For those of you who have little ones running around, you understand the importance of needing to keep them entertained non-stop. I swear, my lil’ man Kalani is like the Energizer Bunny! He literally has 2 settings: sleep and run around. That’s it! For a stay at home mama, coming up with fun and frugal ideas is a bit challenging day in and day out and I swear there’s got to be a trick to it!
I would love to go out and buy all those “educational” toys and movies for him. I that people still speculate if they’re worth it or not, but without them I still feel like I’m ruining his future education somehow. Darn PBS for tacking on my guilt. Let’s be honest, most of those are way out of my budget and I just can’t justify spending all that money on ONE toy. Because for real, I don’t care how much “educational this or that is said about it,” it’s a toy. And my son, well, his attention span is maybe 3 minutes – on a good day. So, those toys are just not worth it.
What I have discovered is worth it for me and allows me to spend some good quality mama-son time while being easy on the wallet are projects that I do with items around the house. It is so easy to just grab random items from the pantry, mix up some things and voila! Instant entertainment for my nothing but energetic toddler.
Today, we painted in his bathroom for seriously an hour and a half. That’s crazy timing for him to be entertained. I recently got a good deal on some shaving creams (about $0.19 each) so I was trying to think of what I could do with all of them, and a light bulb went off! It was too hot to play outside so I figured water play in the bathroom wasn’t too shabby of an idea. I squirted some shaving cream in a muffin pan, added in a few drops of food coloring, did a little swirly swirl and let my mini Picasso go to town! He had a blast painting on the bathtub walls then washing everything off and repeating. Finally I could tell it was naptime so the excitement had to end.
I know there are plenty of DIY bathtub paint recipes on the internet too, so if messing with shaving cream isn’t your thing, go ahead and try out the bathtub paint. We did it when Kalani wasn’t even a year old yet and I remember the bathtub got way too slippery and it freaked me out so I said never again. But, whatever works better for you and what you got on hand – get er done!
Yesterday, I got out some old toilet paper rolls (I’m all about reusing) and we made little monsters for puppets. At diyready.com they have a great list of projects to do with recycled toilet paper rolls – I’m working my way through it! Granted ours weren’t as awesome as theirs looked (check out that skill to your left) but ours were, uhm, UNIQUE! Kalani let his art skills out and afterwards we played tag around the house making “monster” noises. Yes, we ran in the house. I know: shame, shame!
Basically, I am learning that I don’t need to spend a lot of money to make sure my lil’ Kalani*boi is happy, engaged, learning, etc. With some google searches and a little DIY, I can usually find things to do. Hopefully though, we’ll start exploring more of our city and seeing what great things the capital has to offer for family-friendly activities. I smell a field trip!
Until then, please give me all the tricks you’ve got to entertain an energetic toddler boy! Thank you all, and good night!