Things to do with toddlers- Kids / Children

Hi everyone. I have 2 toddler boys that are full of energy and I like to keep them busy! LOL. They are 2 and 3. I am looking for frugal and cheap ways to keep them busy this summer. Activities, and fun things to do. We live in a small town and there is not a whole lot available....pretty much

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  1. #1
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    Default Things to do with toddlers


    Hi everyone. I have 2 toddler boys that are full of energy and I like
    to keep them busy! LOL. They are 2 and 3. I am looking for frugal and
    cheap ways to keep them busy this summer. Activities, and fun things to
    do. We live in a small town and there is not a whole lot
    available....pretty much just walks around the neighborhood. And over
    to the small playground at the school. The bigger playground at the
    school is torn apart. The school took 1/2 of everything out and never
    put anything back or fixed it! We have a creek behing our house but who
    knows how dirty it is and alot of times it runs to fast for the boys

    anyways. I hope someone can help! Thanks

    Jolene
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  3. #2
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    What about a near by town? Are there any close by with parks, beaches,
    etc? If so, pack up a cooler with some lunch items and drinks, and head
    out to play for the day.

    Set up a tent in the back yard, and go "camping". If you are allowed to
    have camp fires, do that at night- sing songs, roast marshmallows & hot
    dogs, and count stars.

    Set up play dates with other children, swapping with parents- one
    afternoon, they play at your house, another afternoon at the other
    house.

    Start up a mom's group through yahoo for your area. Have play groups at
    the playground, make field trip's up to parks, zoos, muesuems and what
    not in near by towns
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  5. #3
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    The library has a great book called Family Fun Boredom Busters. It has projects and ideas for all age groups. Also while you're at the library check into the kids story time. Most librarys have them and it is a great activity to get kids excited about reading.
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  7. #4
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    Our local library had a really nice kids section when I went
    in there last time. Including coloring books, and toddler appropriate
    puzzles to play with. Also blocks. Plus they had a good sized area
    with a little table for the kids to play at.


    Lisa
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  9. #5
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    Make an old fashioned bean bag - they can practice throwing for a
    couple of days to each other (we all know that won't be exciting
    enough!)

    Then you can take a piece of cardboard or a box is easiest, cut a
    couple of large holes in it (2 yr olds need larger holes, 5 yr olds
    smaller ones) and have them try to throw the bean bag into the hole.

    When they loose interest in that - sit up some soda cans, water bottles
    or whatever you have and let them knock them down.

    Someone was talking about turning cereal and other boxes inside out and
    letting the kids color the inside of the boxes. Karen
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  11. #6
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    Hi Jolene
    I have 2 boys as well, one is 15 months, the other 3 1/2 years old. For
    rainy days, I went on ebay and bought a used microsoft easyball. It is
    a huge stationary mouse with only one button to click so they can't
    right click anything. My 3 year old goes onto starfall.com and roams
    all around the site learning phonics.
    Do you have a outdoor space for a small garden? Or a space outside to
    put some pots? My boys love to water stuff so we plant veggies for them
    every year. Peas, beans, radishes and such grow fast enough for them to
    hold their interest.
    We've bought all of their outdoor toys from buysell.com (we're in
    canada, but I'm sure there's a US equivalent). Little tikes stuff lasts
    forever and is so cheap to buy used. They have their own little
    playground outside, great for the days when we don't feeling like
    walking to the park. We try to remember to bring a soccer ball when we
    go though, so they have something else to do.
    Is there a community playgroup in your area? We have one that gets
    together once a week but during the summer they just put on the odd
    event.
    Other than that.. big hits with my boys
    bubbles
    bike rides/wagon rides
    sandbox
    sidewalk chalk
    little tikes basketball
    running like crazy with other kids
    puzzles (local library)
    songtime
    baking mini muffins
    helping mom clean (I give them damp sponges or paper towel)
    I'm sure you do all this stuff too.. but I hope I helped
    Kes
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  13. #7
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    I have a 3 year old son and have 5 older boys. I will give you a short list:

    Bubbles (buy the big jug at walmart) use pie tins and wands
    cheap squirt guns
    wading pool (supervised at all times of course)
    funnels and cups in the pool or tub
    cheap shaving cream/let them wash off an outside toy with it and spray it with a spray/squirt bottle
    cheap paint brush/bucket of water-they will "paint" the house, deck, sidewalks etc...
    washable paints and playdoh (I like these outside)
    frogs and bugs
    take some toys outside that have never been outside
    let them "march" with pie tins and wooden spoons (again, outside)
    help them plant a tiny garden or pick flowers, go on a nature walk and look at leaves and birds
    paint faces on rocks or collect rocks and wash them
    look online for fun "kids" recipes for stuff like goop and slime
    make mud pies and bake them in the sun and then decorate with puff paint, sell them at a pretend bake sale


    That's all I can think of for now.
    Amy-IA
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  15. #8
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    I have a 3 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. I also have a 7 month
    old that is home all day with us, and a 9 year old that goes to public
    school. Full house around here.

