There really is nothing like a day with a toddler. Those of you who already have one know that it can go from peachy and enjoyable to a complete disaster in the blink of an eye. What’s hilarious (and terrifying all at the same time) is that there can seemingly be absolutely no trigger to change the mood from great to nuclear disaster.
We’ve all been there. Toddler JIm/Jane/Jack/Jen is melting down and you’re at the end of your rope. You’re a good parent (or at least you are trying to be), and so you have that basic want; to save your child from their tantrum. Well, here’s a list of activities that you can start to bring them back. For those of us at Kids Fun Channel, we’ve found these to be highly effective at stopping the explosion and rendering the ordinance largely inert (whoa…those are some big words). Without any further adieu, here are ten ideas to get you back to having a wonderful day:
10. Break Out The Play-Doh
There’s nothing like Play-Doh to stop a kid in their freaking out tracks. There’s just something about inviting them over to the table as you open up those colorful jars and start building a dragon, puppy, house, or car that makes them pick themselves up off the floor.
You don’t even have to be as talented as the picture above (which is way beyond me). If you can squish a ball of dough into something that resembles a car, you can get that kid hooked, and fast!
Extra Bonus Points: Break out the kitchen utensils…at least the safe ones!
9. Make Cookies
Not only is there a cookie for you at the end of this proverbial rainbow, but your toddler will almost immediately stop losing his/her poop. This is especially effective if you start asking what they want to put in the cookies. It will more than likely be sprinkles and pickles, but hey…pick your battles and just save yourself a cookie that tastes reasonably good. You won’t be able to make them perfectly, and they might have lumps, but your toddler will stop ripping down the walls.
Need some recipes? Here you go….https://www.pinterest.com/explore/toddler-cookies/
Extra Bonus Points: Let the little person decorate said cookies with sprinkles!
8. Turn on the Tube, and Get Some Wine
Hey, I didn’t say this list would just be for the kids! A little wine never hurt anyone, so go ahead and indulge as you click on the TV, bring up YouTube and head straight into something the child will love. Songs, nursery rhymes, monster trucks, toy unboxing, and/or surprise eggs will all catch the attention of a grief-stricken toddler and convert them into zombies just long enough for you to catch your breath and down that glass of wine. Ahhh, liquid sanity!
Need some quick links to what we’re talking about?
Extra Bonus Points: Find a series like ours with educational or learning value!
7. Water + Cornstarch
Need I say more?
The funny thing about this stuff is that it’s actually not that messy. The even funnier thing about this stuff is I still can’t tell if it’s a solid or a liquid…and I’m not sure I care. I’ve honestly never seen anything with more toddler-attention-staying-power than this activity. You add fun with everything you add to this mess too. From toy cars, to jars, to giant bowls, to play-doh cutters, to mom and dad’s hands, this one is just fun from start to finish.
Extra Bonus Points: If you dare…some washable paint in the water before you mix.
6. Get a Giant Box, Add Markers and Stickers!
They’re screaming, they’re freaking out, and they’re losing their noodle…until you drop them in a box and draw a little on the side of a box. Now, you obviously have to pick your spots here and you can’t drop them into a box when they’re absolutely beside themselves. However, if they’re just nearing the point of losing it or starting to calm down, you definitely have an opportunity here.
Drop them in, strip them down, hand them colored washable markers, and let them go to town. You can even head back to that wine fridge again and by the time you’re two drinks in, they’ll be red, blue, and green and loving life. Throw in some of their favorite character stickers and you have a recipe for hours of good fun!
Extra Bonus Points: Strip them down and show them that they can draw on their own skin. Oh man that turns out well. Plus, you get a bath out of the deal and that’s just another 20 minutes of downtime for you and your wine.
Double the Bonus Points: Throw in tissue paper – nothing that cuts naked little people!
5. You Don’t Need More Than a Balloon, Silly
Get a balloon. Hit it up in the air. Let them go until the tears are dry. Repeat.
Extra Bonus Points: Get a stick you’re not personally afraid of and hand it to your excited toddler. Watch out for flying sticks!
4. Build That Couch Fort You’ve Always Wanted
If you were like me, you always tried to build those couch forts and rarely succeeded at anything more than a blanket on a couple pillows. Then, with your head buried inside the fort and as you were getting hot, you’d move and your fort would fall over.
Fix that already! Live your dream! Build the fort to end all forts!
You have extra parent skills now; you can build forts with things like chairs (that won’t fall on anyone’s head); you can add in blankets from all over the house; you can add in toys, tables, dogs, cats, dinner, and even one of those tents you’ve inevitably purchased for your child. Maybe you’ll even finally get some use out of that little diddy.
Extra Bonus Points: Bring a tablet, set it on a stand and enjoy a TV show. Dress appropriately for the sweating you’ll be doing shortly.
3. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200. Go Directly to the Park.
Grab shoes, a shirt, a hat, and a jacket and get out the door. Don’t pack up the house. Just get going. Grab your little screaming munchkin and tell them you’re going to the park. Once you’re there, get them into the sandbox and act like the crazy flamingo you are! Start throwing sand (hopefully not at other kids…) and acting like a 2 year old in a candy factory. Touch everything, scream, squawk, and fall all over the place.
It’ll just take a little craziness.
Extra Bonus Points: Fill your own shoes with sand in front of them. They’ll never be clean again, but they’ll just start laughing and join in immediately.
2. Dance, Dance, Revolution.
Keep a children’s playlist on your tablet and/or phone (it makes for a lot of fun at that next party too…turn it on while pretending that you have a great new song to show your friends). It’ll save you the next time they’re spinning on the ground like Homer on the Simpsons (whoop, whoop, whoop!).
As soon as you get that great music going, start dancing like you’re back in high school and three sheets to the wind (if you actually need the wine, see numbers 6 and 8). Your child will immediately take notice and likely will stop crying immediately. If not, get crazier…and crazier until they do. Drive the music level higher until you can’t hear the whining and it’ll soon be gone (or you won’t care anyways).
Extra Bonus Points: There’s nothing like a disco ball or dancing lights. Just make sure they’re not the LED or laser kind that causes blindness, please.
Extra Extra Bonus Points: Darken the room and get flashlights. Heck, get black lights.
1. Hug them
Yes, it’s likely that your tiny toddler has no good reason (from your perspective) to cry and scream. It’s also likely that you’re at the end of your rope. The fact is, they’re struggling with something and the closer you are to them, the more likely all of these activities will work in the future.
Grab that muffin butt and give them a big hug. Ask them what’s wrong, and ask them what they need. If they can’t speak, show them a few things you know they like and you’ll see that instantaneous switch that toddlers can do to fun and laughter. After you do this a few times, you’ll see how few times you have to comfort them for things like this.
Well, that concludes our Top 10 Fun Toddler Activities To Bring Toddlers Back From A Meltdown. For those of us at Kids Fun Channel, we hope it’s been at least somewhat amusing, if not useful at some sick and twisted level. At worst, it’s put the idea of drinking into your head…and that’s not half bad.
Until next time,