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Friday, May 7, 2010

Ways to Entertain a Toddler and a 7 year old

I'm constantly struggling with how to entertain both kids at the same time. One was an only child for 6 years, and the other for my purposes is really still a baby. They both want ALL of my attention. And I know others struggle with this too, particularly when their interests are so varied, their skill levels are so different, etc. The other day, my daughter wanted to play hide-and-seek and I was cooking dinner. So she decided to involve her younger brother. How, might you ask, did she get a 15-month-old to find her? By stringing his pacifier on her jump rope, and pulling it behind her. He loved it. And while the germ aspect of that had me running to wash the pacifier before he put it in his mouth, it got me thinking. What all can I do to entertain them at once, so noone feels left out?

So I came up with a list of 7 things to entertain two kids of any age:

1.) Dance. They'll both love it. If you do it with them, you're getting free exercise.
2.) Let them help cook. The toddler can stir something, like flour and water, even if you don't actually cook it, they'll think they are helping. The 7 year old should be able to cook just about anything with supervision.
3.) Anything with water. Turn on the sprinkler. Let them water plants. Give them a bath or "swimtime" in the tub with toys.
4.) Beanbag toss, basketball (short goal) or anything that involves tossing something into something. They can both try, the toddler can carry the item over, and everyone gets applause.
5.) Hide and Seek. An adult or other child needs to accompany the toddler for safety reasons. Even if the toddler doesn't grasp the concept fully, he or she will surely love the discovery aspect of the game.
6.) Go to the playground.
7.) Make an indoor tent. Take chairs, couches, tables, and drape blankets or sheets over them. Crawl inside for a great playtime with any age kid!

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