Author Topic: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...  (Read 4463 times)

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Offline ZacsMumme

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Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« on: May 06, 2013, 00:04:12 am »
Winter is coming and Z is an outdoor kid. When T naps I try to spend that time as 1-1 with Z.
Currently the things we can do inside are
Duplo (loves, have tons of it, trains, people, animals, barns, cars, truck and build your own etc)
Play doh
Colouring and sticker (doesn't last long)
Little cars (die cast)
Blocks
Puzzles
Snuggles and a dvd or movie (we just watch a bit of it)

I would love some more ideas to keep him busy!

He isn't interested in - cooking/baking/cleaning with me ::)

***Sara***
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DS1 - Our sensitive soul. Silent reflux.

DS2 Our cheeky chipmunk. Reflux, MSPI.

Offline CCCmom27

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 01:06:59 am »
C used to love to build 'tracks' for the cars to race through and tunnels for the trains with blocks.  I can't remember what age he started it but he loved for us to hide a ball (that we'd pretend was treasure) and he'd find it.  Have you tried water colors?  C would sit forever at that age painting pictures of Thomas....





Offline Hedgehog17

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 21:50:36 pm »
We do lots of Montessori inspired activities as he prefers those to his toys! They are good for staying a bit quieter as LO has to focus on the activity, and if it catches their interest then they really do focus on it, sometimes for ages  ;D

All you need are a few household items and trays to set things up on  :)

DS loves pouring (beans, lentils, rice, coloured water) from one jug to another - try to use two small jugs of the same size that he can handle easily, and have a cloth handy for him to mop up any spills when using water. You can also introduce a funnel.

He also likes posting items - money into a moneybox, pasta into a cereal box with holes cut into it, ping pong balls into a box, anything you can find!

DS isn't so hot on scooping and transferring, but it's an easy one to set up with a spoon, a small bowl, an egg carton and some beans / marbles etc. You can also try him with tongs or tweezers and pom poms.

He does enjoy colour matching, which we do with coloured paper circles in a bun tin and matching coloured pom poms to sort into each hole. You can use coloured bowls, cups, anything you have. I've seen a few neat ideas using clothes pegs with colours painted or glued on and a matching strip of colours from the DIY store paint mixing charts  ;D

Clothes pegs can also be used to peg around a pot, or to peg up cloth pieces on a mini washing line. The other idea I've seen is to paint them and make them into legs for a cardboard horse (or any other animal) which you've made the body and head of..

If you don't mind a bit of mess, you can give him a sink / float bucket - collect objects and see if they will sink or float in a bucket of water. He can also try to fish ping pong balls out of a bucket with a tea strainer or a small net.

You can make up a fishing game with some cardboard or craft foam fish with paperclips on their noses, and a magnet on a string tied to a chopstick.

A brilliant no-mess painting idea is to use a ziplock bag with a few squirts of different paint inside, taped down to the table, so he can use his hands to mix the colours around. You could also add glitter to make it a bit different.

Hopefully that'll get you inspired, and if you google 'montessori activities' you'll find lots more ideas  :)

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 22:40:14 pm »
We always have some big something made out of masking tape stuck on the kitchen floor.  At the moment it's a big triangle split into sections and the numbers 1 to 10 written (again in tape) in each section.  I don't make up the rules I just mark out the floor.  DS can always find a game to play on it and I will also come up with various ideas as the days/weeks go by.  So with this one it might be jumping from one number to another, then backwards (counting forwards and backwards too), jumping and counting in 2's odd numbers even numbers, using a small item (rolled up socks) to play a sort of hopscotch throwing it onto 1 then leaping over to number 2 etc, driving a car from 1 through to 10, counting cars/dry pasta/anything into each section, adding the items from one section to the items in another for beginning addition through interaction, saying a random number and form of movement (crawl to 3, hop to 7, gallop to 1, frog to 6, backwards to 10...)

