Keeping the kids entertained sounds easier until you’ve run through all your ideas in the first week of summer. Just a few days into my oath of keeping summer boredom free, and I’m running out of steam. Sound familiar? Then I realized: I don’t have to be the one to come up with the ideas or provide the entertainment. And also I don’t have to do the same kid-geared project alongside my two-year-old. As long as she has something to keep her focus, I’m free to do my own thing.
So here’s a short list I compiled of creative ways to keep kids entertained.
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1. Sensory Bins
If you are the caregiver of a young child, chances are you already know what sensory bins are. Just in case, sensory bins are any kind of sensory exploration play that is contained in a small bin or box. These are great for keeping kids entertained! Roo can play in them for half an hour or more without interruptions.
They can be super simple, or have an elaborate theme geared towards your child’s interests. Usually, they have a filler such as sand, rice, or water. Then you had some toys that promote pretend play. Finally, you give them some tools. There are some sensory bin specific tools like these sold on Amazon, or you can simply prove a cup for pouring and a shovel for scooping.
One of R’s favorite fillers is cloud dough. Cloud dough is kind of like kinect sand as it will hold its shape better than regular sand. but it isn’t as sticky as play dough. The recipe is super easy:
8 cups of flour
1 cup of oil (baby oil smells great, vegetable oil for a taste safe version)
We usually half the recipe and end up with just enough. Yesterday, I wanted to make cupcakes with R but it was over 100 degrees outside and I just couldn’t imagine turning on the oven for long enough to bake some. Instead, I made some vanilla scented cloud dough, then provided R with baking tools, and some small bowls of sprinkles.
If I’m being honest, I definitely played cupcakes for awhile before heading off to my own project. This was super fun!
2. Local Library Story Time
Summer is the perfect time to check out Story time because many libraries have a Summer Reading Program. Roo and I both signed up as soon as registration began and earned our first prizes today!
Seriously, you get to sit while someone ELSE entertains your kids by singing and reading to your kid. How awesome is that?! Most local library branches have some sort of weekly story time for a variety of ages. If you’re lucky, they even do crafts and other projects.
Ours doesn’t have a craft for R’s age group, but there is a puzzle section in the kid’s area that all the toddlers flock to right after the 30-minute storytime.
Speaking of puzzles, they are great quiet activities to keep kids entertained! Roo was honestly not that great at puzzles at first, but after working the same few puzzles over and over again, she’s a pro. I find only offering help when asked is the best way to get R working towards solving a puzzle independently.
4. Visit the Museum
Museums aren’t always entertaining for kids. You can each sit down to doodle next to a favorite painting. Maybe there’s a garden or other closed in area to let them roam somewhat freely. Or maybe your local museum is like the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth! They have an entire “Studio” set up for small children. There are books galore, fun puzzle games, building blocks, colorful scarves, a giant felt board, and so much more. The room was off out of the way of the rest of the museum, so I didn’t have to worry about her wandering off while my attention was on my book. I literally had to drag R out when it was lunchtime.
Or the Science Museum has so much to entertain kids, adults might get a little bored. There’s the Children’s museum with Role-Play areas set up, a crafting room equipped with crafting supplies, and so much more!
5. Age Appropriate Craft
Another option is subscribing to a kid’s craft box like Kiwi Crate.
I also love Two Pink Balloons’ felt activities.
Or we recently received this Alex Busy Box. It has 13 craft projects to choose from with all the supplies you’ll need.
Here’s a post about constructive boredom and some creative play ideas from Sanya at Raising Independent Kids
I hope you got some fresh ideas for something creative to do this summer to keep the kids entertained, even when you really don’t feel like it and need some SPACE. Keep watching the blog for more ideas and sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss one!
Is there anything I missed? What’s something creative you do with your kids, that you don’t have to hold their hand and do with them? Let me know, I know I’ll get burnt out on these three soon…