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Monday, March 07, 2011

Entertainment for The Boy

Everyone knows that the key to keeping a toddler (or child or teen) out of trouble is to keep them busy. If you don’t provide constructive activities, they’ll find something themselves to occupy their time – and it’s not always desirable…

I just want to share a few things we’ve been up to lately to keep Bradley occupied for a few minutes here and there while I do housework:

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First, the old stand-by where you  build a tent from a card table and a (rather raggedy, but I love it) blanket. We piled sofa pillows inside and snuggled up to watch Dinosaur Train for a few minutes. He would lay his head on the pillow and fake-snore, then giggle. :o)

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Now this activity might not be for everyone, because, yes, we did vacuum quite a lot of this dyed rice off the floor, but let me tell you, he LOVES this. I used a two pound bag of plain white rice, liquid food coloring, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar. You just mix either 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol or vinegar with the food coloring and the rice. I let the rice sit in the dye mixture for several hours, until it had soaked up most of the liquid. Then I let it dry on paper towels overnight before storing in jars. You can see I also left a bit of it white.

Of course, by the time we cleaned up and put it away, the colors were all mixed up and now we have a jar of beautiful rainbow rice. That’s okay – he’s more into the whole scooping and dumping and pouring thing right now. I will confess that he tried one bite of the rice and promptly spit it out. Didn’t try that again.

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These are stickers made into magnets to use on the magnetic whiteboard that hangs on the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We have whiteboard crayons, too, so we drew an ocean and beach for the fish and sea-life to play in. (Fortunately, Bradley doesn’t mind my rudimentary artwork…)

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The stickers are part of a package from Dollar General that were priced at just $1. They’re plastic and kind of “bubbly” and have held up well to Bradley’s carrying them around and wanting to bend them. I stuck them to black scrapbook cardstock, cut them out, then stuck them onto a sheet magnet and cut them out again. Lots of cutting, but that’s what made them sturdy. He says “fish”, and when I ask which is the crab, and which is the turtle, he knows those, too. The seahorse is a bit difficult, because he knows what a horse is, and this doesn’t look like one! :o)

So these things help keep him busy and me sane. Totally worth any effort to put them together. There are lots more fun things to come as he grows!

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