  • Natasha
    Apr 29

    Ditto the jello dig. Our son loved it

Interesting video on the benefits of risky play!

Thoughts? Would you let your kids play with tools? https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/videos/2019/2/21/XXX-XXXX4/risky-playground-design

  • Anne
    Apr 05

    Wonderful!!!!!! There is so much evidence that giving kids more credit for learning risk management pays off. The example I think describes it best is the old fashioned porcelain tea sets. When they were popular, how many girls were reckless with them?

Hi. Has anyone enrolled their toddler into a soccer or basketball camp/class? Was it worth it?

  • Natasha
    Mar 31

    Many thanks for everyone who took the time out to reply. It’s exactly what I needed to make my final decision. Parenting ain’t easy 😊!

  • T
    Apr 11

    Yes imo, kids need to be active, engaged, & learn new skills. He’s in t-ball now & said he “loves it”! He did soccer in the fall. Next up is swimming in May.

What’s the best way to teach your 5yr old how to add and subtract?

  • Joanna
    Mar 27

    Games! Like Chutes and Ladders, making sure you pause to rephrase it: I spun a 6. I'm on 24. 24 + 6 is what? Hmm. 30! My 4 yo loves to keep score when we play Uno. He does the math and then asks Alexa to check it for him.

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