Tip Tuesday — What to Do with the Chillins

“Seattle? It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle”

~Sleepless in Seattle~

I have a two-year-old (who this week has started telling everyone that she is three. She is not.)

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with her, especially during those long 9 months.

Please to help me.

Here are a couple of suggestions from me to you all, with deepest regards.

1. Water — in buckets, in the sink, in the tub, on the porch, with cups and spoons and dippy, poury things. Water is nice. Water can be cleaned up with towels. Water is also good for drinking….. if it is potable (I love that word). If not, please refer to Bon for suggestions. ***DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME IN YOUR SINK IF THE OVERFLOW DRAINS DIRECTLY INTO THE CUPBOARD UNDERNEATH***

2. Cards — I did not think it was possible to play cards with a toddler until the genius known as Nantie Meg made up a card game to keep Laylee occupied at the beach house this summer.

The Equipment: Deck of Playing Cards
Number of Players: No more than 52
Object of the Game: Find the Joker
The Rules: Each player takes a turn picking a card from the deck (or having it picked for them, depending on their eptness with the opposable thumb). The player then calls out what the card is (or has it called out for them, depending on their eptness with the numbers). Laylee calls them hearts, diamonds, clovers and black hearts. All royalty are queens. I guess some are of the drag variety. All two-digit numbers are ten.
To Win: Pick up the Joker on your turn. Yell, “It’s the JOKER!!! I WIN!!” and jump up and down. Then beg to play again.

Okay, now give me your ideas before I hunt you down and make you play “cards” with me 50 times in one afternoon. I’m serious. I’ll do it. I’m a mutha on the brink!

(Okay, not really, but I’d like some more ideas…..please.)

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15 Responses to Tip Tuesday — What to Do with the Chillins

  1. Kelly says:

    You talked me into it.
    I’ll give a tip… even though I really don’t think I am tip worthy.

    I bought a big old bin from Target. (the kind you keep Christmas decorations in.) Make sure it is big enough to where your child can sit in it pretty comfortably.
    Then I went to Costco and I bought a 50 pound bag of pinto beans.
    I threw the beans in the bin, put some cups, toy cars, spoons (big ones)…
    And VOILA!
    A toy that has kept my kids busy for hours and hours. You just plop the kid(s) in and let ’em go. (You sorta have to supervise though so that the beans don’t overtake your house….)
    I stole this idea from my son’s occupational therapist….
    A life saver for me! Hope it is for you too… (maybe!)

  2. blackbird says:

    I’m so glad this post ISN’T What to Do with the Chitlins, that I am speechless.

    We’ve been researching sausage recipes round here and I have issues.

    There’s the ‘play in an empty box’ game…
    There’s oobleck, but it’s v messy…
    Scavenger hunt?

    Maybe I am just too old for this blog. I haven’t dealt with a two year old in many years.

  3. Sugarmama says:

    Hi, I just found your blog via Moonface’s Midnight Musings. My older daughter is now 7 years old and I truthfully don’t remember at what age she could be entertained by this particular activity. But for about 2 years she could keep herself busy with Scotch tape for a VERY LONG TIME. I just kept it stocked in her art supplies box and she would find endless uses for it. It can be used on paper, it can be used to “sew” clothes for stuffed animals, it can be turned into cat toys, etc. There’s also play-dough, of course, and you can make your own with dryer lint. (I have a recipe around here somewhere.) Can she help you bake? Just some simple muffins or even stirring together some trail mix-y sort of thing? Hope this helps!

  4. Karen says:

    I was going to suggest baking too.
    I sometimes spread a big piece of butcher type paper (or the white side of a roll of ugly wrapping paper)on a hard floor and tape it down. Then I let him draw and scribble huge masterpieces all over it with crayons and stickers. The bathtub is another good time killer, those Crayola tub crayons are fun. Huge cardboard boxes or blanket forts are also endless play for days and days.
    When we get major cabin fever sometimes I just pack them all up and we go for a drive. The change of scenery sometimes goes a long way toward perking us all up. If everyone has been really good we’ll drive through McDonald’s for a little treat. None of these are breakthrough ideas, but they work around our little household.

  5. Its only a one time event but I invited 2 moms with their children over to decorate Christmas sugar cookies.

  6. Karli says:

    I like to get clear contact paper, and tape it sticky side up to a wall or table. You can stick and re-stick feathers, tissue paper, foam shapes, you name it. One year I gave her cut up tissue paper in Valentines-ey colors, then put another piece of contact paper on top, cut it out in heart shapes, and voila! Valentines Day window hangings!

  7. Karen says:

    OOOOOOO, love the contact paper idea! We might try that for Christmas! Thanks Karli!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shaving cream. My mom used to do this for us, and I did it for my preschoolers. Cover a table with a picnic spread — plastic-y blanket thing. Squirt a pile of shaving foam across the table and let her go at it. She can practice making letters…..or just feel the goop for a long time. It’s awesome.

  9. Mom says:

    How about the old paint brush, can and water on the flagstone patio? The flags turn color as they “paint”, but have usually dried out and returned to normal by the time they are finished – thus neccessitating starting the job over. I remember that keeping me occupied for hours as a child, but then some of us are easily amused.

    Have you ever tried filling a ziplock bag with…ketcup, chocolate pudding, mustard, etc.? If you staple the tops together and then duct tape it (to cover the rough side of the staples and reinforce it) it creates finger painting without the mess.

    Sidewalk chalk is a given.

    Blanket tents to read in – especially with a flashlight.

    Any toy that has been put away for a long time always became new and fascinating to my kids.

    My preschool kids loved anything in a bin with measuring stuff.

    Have a great week! I love you the mostest!

  10. bon says:

    “art project” time.
    we have a box FULL of paper and left over die cuts from Grandma. Glue, glitter glue and washable art supplies.

    and safety scissors.

    plus we are very BIG on cake making and decorating. Not so big on eating the darn things, but we take pictures.

    Oh yeah, we also play “SKIP-BO” sort of. We use skip-bo cards and make piles of all the different numbers and colors. That’s also called “find the match.”

  11. Moonface says:

    safety scissors, newspaper and sellotape. makes a hell of mess, but keeps them (quietly) occupied for ages.

    and bubble painting: put a bit of washing up liquid, water and food colouring in a bowl, stick in a drinking straw and blow to make (coloured) masses of bubbles. Scoop off some bubbles from the top and place on paper. It dries, leaving behind a lovely pattern.

  12. These are the best tips EVER! You guys so totally rock. I will be trying most all of these very soon.

  13. Kim C. says:

    I had a friend who let her kids blow bubbles in the house. I thought she was crazy, but after a while we were doing it too. Why not?
    Do get one of those spill-proof holders from wally-world, though, unless you wanna mop up the spills.

    BTW, Kathryn, you really need to go see http://twotalentliving.com/?p=379. You’re one funny girl, and I’m not the only who thinks so. Congrats!

  14. Brooke says:

    Put on a broadway show tunes CD and dance, dance, dance the day away!

  15. M says:


    Two words: Dutch Blitz

    It’s a card game, but you need the special cards. It’s easy enough that I’ve seen 3 year olds play with assistance from an adult. It’s designed for 4 people, but I’ve been involved in games of up to 16 people and pairing up adults with little ones is perfect for increasing the fun.
    very wholesome. very fun. I was 20 when I first played. Had to keep reminding my future grandmother-in-law not to crawl onto the table or stand on furniture to increase her reach.

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