Five Great Ideas To Save Your Sanity Around Toddlers

Monday, February 10, 2014

by Trish Kuffner

Help! You have a toddler! What happened to that sweet baby that napped twice a day? Now he or she is running around with more energy than 10 parents combined. Here are five great activities from Trish Kuffner's The Toddler's Busy Book (Meadowbrook Press) that are guaranteed to make your life a lot less hectic and a lot more fun.

Baker's Box

Don't let your kids drive you crazy in the kitchen. Provide your child with his very own Baker's Box. Put together a collection of unbreakable kitchen tools in a plastic crate or small storage box. Store it in a spare cupboard that is low enough for your child to reach.

Tickle Trunk

A Tickle Trunk full of dress-up clothes and props will foster your child's imaginative play. Fill a trunk, toy box, large plastic container with adult clothes, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves and costume jewelry. Great items can be found at garage sales, local thrift shops or post- Halloween sales.

Rainy Day Box

Good things to put in a rainy day box include: art supplies, new toy, new book, music tape or video, special dress-up items, cookie cutters and a favorite cookie recipe, supplies and directions for a new game or craft.

Crazy Can

The dinner hour can be tough. You're busy and your toddler is hanging around. It's not a great time to brainstorm for creative ideas. Plan ahead with a Crazy Can of ideas for your toddler. Make a list of on-the-spot activities that require no special materials, no time-consuming preparation and no cleanup. Put these ideas on small slips of paper and put them in the Crazy Can.

Busy Bag

A Busy Bag will help you be prepared for those times when you have to wait at the doctor's office, hairdresser's, or restaurant. Turn a drawstring bag or backpack into a take-along Busy Bag that contains items like: an edible necklace, a favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket, magnets and small metal cake pan, matchbox cars, simple wooden puzzles, special snacks and stickers and a sticker book or a plain notebook.

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