How to Get Your Toddler out of Your Hair

Okay, not really, lol, but I know every mother has those days when they are at their wit’s end and just need a few minutes of semi-peace (if not quiet).  Here are six sensory-rich, gloriously messy and highly-entertaining activities sure to keep your kids occupied for a good 30 minutes or more.  So sit back with a cup of coffee, try not to worry about the mess (most of these activities are pretty quick to clean up, just have a few rag towels handy for a wipe down and maybe a hose to spray off your kid afterward) and let the hilarity of these activities entertain you.


Toddler Activities | Cooking with WaterSpacer

Cooking with Water

You will need:

  • water
  • liquid soap
  • a variety of bowls, cups, scoops and funnels
  • stirring instruments such as spoons, whisks, spatulas, . . .

Fill a large bowl with warm, sudsy water and set it out with all sorts of cooking instruments.  Let your kid go to town!  If you do this activity indoors, just lay a few large towels on the floor to catch the spillage.  Bathing suits are a good wardrobe option for this one.  As soap is involved in this activity, most everything should be clean at the end, so just give it all a quick rinse afterward, lay out to dry and you’re good to go!

Toddler Entertainment | Cooking with Water

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Toddler Activity | Sensory Play with RiceSpacer

Sensory Play with Rice

You will need:

  • a basin or large bowl
  • a couple bags of rice (or bird seed)
  • spoons, scoops, funnels, cups, toy trucks, sand toys, anything that your child might enjoy messing about with in the rice, . . .

This one is so fun, even I enjoy getting my hands in the rice on occasion.  There is something so satisfying about rolling the rice grains between one’s palms and hearing the splatter as a cupful is poured out; no wonder it’s a hit with most children!

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Preschool Sensory Activity | Shaving Cream ExcavationSpacer

Shaving Cream Excavation

You will need:

  • a basin
  • a couple cans of shaving cream
  • large stones or other items to bury in the shaving cream
  • bowls for collecting the stones
  • spatulas and large spoons for scooping
  • paint brushes, small rags, bowls of water and spray bottle for cleaning the stones

For this activity, you’re going to give your child a basin full of shaving cream with objects hidden in the foam (I used large stones).  The objective is for your child to find and remove the stones and clean them off with the water and brushes.  However, kids will do as they will and, as the two littles in these photos did, they may come up with their own activity.  In the case of the little girl, she had a blast just transferring the stones from basin, to ground, to bowl, to ground, to bowl, . . . LOL.  And the big guy went in a whole other direction (which was so much fun, I’ve included it later on in this list)!  Definitely do this one outdoors and have a hose handy for clean up!

Toddler Sensory Activities | Shaving Cream Excavation

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Play clothes required!



SpacerSpacerPreschooler Activities | Soap Bottle FunSpacer

Soap Bottle Fun

You will need:

  • empty soap bottle
  • water
  • liquid soap

So as I mentioned in the previous activity, this kid has his own idea of a good time.  He got a hold of this soap bottle and had an absolute blast seeing how far the streams of water would go when he squeezed it or jumped on it.  Then he got into a water war with his mother, haha!  It was a ton of fun to watch him play with the bottle!  Fill it up with plain water and add a little soap or bubble bath for some froth.

Toddler Activities | Soap Bottle Fun

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Preschool Play | Painting with WaterSpacer

Painting with Water

You will need:

  • a basin
  • water
  • paintbrushes
  • paint roller
  • squirt bottle
  • empty soap container

This activity is low mess and great fun!  Fill a basin with water and give your child a large paintbrush or paint roller.  Your child can paint pictures on the sidewalk and then watch the painting disappear!  He can also spritz or squirt designs on the sidewalk with the spray bottle or soap container.  Just watch out because if your child is anything like this cheeky monkey, you may end up as the canvas of some of his artwork!

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SpacerSpacerSpacerSpacerShaving Cream Sensory PlaySpacer

Shaving Cream Play

You will need:

  • a couple cans of shaving cream
  • cookie sheets
  • salt
  • wide tooth comb, toy cars, spoons, ice-cream cones, small bowls of water
  • anything else that might be fun to play with shaving cream

Spray some shaving cream onto a cookie sheet and see what your child does with it!  They can make tracks through the shaving cream by driving toy cars through it, use the comb to create patterns in the cream, fill the ice-cream cones and open up a pretend ice-cream shop, mix with the water and see what happens . . . .  To change it up, pour some salt into the cream.  It makes a great texture!

Preschool Sensory Activity | Shaving Cream

Toddler Sensory Activity | Shaving Cream