Another we've had is large shapes (again marked out with the masking tape), call out shape and form of movement works for this too, big set of plastic cookie cutters to sort into the right shapes, shaped stickers or cards etc to shape sort, look around the house for objects to shape sort, counting number of sides of each shape etc

Another is a 'maze' (very simple form for this age) with letters of the alphabet written on the tape with a marker pen.  Step to each letter, drive a car to the letter, say a letter and form of movement again, if you have any toys/blocks/letter magnets etc use those to letter match etc

Or draw out a 'map' for trucks and cars to drive around, to practise turn left turn right, straight on, reverse etc.

We usually leave one thing for several weeks so it's a minimal set up so long as you don't mind guests seeing your floor like that!  Don't do it if you have polished wooden floors though as it can lift the varnish.  Tiles or vinyl type flooring are fine to do this on.  When masking tape is left for a few weeks it can be stuck quite hard to the floor but will still wash clean with soapy water.  You could also buy a large sheet of pvc to lay out on the floor to mark the game out on, this way would fold or roll up for storage.
I like these games as it gives us something active to do indoors.

I think Z like bugs doesn't he?  How about getting one of those indoor ant colonies/ant farm/ant factory?  or those little sea monkeys you can look at with a magnifying glass?  I've also just seen that lady bug habitats are available to buy for LOs to watch the larvae grow and turn into adults lady bugs to be released.  Sounds like fun!


Offline ZacsMumme

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 02:09:49 am »
Ohhh thank you ladies! Ill test some of these out tomorrow - or over the weekend get organised so I can do some when At goes down :-*

Creations - yes Z is obsessed with bugs! Check out this pic ;) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151428001436915&set=a.10151428001266915.1073741835.562656914&type=3&theater (if it will let you)
Great ideas!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 02:12:20 am by ZacsMumme »
***Sara***
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DS2 Our cheeky chipmunk. Reflux, MSPI.

Offline lily_layne

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 02:30:02 am »
If you're up for some mess you can spread flour on the table and let him drive his cars or run other toys through it to make patterns.  Finger painting with pudding is also tons of fun (also one he could probably do with T). 

You can do a lot of things with a pail or storage container filled with rice or grain.  You can hide things in it for each other to find.  Put sets of 2 identical objects in (2 buttons, 2 pieces of duplo, etc) and he has to find the pairs.  Or keep one of each pair out and take turns picking an object for the other person to find.
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 06:29:53 am »
What a great photo!

I was wondering if Z might be more interested in cooking if he had a child friendly knife so he can really chop?  If he isn't into baking/stirring maybe he could be interested in slicing?  Make pitta bread pizzas with chopped onion, toms, sweet peppers and grated cheese?  DS was a little interested in counting out spoon fulls and weighing (digital scales to see the numbers change) and mixing but was a LOT more interested when he got to use a real cheese grater, a real knife to chop, a peeler to peel carrots etc.  Now he loves getting involved in cooking and we make savoury food together. he's so proud when we all sit down and he announces he made it.

With colouring/painting I find DS is more interested again if he has 'tools' so foam stampers, letter stampers, printing with various objects, drawing through letter templates, writing cards and envelops to post letters to people (both real and pretend, we made a post box recently went down a storm) and with painting he more enjoys to paint a 3D object, even a toilet roll tube or egg box is often more interesting than a flat piece of paper.


Offline ZacsMumme

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 08:23:58 am »
Well he does butter and spread his toast with a small pt knife at breakfast time. So maybe I should try again.I last tried 3 months ago - but he IS a bit older now and last time I did a cake he did help me pour the flour etc in. He just eats restless in between YK?

Oh lily I like the grains idea. Problem with pudding is T will try to eat it and is intolerant to everything ::)
I'd like to get a blackboard/painting easel as we can put it in the garage. He does love sidewalk chalk.

Creations - the green splash is paint from painting at nanas ;) the monarchs had just hatched and not yet flying. He was mesmerised for an hour with them as their wings dried out.
***Sara***
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DS2 Our cheeky chipmunk. Reflux, MSPI.

Offline Ima shel Alon

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 08:48:26 am »
I have seen in kindergarten that they took a plastic box with a small hole on the top and they let the kids put through the holes those jumbo white beans. I couldn't believe when I saw my restless toddler sitting there and putting one bean after the other.
I really like all the ideas here, I am getting inspired.

