The weather was amazing in New England a few weeks ago and we got spoiled. It quickly went back to a regular Boston spring which equals cold and sometimes rainy. It sucks. A huge portion of how I feel on any given day is directly related to the sunshine and temperature. If I feel cooped up in the house for days on end, I know my 2.5 year old is feeling the same way. We are fairly lax with the tv but seriously, there is only so long it can hold your attention (even if kids shouldn't really be watching it but whatever, I need to take a shower and get things done). So, today I decided to do my best to bust us our of the boredom with little to no effort.
First we made binoculars. Someone on tv had binoculars and Coraline wanted some so, I made them. I grabbed an empty paper towel roll from the every growing really should be taken out recycling. Cut it in half, duct taped the two halves together. Done and done. Coraline loves it. It took me 5 minutes. It has been at least an hour of fun.
Second we made frozen yogurt pops. I'm not a huge fan of ice cream or sweets, nothing against them, just not a fan personally. Coraline has cookies and ice cream and what ever, once in a while but when she gets on a kick and starts asking for something, it can get annoying trying to entice her with something healthier. She has been asking for ice cream every since the warm weather struck, not sure why it took me so long to come up with this gem.
If you have a toddler or child in your house, you need an ice pop maker. It is cheap and awesome. We have the one pictured above from Ikea, it was $1.99. I mean, come on, that is a deal. We definitely had this when I was a kid, probably a Tupperware version.
You can fill this with anything to make ice pops. It is simple. Juice works well for a more icey pop. But this morning we used yogurt, because we have a ton of yogurt and yogurt goes bad. 10 minutes of fun while Coraline helped me spoon the yogurt into the cups. We even layered flavors, because we are fun like that. Word to the wise, if your child is a toddler and you want them to help you fill the cups, line up a second activity first. They are going to be super freaking excited about the ice cream they just made and they don't understand that you have to wait for it to freeze.
Third we made a sensory box with beans and rice. I just dumped dried beans and rice into one of those plastic shoe boxes, gathered various cups, measuring spoons, and what not from the kitchen and let Coraline go crazy. I did lay a blanket on the floor (after I took the picture) and she played in that, so when she was done, the mess was just on the blanket. She stayed there for about 30 minutes while I did housework. When she lost her enthusiasm, I took small objects from around the house and hid them in the box. She had a great time seeing all the things she could pull out.
This was only a morning of activities but sometimes a morning is a life saver!