Ahhhh, it’s here again! The time of year when we have TONS of stuff to do, between Thanksgiving meals, cleaning to host, decorating, Christmas shopping, and planning, among all of the other regular daily chaos. And you have a busy toddler.
So how do you keep them occupied when you need just 15 minutes to complete a task? Here are a few of my favorite ideas to toss your toddler’s way, tried and tested with my 2-year-old daughter, to buy you some time to wrap those gifts, mop the floor, or whatever other task you are dying to complete peacefully without making too much more mess!
- Pom Poms. I bought them at the dollar store, and keep them in a container. Whenever I need some time I pull them out and she makes it rain confetti poms. My daughter likes to pretend all kinds of things with them and they are a quick easy cleanup! (*note: do not give them too many, that can lead to a not so quick cleanup*)
- The PBS kids app. I don’t let my toddler watch a ton of shows, and I am the last person to ever hand her my phone or a tablet. But everything on PBS is educational and fun, so we do indulge in that. When I need some time, I can hand her the iPad or my phone with the app on and it’s something rare and exciting for her! Even though she is watching the same thing she would on the tv, it does the trick!
- Stickers. Again, a dollar store stock-up. I give my toddler some colored paper that she can’t regularly access on her own, and a page or two of stickers, and I tell her they can only go on the paper. Of course, some do occasionally make it elsewhere, but for the most part, she keeps them on the fun colorful paper! I’ve even used old scrapbook pages I never got around to using!
These last two are my favorite—because they lead to a bath! And I think a freshly bathed toddler escalates to an easier naptime transition. Who doesn’t want that?!
- In the bathtub- bath crayons and/or bath paints! The key here is no water! The water comes after you finish what you need to do! I like to do this one especially when I am trying to clean said bathroom, or fold an abundance of laundry, or redo the linen closet within the bathroom, etc.
(*I’ve heard the bath crayons may stain certain tub surrounds if left on too long, but I always wipe them off after the bath when the water is draining and have never had a problem!*)
- Popsicles in the tub! Again, waterless and mess-free! Water comes after when you are ready to bathe that sticky little one.
So there you have it, my top 5 toddler time-buyers! I hope this helps you get a few minutes of peace to complete your tasks and check things off your to-do lists while also being something fun and exciting for your littlest loves!