I'm having trouble juggling putting my 15mo down for a nap while my 3.5yo is still awake. DS takes two naps a day - and in the morning when he's cranky, I need to go upstairs and nurse him down, but my DD doesn't want to stay alone (not because she's scared - she's just bored). I thought I could put together a special box that only comes out when it's DS's nap time with fun items. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I teach Pre K, and some of the non messy items that really hold my student's attention and are considered "special" are:
Wikki Stix, sometimes called Bendaroos. Little wax covered pieces of yarn that can be shaped and used to create items. My students love those.
Read along stories on a child friendly CD player
Wedgeits- those are various shapes used to build and stack, the kids love them.
Magnetic dress up paper doll set
Good luck. :0)
Small container of "forbidden" (or just normally tucked away) items from around the house
A booklight (better than a flashlight because most of them bend or close!) and a special book -- maybe even get a bunch of picture books from the thrift store and have a new one each week
Special snack/drink that you might not normally give her
Maybe a simple project she could work on, like creating a small scrapbook with family photos
TBH I think the best things for capturing my kids' undivided attention are things that are or feel somewhat "out of bounds". So, though it would be more of a PIA to clean up afterwards, probably something messy would work best for keeping them occupied. That might mean cutting paper into a million tiny bits (for some reason my kids love doing this), playdough might fit the bill, definitely getting out the easel and watercolours or laying down a big sheet of paper on the floor and putting out the finger paints. Stickers to stick on sheets of paper keep my 3yo well occupied. Just a big bin of varied craft supplies, glue and paper (check out the $ store) would go over well with my guys.
You might also want to put some music or a book on CD on for her to listen to at the same time.
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010