I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – working from home as I run my photography business is impossible…especially with this tiny little dictator who only eats bread and yells at me to get off the computer. As I sit here simultaneously teaching homeschool in two languages and trying to edit client’s images, being a parent right now is NOT FOR THE WEAK.
Since COVID-19 has us on lockdown, I’ve assembled some toys we’ve HEAVILY relied on over the past few months to get us through the LONG days. These are best geared for the 2-4 age range, but honestly, my 7.5 year old loves this stuff just as much as my 3 year old.
- Kinetic Sand. Pretty much the best thing ever invented. Easily sucked up by a vacuum cleaner and doesn’t get everywhere (you know, ‘cuz it’s kinetic)….this box keeps it organized, and it never dries out. It’s a great indoor toy, and I DON’T LIKE A MESS — so you know it’s legit.
- Water Wow by Melissa and Doug. Tiny little pen you fill with water, and pictures show up. They do it in a “search and find” format, so it can be just a color the pages thing, or an eye-spy type situation, depending on the skill of the kiddo. We have four of these at all times. As a bonus, your child can drink some water from the pen and stay hydrated all day. #momhack
- Reusable puffy stickers are my 3.5 year old daughter’s favorite, another big win by Melissa and Doug. These things keep my kiddo entertained for 40 minutes at a time. (Which equates to 2 years in quarantine time). These were essential for when we traveled places, (REMEMBER THAT??) but they work great in my living room too when I’m trying to catch up on Real Housewives of Atlanta, or manage my 7 year old’s Zoom Conference calls. Sometimes I can’t put on Lion King, so this is what she does.
- WASHABLE WINDOW MARKERS by Crayola. I use these when I’m cooking dinner and the kids color me a pic on the windows around our dinner table…OH and…best thing EVER to give your kids for the car — they can color your car windows while you go on an endless drive to nowhere, because #lockdown.
- Gazillion Bubbles Hurricane Machine. This is the one we have, but if you can’t wait two days til it’s back in stock, this one is shaped like a camera and its FREAKIN’ ADORABLE. Bubbles make everyone feel better.
- Water Mat. Plop ’em down on it and let them make a mess. Because who cares anymore. This puppy has 3400 review of Mom’s obsessing over the awesomeness…we’re big into water here, if ya can’t tell.
- Crayola Scribble Scrubbie. This stupid thing is one of my daughter’s faves. You color the animals, and then wash them in the little tub it comes with. And repeat. Another option, if you’re cheap like me, is to buy the ‘expansion pack’… which is just the animals and markers — and give them a fricken’ cup of water. Another wonderful ALONE activity.
- Bath Crayons. Baths are VERY under utilized, in my opinion. Have an important conference call? BATH. Put them in a bathing suit…and let them scrub. If your kid has a crappy pincer grasp, try these washable paints. Mom hack? I sometimes use washable paint in the bath. Because I hate the soapy-ness of the regular bath paint.
Those are just some of my favorite “leave me alone” activities. As a reminder, I’m an amazon affiliate, which means I’d love it if you’d use these links to purchase! Have something your toddler loves? Let me know in the comments as things get DESPERATE HERE!