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what to do with a toddler?

So I will have the two (almost three) year old I babysit all day tomorrow and most of Thurs. as her regular daycare is closed all week for vacation.

I am trying to come up with ideas to keep the kid entertained very inexpensively. The theater is showing free movies in the morning- but is she too young for this? She has been to movies before with mom and brother, so maybe be ok? If not, what other ideas do you have?

Thurs will be fine, as Dh has "mandatory fun day" at the company, so we will go to that.

Please no flames- but I really am at a loss. I can manage a couple hours, but trying to fill a whole day...I need some ideas.

Thanks ladies

Re: what to do with a toddler?

  • Do you have a pool around with a little one play area?  Zoo? Library story hour?  Just a nice park you could go to?  What about baking something fun?  My kids love to be the ones to pour everything in and help mix.  Maybe find a play doh recipe you could make and then play with it later.  Finger paint with pudding?  Go to the car wash?  One of our favs.
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  • No worries! My niece is around that age so maybe I can help. Its easier for me to babysit her though, because she can play with DD, they get along really well.

    The movie she should be ok at, just make sure you dont take her around naptime. (If she normally takes one) Cranky, tired kids will not sit still for a movie. You can always pop in a movie at home too.

    If its nice outside, maybe take her to a park? Or bake cookies for her to take home?

    Thats all the ideas I have right now...


    Peanut butter Play Doh! Its fun for them to make and edible ( as long as she has no allergies to peanut butter obviously) Kids love it!

  • My 2 1/2 yo does great at the movies. She does like to eat the entire time, so I usually sneak a few good for you things in my purse.  I let her get the pop corn.  She loves it. 

    Ava loves to go grocery shopping.  She loves to help me get the items we need.  If you need to go, take her with you and make it a fun game. 

    Go by the dollar store and grab some coloring books and crayons, bubbles, and other fun things.  You could go for a walk.  You could go to the library.  Have a picnic in your back yard or at the park.  If you go to the park, make sure you check that the equiptment isn't too hot.  My son suffered a second degree burn when he was playing on the playground at school.  He grabbed the chains on the swing set and they were way too hot.


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  • Hmm... I know the boys love to "cook". We make all sorts of things and they love to be "helpers". Pretty simple really make pancakes for b-fast and let them stir the batter, make some cookies and let them scoop out the balls... etc.

    Bubbles are always a hit with the toddler set. You can buy a plastic kiddy pool for about $10 at wal-mart or a fun sprinkler will work wonders as well.

     Ask her parents to send over a few books (that she doesn't read all the time) so it will be something quiet to do before nap time.

    If you are brave --- finger paint is always fun and since it is summer you could work on something outside. L (my 2.5 yo) loves sidewalk chalk as well.

    Ummm... and have her parents give you a couple of movies that she likes incase she is having a tired day and not really in the best mood. She will be able to have some quiet time and re-energize.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  • DS is nearly 3 too (3 in aug).  They are at a great age in that simple things keep them busy and happy and they can still understand basic instructions.  Check out the crafty crow blog (google for site addy - can't remember it offhand).  They have a ton of awesome ideas with cheap/basic supplies.  Homemade playdough, decorations for the 4th, paintings, etc.

    You can google any topic the child is into and find free coloring pages to print off for them to color.  Schedule in some quiet time maybe after playing outside or at the pool.  Have them decorate their own pizza with toppings for dinner.  Easy peasy ;)  Have fun!

  • The movie idea is good. DD is almost 3 and she does good at the movies, she eatsthe whole time also. Park idea is also good. Also there are some sites that tiy can print free colorin pages and have the color. DD loves to dance so i put music and we dance around, tires her out too.
  • Thanks for all the suggestions ladies! I think we will be going to the library in the morning. They usually have a "grandmother" there weekday mornings who reads and does crafts with the kids. If she isn't there, we can spend some time reading by ourselves. I do have a few errands, so we can spend some time on those as well. I go to her house to watch the kids every day, but this is the first time it's for an all day (and night).
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