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.

Any recommendations for a tool box for young toddler?

My daughter is about to be 14 months and seems very interested in all kinds of nuts n bolts. She’s touching chairs, door hinges etc. so my question is any one ever used any tool box with their young kiddo that is not a choking hazard?

  • Haley

    There’s always toy tool sets available. But if she didn’t find interest in those you could put several nuts on a zip tie, was my first thought. Or if you’ve seen those busy boards. Tons of ideas on Pinterest. Good luck!

  • Julie

    Hi Raji, have you found anything yet!? My daughter is similar to yours, she loves nuts n bolts and I’d like to get her something too but everything I’ve seen has small parts. I feel like she’s well past the stage of randomly putting things in her mouth but don’t want to be foolish and leave obvious choking hazards with all her toys and have something awful happen just when I let my guard down!!!

Swimming lessons: afraid of water

My 3.5 yo boy is so afraid of the water that every swimming lesson he cries and sometimes screams most of the half hour class. The supervisor is practically refusing to have him in the group class. Any recommendations?

  • Valerie

    I went through this last summer! We ended up sitting my son on the side of the pool and I went in the water with all the toddlers. After 2 sessions of him watching me have fun, and him sitting on the side, bored, he got in. Slowly, but got in. After 10 weeks he was swimming.

  • Sarita

    I decided to be there earlier and go with him in the water to acclimate before the class. Then, when class started, I told him I was going to the bathroom, with the purpose not to be present. It worked 😀. He did his class and at the end I went inside the water just with him again to play and have fun just to reassure him water is fine and not to be afraid of.

Cooking with preschooler

Hi! My 3 year old is interested in cooking with me in the kitchen. Any kid friendly kitchen tools out there that you all can recommend?

  • Anna

    Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn often have great tools for kids, especially around Easter, they tend to have cute stuff on sale. I’m always lusting after it for my toddler. Lol! Right now they have adorable Harry Potter stuff!

  • Joy Lim

    We use Curious Chef brand for real cooking utensils that are safe for kids. You can find their products in Amazon

1 year old boy

What ideas for play time and learning time and snacks and food do I do for a one year old. I’m a new mom and would like any helpful tips. Thanks

  • Amanda
    Feb 02

    Check your library for kids groups. They are great! Favorite snacks are veggie and fruit packets, frozen peas, ohs that melt, green juices frozen in small ice cubes for teething.

  • Debra
    Feb 04

    Play groups at your local preschool Often if you volunteer you can take your child for free

Ideas to do with my 19 mo old girl inside besides tv!

My 19 month old baby girl loves to watch tv. I am trying to get down her tv time to only an hour a day but sometimes it’s the only thing that can calm her down and give me a moment to clean up! She will play while the tv is on with her toys but she does love to sit and watch. We have tried different crafts and I’ve tried different toys. Unfortunately it’s too cold for me to bring her outside an... More

  • Elle
    Jan 28

    TV under 2 is not advisable. It's good that you're minimizing it! Here are some ideas! - yoga (in your home - use google or youtube or xbox for free yoga videos) mayhe this can replace existing screen time! - give her wooden spoon and pots and pans and tell her to make music - ask her to rearrange something (let her succeed!) - sensory play (colored rice mush, edible 'playdough', etc)

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Jan 29

    Tv is okay for when you have no choice (ie either she screams The whole time while you try to cook dinner, or she watches some tv). I would look up the hands on as we grow blog, she has lots of great homemade activities for this age and it’s cheap and affordable stuff usually already at home.

things to do for 2 year olds?

  • Jenn
    Jan 29

    Park, local zoo, aquarium, library story time, a learning center like The Thinkery (I’m in TX, not sure what they have like this in NY).

First Disney Trip for 18mo old

Hello!! My husband and I will take our son on his first Disneyland trip next month! We both haven’t been there in about 8 years so we do t know what to expect especially now that we have a toddler. Any suggestions, tips, tricks, or hacks to make this as fun and easy as possible? I’ve heard about apps and fast passes but have no clue what it’s all about. Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks ... More

  • Lettie
    Jan 26

    Write down what rides your toddler can go on and where the baby centers are (changing tables, breastfeeding rooms, toddler toilets and a small kitchen). Carry snacks and other baby/toddler things with you (you have a backpack and your husband a backpack). If you want to take pictures, get the Maxpass (you get the downloads right away that you can download to your phone or CPU, it stays in that ... More

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 26

    Thanks for the pin reminder Lettie! And I like the suggestion about the toddler earmuffs!! Did you find it hard with each of you wearing a backpack? Or was is super helpful?

