Everyone knows that a 2-year old has the attention span of a gnat. Keeping your toddler engaged in an activity for longer than 2.8 seconds is a miracle This makes it extremely difficult to catch up on
emails housework when I would prefer that the Littlest Brewster entertain herself. Somehow, we’ve stumbled upon two activities that will keep her occupied for the precious, precious minutes we need to get stuff done.
First up is the app Coloring Farm. Now, those of you who know me know that I am not a fan of shoving my kid in front of a TV or a tablet for hours on end. So this is actually a special treat that the Littlest Brewster and I do together for a max of 15 minutes, usually once a week ((We save a lot of things as weekend treats. Saturday is usually Color Moo Moo day and Sunday night is the night we get to watch Frosty the Snowman again. Because who doesn’t want to see that one more time?)). We normally set up the timer on the iPad together and I stress that when it goes off, LB’s turn with “Color Moo Moo” (as she calls it) is over. However, if I let her, LB would play with this app for hours.
There’s a free version and a $2.99 version of this app. We used the free one for quite a while before I decided to bite the bullet and spring for the upgrade. It’s a difference of 4 or 5 pages to “color” versus 10 or 12 pages.
The premise of the app is this: a picture of a farm scene comes up, your child touches various parts to “color” them in, and as they do so, additional elements of the picture are revealed.
If your kid is taking too long, a bouncing pig icon comes up where they should touch next. We have a lot of fun “chasing the piggy.” Additionally, you can incorporate some learning elements into this if you wanted to – for example, the picture below has 3 sets of 5 apples to color, making it a good one for counting practice.
I just noticed that they have a princess version of this app as well, which we may have to try out. If you’re looking for a good free/cheap app that’ll keep your toddler entertained, give this one a try.
The next activity is one that I have no qualms letting LB play for hours. Bonus: it’s something she can and will do all by herself, so that I can make dinner or have an adult conversation with my husband. I found this totally by accident at a local garden center of all places, but I saw them today at Target so I know they’re available other places too. ((And before you say anything, it was a totally legitimate trip to Target for household items. I didn’t buy a single extraneous item. Scout’s honor.))
The Melissa & Doug Water Wow consists of a book of 4 pages and a special “pen” that you fill up with tap water. When your toddler paints the pages with water, additional images appear. The Littlest Brewster has had one of these books for 3 or so weeks now and she is still desperately in love with it.
The only issues we’ve had with this toy are 1) it does require a little patience to wait for the pages to dry so you can color them again and 2) if you press ridiculously hard (as LB is wont to do), you can scratch off the “magic coating” that disappears when wet, leaving streaks/marks on the page even after it’s colored. Neither of those is that big of a deal and I can say that we’ve definitely gotten our $4.99 worth of entertainment already. We got the animal one first and she loves finding the butterflies and whatnot hidden behind the magic coating. And LB is obsessed with fire trucks lately, so I’m very excited that I found the vehicle one pictured above at Target as it has a whole fire truck page. ((And that was a totally necessary, not extraneous in the least, Target purchase.))
If you’re looking for ways to keep your little one occupied either at home or out and about, give these two options a try.