There’s nothing worse with 3 toddlers than worrying about how to give them creative opportunities to help them develop and enjoy the wonders of arts and crafts. Everything you’ve tried ends up frustrating you, as it can involve significant cleaning up, or damage to walls, floors or furniture. You may feel there is nothing you can do which is safe with small babies and toddlers as most crafts seem to involve some sort of undesirable items like paint which can be eaten by babies or paper which gets torn so easily by siblings and a huge surge of emotions swell within your kid’s and your lives. Look no further than these tried and tested activities – many are totally free, and the rest are totally worth it for your kids enjoyment and your sanity.
Why Offering A Variety of Activities is Beneficial
Many parents will have imagined our children drawing beautiful pictures of hearts and their family all in a cute child-style design. When reality hits and you’re at home with 2 or 3 toddlers under the age of 3, you see the desire for simply switching on the TV instead. It’s draining to clean up or redecorate over all those stains and marks. Some non-gentle visitors event make comments about how ‘naughty’ your children are for having drawn all over everything.
It’s frustrating and so easy to resort to stopping the fun activity. Let’s briefly remember why it’s important for our children to do activities such as drawing and painting. Essentially, these fun activities help form happy memories. They help develop important skills and inspire their creative sides.
This activity is free – get some chairs and start / stop music. When the music plays, your children can run around and dance. When the music stops, they have to climb on the nearest chair. In our house we use the dining table and chairs. We move the chairs around the dining room and the kids run around the table. I use the laptop to play music out of and it means I can work at the same time – bonus for parents working from home.
If your kids have watched any pop music before, they can turn any object into an imaginary microphone. You can give them this idea if it hasn’t already formed. They can sing on a stage too, which can be a very simple piece of card or a step. Our eldest daughter frequently finds stages out of anything. The other day in the forest she turned a little tree stump into a stage and began singing and rowing a boat very loudly.
Painting and Drawing – With a Clean Guarantee
Kids achieve developmental milestones through drawing and painting. For parents with more than one young child though, these activities can be emotionally and physically challenging. Cleaning up drawings from walls, cupboards, floors, is exhausting for most parents.
A simple yet effective solution is to use water instead. Whilst indoors there are water mats which come highly recommended from us (see link below to buy these mats). Pens are filled with water, and what’s the worst that can happen? Wiping up spilt water is a common occurrence in most child-packed households anyway, so what’s a few more wipes.
The next idea here comes highly recommended for those with gardens and patios. An even easier water based art activity is to simply use paintbrushes or hands and feet, you name it, whatever painting device your kids can get hold of. Give them a supply of water in a pot and let them ‘paint’ a patio with water. Kids love it and it involves zero cleaning up.
Catching and passing balls. This game can pass endless hours for children, especially if you have at least 2 kids as they can play this together. Football is also another option. Just try not to make it competitive so they enjoy playing it over again, rather than feeling frustrated everytime they drop the ball. For tips on the language used to prevent creating a work mindset in your children, you may want to read my previous post about this topic.
Many young children love to dance. Getting them some dancing equipment such as ballet shoes, or even pretend ballet shoes or dress, can cause hours of tip-toe dances and leaps in the air. This must be good for their fitness – just be prepared to be asked to help them with leaping even higher and lifting them in the air… hours of fun for your kids can also turn quite physical for you if you’re not prepared!
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a common game to play with toddlers, but sometimes easily forgotten when you’re tired and grumpy. Kids love it. It even sometimes gives you a few seconds to send an email or a text as you’re “searching” for your children.
I spy with my little eye, something…
- beggining with…
- the colour…
- the shape…
This game is great for car journey entertainment too. It helps teach kids colours, shapes or the concept of spelling words.