How to not get unraveled by the mess

I'm a stay-at-home mom of a 19 month old ACTIVE little one and am also beginning to address my generalized anxiety disorder, and one thing that seems to derail my efforts to be a fun mom and keep him away from the TV (which I don't mind using but just not ALL the time like my son would like) is the prospect of too much mess. I never ever pictured myself as the mommy who would choose not... More

  • Dee
    Jan 29

    Agreeing with above. Leave the messy activities for when he gets older or maybe one in a while until you see how he could handle them. Avoid play dough. Becomes dried up and a non stop surprise mess everywhere. Drop in play places are good one in a while. Your a good mom, you know your child’s interest- feed off it to encourage it more in different ways.

  • T
    Jan 30

    Only one activity at a time. Clean up right afterwards and involve toddler. Why toddler starts to pulverize chaulk, end activity. Chalk is for drawing. You’re pulverizing it. This tells me you are finished. It’s time to clean up and find xxx to do.

What are some of your toddlers favorite activities and or places to go. I want to mix it up!

My daughter is 1 she has been walking since 11 months so she is super active so I was just wanting all the ideas of things to do with her to make sure I can keep her busy 🙂

  • RK
    Jan 25

    My 1 yo loves to play with old containers (food containers) and to put stuff in/dump out. He often needs help opening caps, but it's a cheap and really fun activity for that age :)

  • Katie
    Jan 26

    My 2 year old loves the natural history museum, which really surprised me because I always found them boring as a child. We go almost weekly, and generally spend 2-3 hours each time. He likes talking to me about the taxidermied exhibits, and identifying the animals. We visit "Lucy" and the dinosaurs. They also have a children's play room that is great (play dinosaurs, various pu... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Jan 09

Rainy day ideas

I have a 2 year old who loves to be outside and it doesn’t rain much where we live. Typically on rainy days I have him help me clean the house, we watch a movie together, read some books and play with his toys. We are about to get rain for 5 days in a row... which is not typical for us. I can’t see us doing this for 5 days in a row. He doesn’t like arts and crafts. I would love to take him to... More

  • Kami
    Jan 11

    Macaroni kids look it up

  • Olimpia
    Jan 12

    What about some age appropriate science experiments. They are all over Pinterest

Toddler and New Baby

I have an almost 3 yo and a 2 month old. I am a SAHM so my days can be very long and hard but also very rewarding. Today my husband told me that my almost 3 yo said that Mom doesn’t play with him that much. I used to be able to play a lot but I am struggling to play as much as I used to and take care of the demands of a new baby. I’m not sure what to do about not being able to play as much and ... More

  • Nicole
    Jan 11

    I feel that way too. I’m a SAHM and have a 2-1/2 year old and 4 month old twins. I barely get time to play with my oldest anymore or take him anywhere due to the twin babies between feeding them and being afraid to go out because they’ll get sick (they were preemies and one of them was just in the hospital for 5 days with RSV so a little cautious right now). It’s so hard. I’ve been trying to ma... More

  • Sarah
    Jan 11

    I’m in exactly the same situation,...almost 3 year old and almost 2 month old sons. I felt/still feel guilty about how much less attention I can give my older son but I have also noticed that he is becoming so much more imaginative and able to entertain himself more! He also loves interacting with the baby and helps out by bringing me things, showing the baby his toys, and “teaching him things.... More

Activities for 14 month old

Hello everyone What do you do to keep a 14 month old busy? My son 14 month old. And we can not do much outdoor activities due to weather. So looking for suggestions... Activities that make him learn something Or something just to play with.. He is already walking and running all over the place now.. Give me your ideas/ suggestions/experiences... Thanks in advance..

Curriculum for 16 month old?

I have a 16 month old son. Do any of you SAHP follow a curriculum with you child around 18 months old? I want to make sure I’m teaching my son the things he needs to know and exposing him to a variety of things. I’m having difficulty coming up with a plan and figuring out all of what I should cover. If anyone has a curriculum they use or any ideas or recommendations on what activities to do wit... More

  • Geena
    Jan 07

    Just continue what you do. Reading every day helped us a lot learn his basics like numbers and colors and alphabets and animals etc so when we go outside to play i make sure to point out to him what we saw from books over and over again even if it’s the same thing til he’s able to respond back. They pick up fast. If we’re consistent with routine you’ll have them telling you stuff in time

  • Elle
    Jan 07

    A curriculum is a great idea! Weeklong themes are a great way to develop and build on new skills and concepts. Our day care does week-long curriculae. One example of a weeklong theme you can do is different types of dance, weather, things you can make out of rope

What’s your 1 year old daily schedule like ie nap time, meals, activities, etc?

