Keep Kids Busy for 30 Minutes with a Simple Item EVERYONE Should Have

Have you ever just let your kids play with water… inside? Keep kids busy with these simple ideas.

I swear, my kids are so entertained by water. I think the concept of bringing something that is normally played with outside (hose, pool, beach, water table, etc) inside, makes them feel like they are doing something naughty.

simple hack to entertaining a toddler inside

I have a bamboo floor in my office so clean up is a breeze when minor inevitable spills occur. But I usually keep a towel close by. ;)

Here are my top indoor water entertainment ideas for kids:

  • When it’s cold bring snow inside and put it in a bowl. Let them make mini-snowmen, snowcones, or let them put their tiny plastic characters in a bowl of snow as if they are making tiny snow angels.
  • Fill up a bucket of water, or maybe consider putting ice in it for sensory play. My kids love making their characters “dive” in the bucket, or giving baby dolls baths.
  • Nervous about a big bucket tipping? Consider just a little bit of water in a baking pan. Put it on the floor for an inside puddle kids can splash in, or float foam letters (the dollar store has these), flower petals, or small pieces of paper on top. Try to fish them out or sink them using various items like pipe cleaners, or other foam pieces attached to string for a magnetizing effect.
  • This may be obvious, but I set up a giant tea party for lunch time sometimes… complete with all the healthy fixens for lunch (grilled chicken, olives, carrot sticks, hummus, crackers, etc.), and then I let the kids pour their own water. Since the 1 year old still hasn’t had much practice with a cup, it’s good motor skill development for her. Let’s face it the 4 year old can still use some practice. They are more likely to eat healthy foods during a tea party because they usually decide to get all dolled up in dress-up clothes before the party gets started. This doubles the amount of time they are entertained for during lunch, which doubles the amount of time that I get done during this precious time.
  • Go for a nature walk outside, gather acorns, rocks, bark, leaves, and other small but dense objects.
  • If your baby is small enough, put water on the high chair table and teach them to splash. After a while, toss them a cloth and let them clean up.  We LOVE Marley’s Monsters for stuff like this.
  • Tattoos. Are. So. Cheap. I set up a mini tattoo studio and let the girls take turns applying tattoos to each other. Sometimes I end up with a full-sleeved toddler, and I am 100% ok with it. I make them count while they apply the tattoos and that teaches them to be still and patient for that time, and reinforces the numbers (especially for the little one who’s still learning). Just a simple bucket and clean sponge does the trick. They even apply them to some of their dolls who’s skin accepts the transfers well.

These hacks come in great when I need a good 20-30 minute session to get a rush job done, and I really don’t mind the clean up (my floor probably needs the mop any way).