With 3 young children, I’m always trying to find super easy, non-messy activities for them that they can do ALONE while I make dinner, write, nurse the baby, etc. It’s really important that they can do these activities independently of me.
Both of my older children (age 6 and 4) love to draw, which is a fabulous activity all on its own. However, sometimes they get bored with that or I need to make sure they are really distracted/engaged while I do something else without interruption (shower?). On a recent trip to the Target Dollar Spot I found a pad of stickers that had smiley faces, apples, and some cute Halloween cats and bats. While I was looking at the stickers, I got a great idea: What if they used the stickers to make a drawing?
Using the smiley face stickers, they draw bodies and create a whole scene of smiley people. Using the apple stickers, my daughter made an apple tree, and she created a whole Halloween scene using the bats and cats. It was a super simple activity, but different enough to keep them both busy for over an hour. I was able to make dinner and get a few other needed things done while they were busy, and without resorting to using the TV.
I keep a independent activity box in our office that my kids know where is and can pull things out of on their own (all of the activities are done at the kitchen table). Some of our other independent activities:
- Dollar Store puzzles
- Markers, pencils and paper
- Notebooks and “fancy” pencils for “writing”
- Watercolors and cardstock paper (I help set them up)
- Pony beads and pipe cleaners
- Magnet books and Water Wow books like these (images link to Amazon to view):