Top 10 Ways to Entertain a Toddler (Without Costing You Anything)
“Do you like my hat?” In which you put random household objects and/or
toys that are not hats on your head and ask in a very silly voice, “Do
you like my hat?!”
Optional: Pretend the object has fallen off
of your head and proclaim, “Oh no, my hat!” and encourage the tiny human
to run after and retrieve your hat and put it back on your head.
As the tiny human attempts to reach up and put your hat back on, tickle
their armpit. Not always, but sometimes, so they never know when it’ll
happen and wind up laughing preemptively every time.
2.) Sing the alphabet until none of the letters sound like letters to you anymore.
Count down from 5 with your fingers. When you reach 1 shout, “Blast
off!” and make your index finger shoot towards the ceiling.
Optional: Fly your finger around the room making rocket noises.
Get the child to run up and down the hallway (this is usually easier
than it sounds). Start hiding behind corners, furniture, and doors
without them seeing. When they run by pop out and say, “Peek-a-boo!”
Optional: Tickle them when you pop out.
5.) Throw a blanket over their head, ask repeatedly “Where’s (their name)?”
until they reveal themselves from under the blanket and then say, as if
surprised, “Oh! There’s (their name)!” Cover them back up and start
over. Eventually they’ll start covering themselves up and that’s much
funnier/cuter because they’re terrible at it and you can usually still see them.
children’s books until you know them by heart. Ones that rhyme are
really easy to remember. Forever. You’ll take that book to your grave.
When in doubt offer snacks and/or beverage. Don’t over-do juice or
you’ll regret it. There will be poop. Too much poop. Your life will
become poop. Respect juice. It is toddler ambrosia, they will drink it
nonstop all day if you let them.
8.) Diapers are easier to
change when songs are involved. Don’t know any? Just make some up,
they’ll have no idea. Turn a regular song into a kid’s song by replacing
random words with their name or character’s/toys they like. Clap your
hands, bob your head, act like you’re the best at this even if you can’t
hit the notes.
9.) Watch music videos on YouTube. I have
no idea why, but lots of babies are mesmerized by music on the computer
monitor. Bass is a bonus. Woodkid is a great staple because his music
sounds epic and his videos are engaging, but his lyrics are never
inappropriate so you won’t anger any parents.
10.) Take a
walk. Let them collect rocks, leaves, sticks, etc. Act like they’ve
found something truly amazing every time they show you a thing. Point
out the sky. Sometimes that’ll enrapture them for five or more minutes.