    I found some good freebies that I sent for through the Crayola site, I
    used to homeschool and get teachers samples from them. I got Color
    Explosion White sets from them that were bundled 1 pen, 4 small paper
    cards. (I got 24 sets of these!) The kids love to each get a single
    serving of fun to color these sometimes, and they make paper airplanes
    out of the cards after they color them. If the Crayola freebie has
    ended now, it would be easy to make up sets of 3X5 cards with regular
    markers or buy some Crayola stuff and bag it up into fun kits.
    I really like the color explosion white and the color wonder items
    because they are pretty safe from marking of things, the problem is
    that they are really expensive for the ammount of time coloring the
    kids get compared to a $.99 color book and a box of crayons.

    Homemade playdough is always a winner with kids that age. The homemade
    type with the cream of tartar in it is so much neater than the
    storebought. It does not stick to fingernails and things as bad, and it
    is easier to clean up if some gets on the floor. I still would not use
    it on carpeted areas as the food coloring will stain.

    Bubbles are always fun for a few minutes. It does get a little boring
    and messy if we do it for too long.

    We just got the two preschoolers their first 2 wheel bikes with
    training wheels. When the weather is nicer and stays nice for more than
    one day at a time, we will be going up and down the sidewalk with them.
    With both of them being so close in age, it is almost a two person job
    just to watch them until they get more comfortable with the bikes.

    Dump out the toybox- Whenever I clean the kids room I dump the toybox
    over and sort out broken toys. Every time this happens, the kids find
    some really treasured toys that have sifted to the bottom and they seem
    like new again because the kids missed them

    Sidewalk chalk is fun for boys and girls alike. If you want to get
    creative, you could draw a big racetrack for hotwheels or something
    like that.

    You can use your imagination to make a tent (maybe out of a patio table
    and an old sheet) and have a picnic lunch in there.

    I hope you guy shave a great summer
    Shawnee
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  17. #9
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    I have 2 grandchildren, 3 & 5 that were here last week...we live in
    Florida. We have a small side yard in a mobile home park. They
    started out watering my plants with a detergent bottle, and ended up
    having a "water party'! (as they called it) I let them fill a couple
    of dishpans with water and gave them a couple of detergent bottles and
    sqeeze bottles, and they had so much fun soaking each other. Later
    they spent their time painting my porch with buckets of water and
    paintbrushes.

    They love large cardboard boxes, too, to play pretend space ship, house
    or whatever.

    Do you have a library nearby? Ours offer storytime and other playtime
    activities for toddlers.

    Also, our church offers Vacation Bible School, which has a lot of fun
    activities for toddlers. Not all VBS work with preschoolers, but most
    I've been affiliated with, do.

    Hope you have a safe and happy summer.

    Vivian
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  19. #10
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    I have a friend who gets together with a couple of other families and plans a whole week of fun for their children, they call it "Camp Crazy". This is their low cost way of having summer camp for their children. Each mom plans an activity for each day. Some of the things they have done are: 1.water kickball- set out baby pools as the bases, after kicking the ball the children have to run through the pools to get home. 2. Another day she had a big food fight. She filled up one baby pool with a ton of cooked spagetti and a different pool with a ton of cold jello and had vats of cool whip and let the kids just have at it. The best part was that they just rinsed the kids off outside, no harm no foul. 3. One year they had themed days. On Pirate Day all the children went to the house with a pool. She put a six inch board cross the pool and put plastic alligators in the pool and the kids had to "walk the plank", of course if they fell in all the more fun. Then they had a scavenger hunt using nursery rhymes: For example "Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse went up the ?" Then all the kids would run to the clock to find the next clue "The itsy bitsy spider went up the ?", they would all run to the water faucet to find the next clue, etc. 4. You could have a story time 5. Make camp crazy tie died shirts. I think Michaels Arts and Crafts sells fabric paint that you can put in water guns and you can "shoot" a tie dyed shirt. 5. Maybe make Friday a park day. We have a few free parks close by that have water shooting out of everything and one of the public pools is like a mini water park and it only costs $4. You get the idea, just get creative with friends and you can have a low cost blast.
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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  21. #11
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    Invest in a sandbox - great fun for this age, and you can use for treasure hunts (hide small things in the sand for them to find), sand castles, moats, castles, and all kinds of creative fun.

    Have them plant some sunflowers and check on the growth regularly. If you plant enough of them, sunflowers can actually make a great fort for kids to hide and play in.

    Buy a bug box at the dollar store, and use to observe insects for short periods of time. But encourage the boys to let the little creature go in a safe place.
    ~ They Call it DODGE for a Reason! ~

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