Are you struggling with ideas on what to do with your kids? In the past, I certainly have.
It isn’t just a one-time thing either. My Son likes to keep me on my toes when it comes to Daddy Daycare.
I am lucky enough to have at least one day every week where it is him and me, and I absolutely love it. As long as I approach the day with the expectation that I will not get anything useful done.
With excitement, I suggest we do something that he thoroughly enjoyed the previous week.
Nope, he’s not interested.
‘But you loved it last week!’ I say.
‘No, Daddy, I don’t like it.’
Some activities and regular household objects hit the mark a lot more than they fail, so let me tell you about those.
Entertain A Toddler With These 5 Household Items
1. The Padlock Game
I know it sounds risky, but let me explain!
Basically, you get a padlock. A simple, cheap padlock. I picked one up from the local hardware store for pocket change, but they are also available online.
It is similar to hide and seek. You give the unlocked padlock to them and ask them to attach it to something.
Your job is to find it. When you find it, swap roles.
You may think this is a bit tedious, but it is genuinely the top tip for a reason!
I made this game up a few months back to stop an argument between 3 toddlers when one of them found Grandads padlock.
Immediately, the argument stopped, and the fun began! I would lock the padlock somewhere; then I would disappear and let them find it.
Here is a tip, make sure you hide away any spare keys!
Last Saturday, it kept my Son entertained for a full hour! This Saturday, it was at least 30 minutes.
2. Cardboard Box
The picture above is a recent project undertaken by my Son and Wife. They made an elevator! I am not sure who it entertained most, but I guess that doesn’t matter.
A child-size cardboard box is an awesome idea to keep kids entertained.
First, they will get in and out of it. Then once you suggest that you both make something, you will entertain them while you make it, and then they will entertain themselves playing with it!
Recent cardboard box projects include:
- A Space Rocket
- Puppet Show Stand
- Elevator (See above)
- Air Plane and Racing Car (with the same box)
If you are like me and regularly order items from the internet, you will have at least one box per week!
3. Party Time
One balloon gives you a couple of minutes. More than 5 balloons, and they go crazy! It is a cheap way to spend time during Daddy Daycare.
If you plan to blow up more than 5 balloons, get yourself a pump to make life easier.
That way, if your child is like my son, you can quickly replace it with another!
Balloons are very cheap and tremendous fun for a kid to play with.
Party Whistles are also great fun but can get annoying. Being Dads, most of us are oblivious to annoying noises, so it should be fairly easy for you to ignore them.
On the approach to my birthday, he wanted some ‘Party Trumpets’ to help me celebrate. So I bought a box in preparation. The box has lasted a couple of months now, and every few days, he will find one and annoy the hell out of anyone within earshot. Everyone needs a hobby.
4. Bubble Wrap/Packaging
Bubble wrap is a definite time killer! Most items you order online have some protection inside the box.
Take it out, put it away for Daddy daycare. When the time comes, hand it over and watch them go.
You may be asked to help out with difficult ones to burst, but for the most part, they are happy just laying it out on the floor and jumping up and down on it!
This will give you 20-30 minutes of Dad time.
5. Feather Duster
A feather duster has many uses, both for an Adult (Easy!) and a Child.
For my son, it is mostly a pink, fluffy sword. It has also made an appearance a magic wand before falling back to its default role – a cleaning device! That’s right; he likes to use it as a cleaning device!
When this happens, you really need to take advantage of it and get them cleaning walls and doors! Make it fun; believe it or not, they actually like cleaning when it is fun.
When your partner comes home, tell her you did it. Win-win.
Basically, kids get bored of their tools one day, and the next, they love them. Repeat that daily.
Kids enjoy the household items above (mine at least) enjoy (almost) every time!
You are likely already to have most of the items on this page. You MAY NOT know how entertaining they are to kids.
By the way, these household items are safe enough for toddlers over 3 years old. I would not recommend giving a baby a padlock. For a start, they are unlikely to find it that interesting. We have tips on how to make sure your house is toddler-proof. Everyone needs a safe house to play in!
Good luck with your Daddy Daycare!