Kids Won’t Play With Toys? 10 Ways To Keep Them Busy

busy
Photo by Kiana Keys

Do your kids need to stay busy? If your your house is anything like mine, you have 10 toy-boxes, filled to the brim, and your kids won’t play with anything in there! Who knows what treasures are even buried toward the bottom, we haven’t seen them in years! My kids seem much more interested in other household items and activities we call “projects.”  Here are 10 ways you can keep your kids occupied so mama can sneak in a little “me-time“:

  1.  Playing with pots and pans. First make sure there is nothing dangerous around that can cause injury, then spread out your pots and pans on the kitchen floor.  Kids love playing with these items, as they are loud and obnoxious.  But they keep them busy, which makes me happy!  I even toss them a few of my wooden spoons and listen to their beautiful (ear-numbing) duet!  Due to the loud nature, unfortunately this activity can only last about 15 minutes or so until I intervene and call it quits.
  2. Washing dishes.  When the kids get bored, I’ll make a half-full sink of soapy water and toss in a few cups of theirs. After placing towels around the base of the sink, I’ll let them stand in a chair and wash away. They hum to themselves, make up interesting stories, and have a ball!
  3. Washing their toys. Same scenario as number 2, except they clean their own toys.  Kills 2 birds with one stone!
  4. Living Room Picnic. One of my kids’ favorite activities is having a mock picnic in the living room. I will spread a blanket on the floor and grab some boxed items out of my kitchen pantry. This activity helps to develop their imagination and role-playing skills as they pretend to picnic at a park.
  5. Folding. Blankets, towels, anything actually. For some reason, the folding and unfolding of items holds their attention for an incredible length of time!
  6. Stacking. My 2-year old loves to stack items of all kind.  I’ll look in my closet or pantry and see what I have to stack.  Soap boxes, soup cans, spices, pull-ups…if its stack-able, it will keep him busy.
  7. Playing in my jewelry box. My 4 year-old girl loves to explore mommy’s jewelry box.  It will keep her busy for an hour as she sorts through the array of necklaces, bracelets and accessories.  She loves to look in the mirror and showcase her creative ensembles.
  8. Sorting hair accessories. My 4-year-old girl’s hair caboodle can always use a good sorting.  I will toss out all of the scrunchies, barrettes, bows, and hairpins and have her divide them into piles to place back into the compartments. This usually buys me a solid 30 minutes!
  9. Organizing books. When I need a quick go-to project, I will dump an entire shelf of books onto the floor. The kids take turns neatly putting them back onto the shelf, small books on one end and large books on the other.
  10. Pairing socks  When all else fails and I’ve run out of ideas, I’ll dump the kids’ sock drawers on the floor and tell them to pair the matches. Excitedly, they sift through all the colors to find the mates.  It’s like a real-life game of Memory!  Furthermore, when the activity is done, you can toss all those old socks that lost mates ages ago. One less chore for me and it will keep them busy!

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Author
I am a career-driven mother of 3 dedicated to the health, spiritual, and emotional well-being of moms.

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