Recently I've been looking for some activities that will keep my 22 month old busy. Her toys have gotten old (for a while now) and I'm trying to keep her away from the TV. It's been hard to find things to keep her engaged. I did a search on the internet and found some great websites/blogs that have so many different things that you can create on the cheap for your toddler. I really like that the ones I found were good for their motor skills and learning. Here are a few of the activities that I was able to put together with some things I already had at home and some things I purchased at the dollar store. The Dollar Store is your friend! I love that place for stuff like this.
This was a small spaces activity. I took an old Cool Whip container, whole punched some holes in it and cut up some straws I had in the kitchen. Brooke LOVES this activity. She spends a lot of time on it and loves starting over. After a while she started putting them in her mouth and I had to start distracting her showing her how to do it again. Once I participate in activities, she quickly forgets what she was doing. I think this activity also calms her down since it requires her to think a bit. Its a great motor skills activity and so simple to make!
This is a peg board that I bought at the dollar store. Brooke has these at the daycare she goes to during the week and she likes this one too. The ones at daycare are a bit cuter with bunnies on them, but she doesn't seem to care.
This is just another interesting way to stick objects into a different surface. I picked these items up at the dollar store. They are just cocktail stirrer sticks and foam.
Here I printed out some free pictures on card stock and laminated them with packing tape. These are matching which also have colors on them. It's helped her tremendously with what animals are what and also what noises they make. You can get the free download HERE. There are also a ton of other printables you can get from HERE.
Similar idea here, just in a different format.
Then I bought a small 8 pack of Play Doh for $1 and put them each in plastic wrap. She can squish them around with her fingers and smash them on the table. I opted to wait on letting her use them without the bags, because she will make a mess of them all over the house. Especially with my OCD, I figured I'd wait to take them out of the bags until she is a bit older. I've let her use them on occasion out of the bags, but that was only in her high chair. ;o)
Here I just took a few baking cups, drew some basic shapes on the bottoms of them and bought a bag of the shapes at the dollar store. She can sort the shapes easily.
All of this cost me around $7 and she now has a ton of new things to keep her busy. Well, let's hope for a while at least. You just need to set aside the time to make this for them.
I'm also planning to make colored pasta for her to sort in various containers. I just need to purchase the different pasta shapes. There is also the I Spy bottle I want to create which you can find HERE. There are a ton more other fun things you can create on a dime for your little ones. You can just Google "toddler activities" and be ready for a lot of fun creations!