When it comes to entertainment things are a lot easier with toddlers. You may not think this initially but look at the scenario. Your child is very young and everything is still new. This means that you’ve got your job cut out for you if you exercise a little creativity and put your mind to it. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and there are even plenty of free options. So if you are wondering ‘what are some fun things for toddlers to do near me?’ then wonder no longer. Let’s talk about happy toddlers!
Keeping kids amused
There are a few ‘hard and fast’ rules when it comes to entertaining kids that you should follow. For instance:
- Educational options are AWESOME – Science museums are a great example of this. Most, if not all of them are prepared for children of all ages and will have activities that even a toddler can enjoy while teaching scientific principles in the process. Who knows? Maybe your kid will be inspired but if that’s not the case, they will still definitely be entertained!
- Free or Cheap entertainment can be done more often – Yes, there are pricey options out there, but if you are frugal in your entertainment budget then you can take the kids out more often and get a little bit more peace for yourself in the bargain. So keep things inexpensive and look out for free options like the park, these things can be a lifesaver when you’ve got a bored kid in the house that’s starting to get stir crazy.
- Pick somewhere close – Make yourself a mental list of the best options which are close to you. This will save you on gas and works as a quick ‘pick me up’ when you need something distracting and you need it fast. Besides, you know how those long car rides go (shudder), so make a mental list of practical, close places.
- Play to the lowest age of the group – If you don’t select activities that all of the children can enjoy then there will be dissention in the ranks as they take their dissatisfaction out on their brother or sister. So plan ahead and make sure that everyone can have a good time!
- Making a story together —If you are creatively inclined then one thing that you can do with your children which makes for amazing keepsakes later is the crafting of a story. Kids as young as toddlers are quite capable of composing stories and if you’ve got crayons and markers then you can make illustrations to go with them. We suggest starting out with an artist’s pad of clean paper. Ask them to tell the story and you or one of the older children can document and add to the story as it progresses, logging the words on the left page and drawing one or more illustrations on the right. Start with a short story and if the kids enjoy it then you can even work up to filling a pad for an epic tale born of your kid’s imaginations. There are even places that will bind them for you and then you’ll have keepsakes to put on the bookshelf, so why not try this creative exercise and see where it leads?
You don’t always have to leave home to have a good time!
The Pet store
One place that all toddlers love is the pet store. Kids can spend a good amount of time looking around at the different animals and enjoying their antics. Do you have to bring an animal home? Well, no, of course not, but consider this. When your child starts getting old enough for a pet you can always give them a project. Tell them that if they want the hamster or the turtle that they need to write you a report that says how long the turtle is going to live, what it eats, how big a tank or cage is required, and whatever other information that you think is pertinent. If the child makes the report for you and agrees to the responsibility then you’ve just done a very neat thing. By getting a child to understand the responsibility that is involved in taking care of an animal you are establishing a foundation of responsible thinking. If they stay responsible when the ‘shine’ has worn off from having a new pet then you’ve not only taught a little responsibility but you’ve provided an ‘in-house’, furry or scaly entertainment system!
Stop dissing Ronald McDonald
If you are a new parent then you might have some negative views of McDonalds and parents who bring their kids there. Suspend those thoughts for just a moment and think about this. A little junk food, like everything else, is fine if done in moderation. Next, consider that there is a playground right next to the place where they serve lunch. One thing a lot of parents begin to miss is eating peacefully and with
“You can munch in peace.”
Ronald McDonald’s well-researched playground (designed with your kids in mind) you can munch in peace while your kids spend a good half hour climbing, sliding, and playing peek a boo through crawlspace windows. It’s cheap entertainment that comes with lunch, folks! So if you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about McDonald’s then one day when you are stressed because you can’t take two bites out of a sandwich without your son throwing food at his sister out of boredom, why not give the golden arches a try?
Some final words
Entertaining toddlers is easy as pie. Just remember that the world is still new and that the simple things are often the most entertaining. Feeding the ducks, playing chase in the park, or enjoying the flora and fauna with a picnic at your local Arboretum are just a few other options you can try in ‘the quest to keep the kids busy’. Give our tips a try and you’ll see!