Hi! Looking for reference or sample that I can update my 1 year old’s daily schedule. He still naps twice a day but we’ll probably moved to 1 nap soon. I need some ideas especially daily activities, meal times, snack times, bath times, etc. FTM & SAHM here! Thank you!

  • PK
    Jan 02

    Possibly!! I know some parents don’t take their kids out as much as I do because their kids are content staying home but my son forces me out of the house. One of the first things he learned to say was “go go.” I like it though because the day doesn’t drag and it tires him out for his nap.. and I feel like he learns more from what he discovers than what I can teach him at home with educational ... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 02

    7:30- wake 7:45- milk 8:30- breakfast 10:00-11:45- nap 12:15- lunch 12:45- walk/park/store (out of the house time) 2:30- snack 3-4:30- nap 4:45- snack 6:30- dinner 7:30-8- bath and bed

Toy rotation

How do you rotate toys, if you do that, and have you noticed if it’s made a difference? My 7 month old is great at playing by himself but he has so many toys it almost seems like he doesn’t know how to focus on one toy at a time. Is it an age thing? Should I see if rotating them makes a difference? Do I just split them into two groups?

  • Rebecca
    Dec 29

    You could take one or two away at a time. Sometimes when things go noticed missing I do this or I would not worry about it as the kids actually enjoy less.

  • Lindsay
    Dec 29

    Toy rotation is a great idea! It helps keep my son creative and entertained with the same toys for longer periods. I just change them out every 4-6 months but for a few favorites like his wooden trains.

Learning and socializing

I would like to know what parents have done by the age 2 with their kids. Or even before age 2. In related to school and play. Is there programs for that age already? I just found out that my cousin works at a school and they put babies in it. I guess a little like day care.

  • Lynn
    Dec 22

    I take my 2 year old to a parent and me preschool class one day a week and we go to library story times. We’ve signed up for classes through the city which is also another affordable option to find sports and music/dance classes

  • Marlen
    Jan 02

    Great, i have thought alot about what many of you have been doing. Thank you

Occupying a toddler on rainy days

Hello every one I'm a single mom with an 18 month boy we live in Florida so he gets a lot of yard and outdoor play now it's raining all the time how can I get him playing indoors with out crying to go out all the time. We don't want him stuck on TV or tablet all day

  • Julie
    Dec 20

    How about indoor water play or even water play in your sunroom during rainy weather?? Also crafting (finger paints, coloring, etc) is so much fun for kids. If all else fails let him play in the rain!! 😁

  • Andrea
    Dec 20

    We like to get a roll of kraft paper and cover the entire coffee table, then get out the crayons, markers, stamps, stickers, water paints, you name it, and go to town. My 18m still puts crayons in his mouth from time to time, but we can generally keep ahead of him.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Dec 14

Fun home activities

Lacking creativity here. I want to start doing activities with the kids that help work their brain, and sense of creativity. Activities good for winter. Ages are 2 and 2 1/2. Cost efficient

  • Kim
    Dec 15

    Shaving cream, while messy, they love to play with. You can also cut out shapes of different colored feet or paper and have them match the colors up to each other, and then the shapes. If you have one of those divided party trays for veggies/dip you can use that as a sorting tray. Play doh is fun, painting, legos, coloring (you can have themes like happy, sad, etc).

  • Anonymous
    Dec 15

    Make your own play dough!! I do this with my daughter all the time and she LOVES IT!! She’s only 15 months old. I have her help me measure out the ingredients and then let her mix it up herself. You can also do a male your own clay type thing and form the clay into decorations for the tree and bake them then let your child paint them and give them out as gifts!!! So many cheap easy things t... More

Travelling with 1.3 months old please share cruise experience

Hi, We are thinking to go on cruise with my 15 months old toddler boy on memorial day long weekend. Please suggest me where to go and which cruise is having baby sitting facility and kids friendly. Any websites where i can get good deals? We are from Virginia.

  • Caitlin
    Dec 11

    Sounds fun!

  • Ryan
    Dec 17

    Pack a tacklebox full of fun toys/ activities (age appropriate of course) ... Snacks!!!! for more fun ideas for playing, creating and exploring ideas.

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