Crazy Boy Not-Activities

Little Man has reached a point of activity and need for interaction that I’m having to get intentional to meet. He will be 2 in mid-May (really? already? no way!) and he is most certainly a crazy 2 year old.

So, what does the good mother do? She goes to look for activity ideas on the internet.

As I read about these activities, and there are some really creative people out there, I can’t help but think, “wow, they must have a kid who has already figured out how to be gentle” or “they must have a really calm child” or “their child must be really careful about staying clean”. Some activities got me thinking about the mess that Little Man would make, or the craziness that would ensue  Let me give you a run down.

Involving paint:

I found activities that were about painting with different items: bubble wrap, toy cars, toilet sponge, blocks. Fun ideas, for sure, and for the child who loves to paint, this gives them a chance to explore the effects of various textures. Little Man, on the other hand, would like fling the paint covered object creating what might be taken for a post-modern painting on our walls. And on him, and the table, and the floor, and the cats, and me. Perhaps, they just ought to be outside activities.

Involving food:

Painting with food? Sounds like fun! Use pudding, yogurt (#31 on this list), or any spreadable food item. See concerns about paint to understand my reluctance to try this.

Involving bags of stuff:

There are a variety of things that are fun to play with when they are in a bag and you get to manipulate the item through the bag. Activity #24 on this list, or a bag of ice cubes with dodads in them, or a ziplock bag full of goop (glue, pudding) and they child can draw in the goop through the bag (can’t figure where I saw this). These are all well and good, until a kiddo decides to open the bag. Or he squeezes the bag so it bursts, or he bites through the bag. (or a cat decides to chew on the bag). I love the i-spy variations (bag or bottle filled with rice/sand/etc and other small items to find in the filler material), and I think I could set up a bottle so that Little Man can’t get in it, but I would fear for the stitching on any bag.

Involving bins of stuff:

We did this. I set up a container filled with rice, lentils and beans and let Little Man have at it. He loved it! He played for 40 ish minutes. And I was sweeping up rice, lentils and beans for a month afterwards. Turns out the beans make good cat toys, too. Other ideas include pictures of loved ones or other pictures in oats, or spaghetti on a ‘town’. Perhaps its just that these are outside activities for us. Generally, anything able to be thrown will be thrown, but that applies to anything we do.

When I figure out good activities, and how I’m going about meeting Little Man’s need for interaction, without going crazy myself, I will post about it. That way if you have a crazy child, you can get some ideas.

I would love any other ideas you’ve got… ideally things I can set Little Man up with and just let him play. Ideas that I do with him are welcome also!


  1. Sounds like your little fellow needs balls. Set up targets like buckets or bowls and let him toss them in. Our son and DIL have 3 preschoolers with lots of energy and they have an inflatable ball pit. It is covered but I’m sure the balls get out. The kids just roll in and throw balls to their hearts’ content. Then you might be able to say “We only throw balls” when other objects become projectiles. Kids can be very creative about how to play with things in ways other than what is intended. It probably means he is very smart. During this phase you might have to play with him most of the time to teach him the acceptable way to play without destroying the house. One day he will make you so proud.

    • Thanks for the ideas, and encouragement. Yes, we think he’s very smart, but we are his doting, trying-hard-not-to-coper parents. I’ve got one small bean bag and a stuffing filled dodecahedron (12 sided 3-D figure) that we will throw into whatever bin or basket is around, but he doesn’t yet seem to get that idea. He loves throwing the dodecahedron back and forth though!

  2. Rachael, your blog has me laughing. We have a 2-1/2 year old grandson and his Mom has done many of the activities you mentioned (and has endlessly swept up oatmeal, rice, beans, etc). I have to be honest, I’m with you…. outside time! I’m old school though 🙂 So enjoy your blog!!! – Barb (from HelloMornings)

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