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15 Self-Directed Activities for Toddlers | Imperfect Homemaker

15 Self-Directed Activities for Toddlers

self directed activities for toddlers

One of the biggest challenges I face while making dinner is how to keep the children busy.  They are constantly hanging on my legs and telling me they're hungry.  They don't seem to understand that the more they whine the longer it will be before I can get dinner finished and they can eat.

That's why I started having them sit at the table to work on an activity while I cook.  I have a cabinet that has fun things that they can do by themselves.  They only get to do these activities while I'm cooking so that they stay fresh and fun.

A lot of the things I have are educational games I have bought on clearance.  But there are a lot of different ideas around the web that you can make yourself.  I have three criteria for the activities that I choose to make or buy:

1. They aren't expensive or extremely time-consuming to make
2. They aren't too babyish for my 4 year old but not too hard for my 2 year to do by herself
3. They won't create a big mess.

Here is a round up of some ideas that meet all of those qualifications.:

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

 

 

 

Popsicle stick color matching

 

 

 

Build a cupcake

 

 

 

Building with velcro and craft sticks

 

 

 

Pipe cleaners and a spice jar

 

 

 

Button practice with felt

 

 

 

Clothespin Color Match

 

 

 

Weaving with pipe cleaners and a cooling rack

 

 

 

Practicing shapes with stickers

 

 

 

 

Popsicle Stick Shape matching

 

 

 

 

Pom poms and tweezers

 

 

 

 

Printable Sewing Cards

 

 

 

 

Block puzzles

 

 

 

 

 

I spy book

 

 

 

 

Magnetic items and a cookie sheet

 

Update:  after seeing how great a demand there is for independent activities for the little ones, I compiled a whole book of them!

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These activities are all tested by kids and moms!  They're sure to keep your child's attention without requiring lots of set-up !

Grab your copy now!

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