You know how new parents say cute and adorable things like – “My child will *never* get screentime” or “My kids are gonna eat no processed or fast foods until they’re ____ years old”…? Yup, that was once me! 😂 I laugh now looking back on little naive me. Now, Paw Patrol is my daughter Isla’s most favorite thing! She’ll put the remote in my hands and say “Rubble! Rubble!” (her favorite character) until I give in and turn it on. Limited screentime? Never heard of her.
Now, if you’re in the same boat I’ve been in lately, don’t feel bad! There has been a global pandemic going on, and frankly a little extra cartoons are not that high on the list of things you need to be worrying about. Glennon Doyle posted a hilarious Instagram post on this that I think every mom needs to watch. (Read it here)
With that being said, I also like to do things outside and play with her, and I do want to make sure she doesn’t turn into a total TV zombie. Hearing her little giggle when we do something fun together makes my heart MELT! If you’re looking for some ideas on non-screen time related things to do with your kiddos this summer, here’s a list of some things we have enjoyed!
This splash mat has been such a hit in my house! I went to Target one day looking for a blow up pool, and they were sold out. I saw this sitting on the shelf and thought I’d give it a try instead. That was the best decision! My daughter Isla has had so much fun playing on this, and it’s even better that they can play in the water and you don’t have to worry about them possibly drowning! It’s like a slip and slide, and sprays water out one side onto the top. But, it’s also filled with water like a giant water bed so it’s also softer to land and play on!
Highly, highly, recommend this one! They might be hard to find in store, so I’ll leave the link here!
I found this Instagram page a while back, and Myriam has SUCH good ideas of activities to do with kids! She also has options for a wide range of ages, so no matter what age your kiddos are there should be something for them there! I’ve made cloud dough, colored rice for sensory play, and made play dough off of inspiration from her page. The play dough was the biggest hit so far! Isla loved it! Definitely go give her a follow!
Here’s her page!
Painting is something I recently discovered that Isla LOVES! Every time she sees the bucket of paints she gets so excited! We were actually at a friends house when her daughter went and got her art supplies out. They asked if Isla wanted to paint too, and I said no at first. I thought “she’s too young for that”, but I should’ve known better than to put limits on my girl! She had so much fun and it kept her busy for a long time! It is a bit messy, so make sure to set your kiddos up in a place where they can be somewhat contained and use only washable paint. Here’s the kind I bought her!
Cooking is another one that I didn’t immediately consider as an activity to do together, but was surprised by how much she loved it! A lot of times while doing day to tasks I think it would be easier to just do something myself, and that is something I am trying to change. It’s so much fun for kids to join you and feel helpful, and memories are always worth more than messes in my opinion! I was actually really surprised at how Isla stood so still and helped me and really listened when I was explaining what we were doing. She didn’t end up liking what we made though! 😅 We were making broccoli tater tots here and she took one bite and spit it out. Gotta sneak those veggies in another way!
If the idea of painting makes you sweat a little bit, don’t worry! Chalk is another fun option and makes considerably less mess. This is a fun one because it’s something you can do together, and can just hose off the ground if you want it gone! Isla and I have decorated our driveway many many times, and it can keep her busy for quite a while (mom win!). This is also a good opportunity to teach your kids about colors! I am still working on this with Isla but she has picked up a lot over the course of us doing this together.
I hope this has been helpful in coming up with some ideas to keep your kids busy and entertained! Let me know if you try any of these out yourself! 😂