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Toddler boredom busters

Playtime takes up a huge amount of your child’s time. But endless tea parties and block stacking may get old for both you and your toddler. When you find yourselves bored of the same old games, spice up playtime with a mix of different activities.

boy bored on couch

Make art

Make a mess! Break out the finger paints and whip up some colorful masterpieces. Challenge your kid to think beyond abstract by making special requests (like “Draw mommy” or “Paint an animal”). Try making art from handprints and footprints. If paint isn’t your thing, dump out a box of dry pasta and allow your child to use safe school glue to stick the pasta in different shapes and patterns onto construction paper. You can make this educational, too — try counting the noodles or pasting them onto specific shapes like squares and circles that you draw on the paper.

Get outside

If the weather permits, getting outside is a great boredom buster. You can explore your neighborhood with a leisurely walk around the block. Pick up and examine leaves or interesting flowers. Hold hands as you stroll along, and ask questions about what you’re seeing. Stop at a park and swing. Or put on that helmet and take a trike ride. The outdoor play options are nearly limitless, and an added bonus is that outdoor activities tend to tire out your little one, so bedtime might be easier than usual.


Let your toddler choose a stack of her favorite books for you to read together. Reading is fun and educational, of course, but you can make it into a silly, boredom-busting activity by acting out your favorite passages. Use funny voices for each character or the narration. Allow your child to say her favorite lines in a dramatic or silly voice. Turn story time into playtime to fight off boredom.

Play chores

You need to get things done around the house. Your toddler loves to mimic you. Combine the two and “play” chores. If you’re trying to prepare dinner, give him a pot and wooden spoon to play with. If you need to dust or sweep, give your toddler a handheld broom or a dusting cloth to follow you around. Kids love to help, so keep those little hands busy while you get your chores done.

Watch: Entertaining a bored toddler

Read more about preschoolers

The importance of play
Plan a messy art day for your preschooler
Tips for beating toy boredom

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