Activities for kid + baby?
August 12, 2018 1:59 AM   Subscribe

What are some games or activities that would entertain/interest/keep occupied/not bore to death both a 5-year-old and a 1/2-year-old?

The kid (5 yo), the baby (6 mo) and I (grumpy, tired, almost-40 yo thinking "how the hell did I get into this?!") have to spend the next 5 days alone, in a place where we don't know almost anyone, in scorching heat (= bare minimum of outside activities). The kid is full of energy and craving attention. The baby is pretty chill but would rather hang out with us than just watch us from the playmat.

What we're already doing: playing peekaboo, "reading" picture books to the baby (the kid can't read yet), showing the baby all the baby toys and how to play with them, jumping around and repeating whatever silly thing elicited a response from the baby...
posted by gakiko to Human Relations (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
songs with actions, things like The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ring Around the Rosy, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

Are you able to acquire more toys? Big building blocks of any description. Baby can't help building too much, though a little with help, but will love knocking down.

Are you able to go anywhere? Malls and museums are what springs to mind, especially a children's museum, but anything really.

Is there a hose? The heat could be bearable for a little bit if everyone's wet. Could you acquire a sprinkler?

Good luck!
posted by Jenny'sCricket at 2:15 AM on August 12, 2018

Giant piece of paper and some crayons?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:01 AM on August 12, 2018

Build a fort with blankets and have a picnic/storytime in it.
Sock puppet plays (sacrifice a pair or two to sharpie decorating)
If you have a stack of books or paper, and towels, you can create a life-sized game of Snakes and Ladders) and have your five year old be one piece and the 6 month old sort of the other. You can use a random number generator or make a spinner.
You can play checkers with cans/plates/cups etc. and a grid laid out on the floor, if you have enough cans/plates/cups. Baby can crawl among them.
Tea party
Long bubble-filled baths for the 5 year old.
Shadow puppets lying in a hallway with a light.
If you have a fully stocked kitchen, get the 5 year old involved in some baking. If you make crackers maybe the 6 mo old can have one. Or make popsicles.
If you can go out and get things, popsicle sticks, glue, and paper will get you popsicle stick houses/forts, little stick puppets, and a gazillion other crafts from Pinterest. The baby is unlikely to be hurt by those things.

Is there a library near you? If you don’t take books out you don’t have to be a member to go read there.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:40 AM on August 12, 2018

When my youngest was that age, I did a lot of baby wearing while playing with the oldest. Hide and Seek, London Bridge, baking, play doh, etc. Not sure your stance on screen time, but my 5 and 1 year old will watch an episode of Daniel Tiger while I take a shower or make dinner. Also, if you’re near an ikea, they will watch your oldest in a cool playroom for like 2 hours a day.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 6:03 AM on August 12, 2018

Bubbles. Bubbles bubbles bubbles.

Dance party--put music on, dance together, have the 5 year old do a dance performance for you and the baby.

If you have access to nail polish, let the five year old paint your toenails while you hold the baby. (I don't know your gender, but honestly, you can wash it off right after).

Water play. Fill the tub with water and figure out what floats and what sinks.

If you are near a store with air conditioning, take them to the store. You can wander around a grocery store with a kid and buy almost nothing, but observe things.
posted by gideonfrog at 9:43 AM on August 12, 2018

A bunch of balloons, some with helium and some without. Baby will enjoy holding them and batting them around, especially if you tie a helium one where s/he can reach. 5yo may enjoy drawing faces on the balloons and seeing how long s/he can keep a non-helium one aloft.

Build stuff to climb in / on / under with couch cushions, blankets, pillows, laundry baskets, whatever's big and light enough to not hurt the little one if it falls.

Big cardboard boxes. Hardware stores will give you some. Draw on them, put stickers on them, put pillows and a flashlight inside for cozy storytime, pretend you're bears in a cave or astronauts in a rocket.

Recycling bowling. This is a great all-ages indoor thing. Use plastic bottles for the pins (2 liter drinks with just a little bit of water in the bottom are great) and a soccer ball or basketball. You can set up pillow bumpers to make it easy for the baby; 5yo can roll the ball from farther away sans bumpers, and can help reset pins for the baby. 5yo can also invent good handicaps for you so that you can play with them "fairly," e.g., by spinning around ten times and bowling with your eyes closed, and children of all ages will enjoy laughing at you.
posted by xylothek at 4:49 AM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding balloons and bubbles.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:39 AM on August 13, 2018

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