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5 easy ways to entertain your toddler without leaving your house

From activity boxes to fun games you can order online

HOUSTON – If you have tweens or teens at home, you're probably well aware of how difficult it is to keep them entertained.

But keeping your littlest ones busy can be even more challenging.

“It can be so difficult to keep our toddlers and little ones engaged during this time since we’re spending so much time at home with them,” said Nina Spears, co-founder and CEO of the popular motherhood and parenting website Baby Chick, who showed us five fun and educational activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

“When you’re stuck at home and you’re trying to figure out what to do, these hopefully will get you through the day,” she said.

To see Spears’s recommendations, watch the video above, or keep reading.

1. SAGO MINI BOX

Get an activity box every month with these new subscription boxes. Perfect for preschoolers.

“They are engaging, entertaining and educational. They encourage open-ended play and discovery with creative hands-on experiences,” said Spears.

For ages: 3 and up

Price: Monthly Plan: $19/month, Annual Plan: $15/month

Promo code: Use code BABYCHICK10 to receive your first Sago Mini Box for just $10

Available: here

2. SEEK-A-BOO

The parent scatters the “Seek me” cards, and the child then roams the room to find a match. Card categories include colors, shapes, animals, foods and toys.

“Great for parents looking for meaningful interaction with their toddlers, ” said Spears.

For ages: 18 months and up

Price: $19.95

Promo code: Use the code HOUSTONLIFE to receive Free Shipping on orders $25 and up. Valid now through August 31.

Available: here

3. BUTTON, BUTTON, BELLY BUTTON

Players work to match a rainbow of button cards and Bear’s belly button cards. It includes a wooden move button to pass at each turn.

“With this game kids can learn color matching, turn-taking, speech and language development, and even vocabulary building,” said Spears.

For ages: 2 and up

Price: $15.95

Promo code: Use the code HOUSTONLIFE to receive free shipping on orders $25 and up. Valid now through August 31.

Available: here

4. MONKEY AROUND

This game contains 40 cards that prompt players to do movements together, from hugs, to high fives, to simple skills like balancing.

“This game is known as the wiggle & giggle game. It’s great your little ones to develop gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, imitating, building vocabulary, and social-emotional skills,” said Spears.

Price: $17.95

Promo code: Use the code HOUSTONLIFE to receive free shipping on orders $25 and up. Valid now through August 31.

Available: here

5. DIY DINO RESCUE SENSORY BIN

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🦕DINO RESCUE🦕 Full disclosure: I'm basically posting this today because I found the included video for it and everyone needs this commentary from a then 2-year-old Matt 😂 I mean, the activity is fantastic but the video really sells it 👏🏻 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👉🏻My youngest, Matt, is now 3 but he's almost always photographed on my feed with a sensory bin❤️ That's because sensory based activities are what Matt loves, they're what holds his attention, and it's been this way since he was 12 months old (no joke). So I tailor activities to fit Matt and what he loves 🥰 Of course he tries other activities and does other things, but I know that Matt loves sensory - so I took that little piece of information about this little friend and I ran with it 🏃🏻‍♀️ ➡️ It's so simple: just a storage container (this is my beloved 28 qt bin from Target), a plastic bowl full of uncooked rice (that is older than Matt), some small dinosaurs, an ice cube tray, and a slotted spoon 🙌🏻 Kids can rescue whatever you have on hand - I went with small dinos 🦕 Matt's goal was to rescue the dinosaurs from the rice and transfer them to safety in the ice cube tray. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ❌”BUT MY CHILD WILL MAKE A MESS!!!"❌ I hear you. Trust me when I hear you that this looks terrifying 😱 It's a bin of mess in front of a child who is prone to making messes 😱 But kids learn. Matt learned. He learned to not eat it (of course he'd sneak a taste - that's why I use taste safe items). He learned to not throw the rice the same way he learned to not throw rice at the dinner table 👏🏻He learned👏🏻 And what I got back from teaching him is hours and hours, days, weeks, years of play from a kiddo who isn't exactly prone to independent play 😉 But he is when it's a sensory bin. So it was worth it for me to teach him 🙌🏻 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you're at all curious how I taught him, what my rules are, why I'm in love with sensory, and how to keep something like this from being a total disaster - watch my IGTV called "Sensory Bin 101” 🤩 OR click into my website via the link in my profile @busytoddler to read about keeping sensory bins tidy, how to introduce them, and why they're important. There's magic in these bins 🤩

A post shared by Susie Allison | Busy Toddler (@busytoddler) on

Great playtime activity. Plus, you can do a sensory bin with items you already have around your house.

“This is an idea from The Busy Toddler’s Instagram page. All you need is a storage container a plastic bowl full of uncooked rice, some small dinosaurs, an ice cube tray, and a slotted spoon. Kids can rescue whatever you have on hand,” said Spears.

To connect with Spears, click here.


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