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Ways to keep 5 year olds busy by themselves

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Our twins are 5 years old. I'm at work until noon and dh is home with them and our 16 month old. He has been really good lately about taking them outside to play because they get into so much trouble otherwise. They have issues with water (dumping water all over everywhere, even though they have a big water table outside) and damaging walls and stuff because they like to dig (again, even though they have yet another table outside with sand and a big square of dirt to dig in). They have art stuff (markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue) but they use it inappropriately, coloring places besides paper, cutting carpet, etc so that has to be supervised.

Dh needs about 20-30 minutes to get ready for work though and we're trying to come up with ways to keep them busy so they aren't destructive. I was thinking of drawing some shapes and having them practice cutting on the lines. That will be fun for a day, but we have lots of days, so I'd like to come up with a bunch of ideas that will buy half an hour and then we can rotate through.

What ideas do you have for activities that don't need supervision and would keep active little boys busy for half an hour, and safe? Thanks!
post #2 of 12
Will they sit still for audio books? My 6 & 4 yo really like them, and it will keep them quiet for a bit while I put the baby to sleep.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mere View Post
Will they sit still for audio books? My 6 & 4 yo really like them, and it will keep them quiet for a bit while I put the baby to sleep.
They won't. They'll barely sit and listen to a book we read to them. They don't really like tv too much. We're not even anti-tv, it's just that the two of them aren't really interested.
post #4 of 12
How about a board game of some sort that they can play on their own w/each other? My 5 yr old loves playing Memory.
post #5 of 12

how about

play-doh or clay?
post #6 of 12
My 5-year-old will spend hours playing with her dollhouse, so perhaps some sort of knights and castle would keep your boys happy. (And my DD is not the type to sit still -- no TV interest at all.)

The game Hullabaloo has lots of movement and DD can happily play that for a half hour or more.

If your DH is in the bathroom showering and dressing, etc., could you let the boys play in the bathtub at that time? Since they like water, it would be fun for them and DH could keep any eye on them.
post #7 of 12
I think the tub idea is a great one!

Or board games, card games, LEGOS....
post #8 of 12
- audio books on a CD/tape player with headphones (sometimes the headphones make all the difference)
- bubble wrap (the BIG bubbles) to stomp on
- coloring with "color wonder" markers (the ink only shows up on the special "color wonder" paper)
- get a roll of clear contact paper and unroll it on the floor, sticky side UP, and let the kids walk on it barefoot and make a collage by sticking things to it - feathers, cotton balls, birdseed, bits of paper, etc.
- big cardboard boxes they can make into houses/forts/cars/etc.
- bowling (you can use empty paper towel/toilet paper rolls, and a very soft, non-damaging ball)
- edible, peanut butter playdough (i don't know the recipe offhand; you can google it)
- give them a box of interesting/kid bandaids and let them doctor each other!
- hide a special treat/toy in the room you want them to be in, and let them go on a treasure hunt for it
- glowsticks or flashlights, in a darkened room
- let them roll around in a HUGE pile of blankets and pillows. maybe hide stuffed animals in it for them to find.
- give them a tape recorder with a microphone, and let them record themselves talking, singing, telling stories, etc.
post #9 of 12

Talk to me about trampolines

....
post #10 of 12
DD (4) will sit and do a puzzle for a while if I get her started.

I find the aquadraw and/or magna doodles great for mess free creativity.
post #11 of 12
My five year old will play with legos or k'nex for a decent amount amount of time if left to himself.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inci View Post
- audio books on a CD/tape player with headphones (sometimes the headphones make all the difference)
- bubble wrap (the BIG bubbles) to stomp on
- coloring with "color wonder" markers (the ink only shows up on the special "color wonder" paper)
- get a roll of clear contact paper and unroll it on the floor, sticky side UP, and let the kids walk on it barefoot and make a collage by sticking things to it - feathers, cotton balls, birdseed, bits of paper, etc.
- big cardboard boxes they can make into houses/forts/cars/etc.
- bowling (you can use empty paper towel/toilet paper rolls, and a very soft, non-damaging ball)
- edible, peanut butter playdough (i don't know the recipe offhand; you can google it)
- give them a box of interesting/kid bandaids and let them doctor each other!
- hide a special treat/toy in the room you want them to be in, and let them go on a treasure hunt for it
- glowsticks or flashlights, in a darkened room
- let them roll around in a HUGE pile of blankets and pillows. maybe hide stuffed animals in it for them to find.
- give them a tape recorder with a microphone, and let them record themselves talking, singing, telling stories, etc.
Awesome ideas! We've done almost all of them

My DS is five and loves these http://www.mightymind.com/

He also enjoys water so anything in the tub is great.

We also found dry erase boards in the dollar area at Target. He loves to write on them. We gave him a spray bottle and a rag to wipe it clean too.

Another favorite is filling a loaf pan or smaller baking pan with rice, flour, or beans and playing with trucks or filling up funnels. I put the smaller pan on top of the largest cookie sheet I have. Most of the mess is contained on the cookie sheet. Cleaning up is part of the fun when he is done.

We also have a large dress up box filled with old halloween costumes, dad's old ties, mittens, gloves, home made capes, etc. He likes to have his picture taken in his costumes and then runs off to put on another.
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