A Solid Foundation is a resource for parents hoping to establish the basics for a faith in Christ in their young, preschool-aged children. As a former Chapel leader for a private Christian school, I have a heart for children's ministry and for growing my children in God from the very beginning. Now, as a stay-at-home-mom, that has become my full-time job. Please start at the Introduction in my sidebar and use all of my material as you wish!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Boredom Busters - 12-18 Month Olds

Even with a plan in place for lots of activities surrounding our weekly theme, we still have plenty of time on our hands. While we have no set TV limitations, I just can't stand for it to be on all day. My kids watch one 15-minute show (Curious George and The Cat in the Hat both are hits around here) before naptime and before bedtime to settle down before a bedtime story. But, in the times when we have nothing planned and the kids have had enough playtime (and I've had enough of them arguing over toys!), it's really easy to turn on a show to put them in that child-TV-coma phase. I love researching ideas for boredom busters to have in my back pocket for moments like these. I thought it would be a great blog topic too. So, from time to time, I'll do boredom buster lists focusing on a specific age group. Of course, most of these activities can be adapted to be something any kids will enjoy. I hope you find these helpful!

Boredom Busters (12-18 months old)
1) Give your child a magazine, newspaper, or a pile of junk mail to rip and tear to shreds.
2) Using a galvanized pail or an empty and clean paint can, cover the outside with child-safe magnets (ABC refrigerator magnets work well for this). Have them remove the magnet from the outside, and put it in the bucket. When they're finished, lead them to take each one out and put it back on the outside. Repeat as long as they will.
3) Make a colander/pipe cleaner sculpture. Give your toddler a colander and a handful of pipe cleaners, and show them how to string the pipe cleaner through the holes.
4) Finger paint with yogurt and a little food coloring. Stir 1 or 2 drops of food coloring into a canister of yogurt, and let your toddler go to town finger painting. You can stick them in a high chair and allow them to paint the tray, or allow them to paint the inside of the dishwasher door. This way you can just close it up and run a cycle - easy clean-up!
5)l Dance to music with ribbon twirlers. Easy-to-make, new-sew ribbon twirlers make great additions to grooving to your favorite music. If you don't have satin ribbon and wooden handles on-hand, this can also be done easily with curling ribbon tied around the end of a wooden spoon.
6) Ragamuffin band. Gather a handful of pots, pans, wire whisks, and wooden spoons, and go to town banging and scraping to make loud, toddler-friendly music. Going even further - tap out a rhythm for your toddler to copy.
7) Water painting. Give your toddler several containers of water and a paintbrush. If it's nice outside, they can "paint" the driveway, garage door, house, mailbox, etc. In not-so-great weather, move the party indoors, and "paint" the shower/bathtub walls.
8) Wash dishes. Fill up the sink/bathtub with an inch or two of water, and dump in some dish soap, a dish scrubber brush, and an assortment of plastic dinnerware, and let your toddler scrub away.
9) Mix, measure, and pour. Fill an under-the-bed tub with rice, beans, or sand. Add some measuring cups and spoons, plastic funnels, a whisk, shovels, and bowls. Demonstrate measuring and pouring. [Make sure to supervise carefully - especially if your toddler is still prone to eating art/activity supplies. =)]
10) Indoor basketball. Grab a laundry basket and a bunch of balled-up socks, and let these substitute basketballs and a basketball goal as an indoor-friendly game of hoops, toddler-style.

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