We get big cardboard boxes (like from fridges and washing machines and stuff) and we keep them till we have 2 or 3 and then we make houses out of them in the sitting room We cut windows and doors in them, decorate them, put a stool inside, some small furniture, toys and then we play like we are coming to visit each other, knocking at the door, opening windows...
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Offline michaeljacknnugg

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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 11:13:13 am »
I was going to suggest junk modelling! So many other great ideas here to steal also!
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 02:20:21 am »
What is junk modelling?

Ohhh Noa Z loves fort so I'm sure he would love cardboard houses.

My parents made a huge marble run for him. All around their house!! He was in heaven ::)
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 06:17:02 am »
Wow the marble run sounds cool.  Was it a bought set or a home made run?  If it was home made, what did they use to construct it?  I was going to get some marbles recently but DP was worried about the choke hazard aspect even though DS has never been one to put things in his mouth. Do you use larger marbles or regular small?

Junk modelling - we save up interesting plastic and card packaging (from food, toilet roll tubes etc) and then make things like a robot (as big as DS); a train (using a couple of his toddler chairs as a base then construction the train around it), a post box and post office counter, a couple of space rockets (one was about 4 foot tall).  With the robot he loved adding sticker 'buttons and flashing lights' across the front, adding sticker eyes etc.  We've also made some smaller models, dinosaurs, smaller space rockets, moon buggy, egg box train, crocodile...
This stuff is great
https://mymakedo.com/creative-play
I was going to buy our kits ages ago but DS was given a play workshop just at that time and really I needed to wait until we had played that through before introducing more new things so it's still on our list.  meanwhile we are mostly using gaffa tape to construct but I still plan to get some of this as it looks like one of those buys that you just keep getting more use out of - I love creative toys.

We also added some stickers to our duplo and mega blocks so that we can make robots, it's amazing what the addition of a few stickers does.  But I see duplo is already on your list of activities.


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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 06:30:52 am »
Oh I also meant to say

- in the makedo set there is a safe saw which cuts corrugated card but not hands, looks great, after looking at it on-line I tried out a play saw DS already had which was just in a cheap builder set from the 1 shop.  The saw is safe but will cut through thick card and egg boxes which we had lots of fun with.

- and wrt cooking the kinderkitchen serrated dog knife is super. Really inspired me and DS to cook a lot more.  it cuts carrots, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes...just about anything really apart from fingers. DS enjoys cooking much more when he can use the knife to chop rather than just spreading and mixing.


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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2013, 09:19:46 am »
If he likes marble runs, have you tried a domino run instead (bigger pieces)? My parents found some Utube clips of giant domino runs set up and then falling down, which really inspired my DS!

DS just loves messing around glueing and taping junk together (as Creations said) - but mostly does it at school or else we have a pile of massive unfinished projects rather than the current pile of small unfinished ones!
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2013, 12:11:29 pm »
and wrt cooking the kinderkitchen serrated dog knife is super.
Creations, I am not sure what serrated means, is it the ones with teeth or without?
Is it really safe? I mean, sure it's safe, but do you still need to watch all the time what he is doing? Did you manage to teach him not to put hands on the cutting board?
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2013, 13:46:33 pm »
We have a similar knife, it just has teeth instead of a sharp surface so is definitely safe. DS also has his own whisk, bowl, spoon and spatula - we love to cook together and the miniamo range is what we have most of. You start out doing it together, hand over hand if appropriate, and can very quickly move on to cook side by side.
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2013, 22:10:46 pm »
serrated is the one with teeth.  It is safe, you can rub it along your skin and not get cut. having said that I teach him knife safety so I won't let him do that to his skin, I treat it as though it is SHARP so that when it comes to a sharp knife he will already know the rules and dangers.  I would not allow him to use it alone, or walk around with it, like I wouldn't allow it with a sharp knife.  Up to now (I think we've had this about a year?) I still work with him hand over hand.  he stands on a chair and I stand right beside him, on his left, I put my right arm (we are both right handed) around him and my right hand goes over his right hand on the knife.  I put my left hand over his left hand and show him how to hold the vegetable, ensuring his fingers and thumb are tucked in which is not so easy for LOs just yet.  He puts no pressure on the knife until I tell him to cut, then I feel his muscles and how much he is taking control of the knife (you have to use a sawing action with it but it is surprisingly versatile, accurate).  So it is very much team work at this point for us.  I've seen LOs with similar knives at toddler group not so tightly supervised, just using it themselves but for 2yo or 2.5yo it's a pretty difficult thing to do alone...but I actually want to be this close, I don't want him to know the knife is safe iyswim.  I haven't taught him to keep his hands off the board, instead I have taught him where his hands need to go when chopping, so it is on the food to steady it and out of the way of the knife.  We use a cheese grater and potato peeler in the same way. We also have the duck scissors which are not used so much and not so versatile, we just chop spring onions with them, but the action has really helped him come along with using scissors which he can't quite do but is improving.


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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 11:48:25 am »
Thank you, Creations, I am defo going to get the knife and start cooking with him more. So far we are just doing lots of baking.
Do you have a special peeler and grater or you use a normal one with extra caution?
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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 14:20:23 pm »
I use this sort of peeler
https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/11701292897866224479?q=vegetable%20peeler&client=ubuntu&hs=6Mp&channel=fs&gl=uk&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46340616,d.d2k&biw=1231&bih=903&sa=X&ei=Xf6MUba_NJHY0QW574H4DQ&ved=0CGUQ8wIwAA
As I personally feel more comfortable with it and the blade is smaller and more sort of enclosed than this sort
https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/1761203655202975697?q=vegetable%20peeler&client=ubuntu&hs=6Mp&channel=fs&gl=uk&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46340616,d.d2k&biw=1231&bih=903&sa=X&ei=Xf6MUba_NJHY0QW574H4DQ&ved=0CGkQ8wIwAQ

but I didn't buy a peeler especially for DS to use.  In the beginning I used my voice and tone to 'warn' him by saying 'wait, wait' whilst I positioned his little fingers around a carrot (larger is easier) and positioned my fingers around his in hand over hand.  He will sometimes try to let his thumb out for a full around grip but I continue to remind him it needs to be tucked in.  When I position the peeler at the top of the carrot he knows by my voice when to wait and when to 'peel now' and I feel his muscles flex and pull the peeler.

I did buy a grater that clamps to the kitchen unit like this
http://www.lakeland.co.uk/15063/I-Can-Cook-Multi-Purpose-Grater-with-Measuring-Jug
Because both LOs hands are used to work it (one pushes down where the cheese goes in, the other cranks the handle) they are out of the way and not at risk of being grated.  However it is very very hard work.  We rarely bother to get it out but I can imagine it being used in the future for things, it grates and slices veg too.
So we just about always use a regular box grater
https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/12506500191689464284?q=box%20grater&client=ubuntu&hs=sTp&channel=fs&gl=uk&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46340616,d.d2k&biw=1231&bih=903&sa=X&ei=_v-MUeqTEYWe0QXMhYDIBQ&ved=0CIMBEPMCMAM
He must put his helper hand on top to steady it and use his working hand to grate. Again I do hand over hand and ensure his fingers are tucked under mine so mine would hit the grater first and I continue to remind him to tuck fingers in.  I also ensure we stop grating a little sooner than you would as an adult so there is a good chunk of cheese or carrot etc left being held and his fingers aren't too close to the blades.

There is a great kids TV programme on here called "I can cook".  It really motivates my DS to want to cook. I don't know if you allow screen time but if you do it is worth a look.  There are some good ideas of how to do things in a safer way so for example we 'pop' a pepper (capsicum) and tear or snap it up sometimes rather than use the knife and that works DS's fine motor skills in a different way.
There are some of the shows are youtube and BBCiplayer if you're interested.


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Re: Indoor fun ideas with a 2.5 yr old while baby sleeps...
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 17:06:45 pm »
Thanks, Creations! You helped me heaps!
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