Bored Toddler? Try This!

There is nothing worse than having a toddler with nothing to do. Whenever my little munchkin gets into this situation it is guaranteed to end badly. Usually with him doing and getting into things that he shouldn’t. Everyone gets bored sometimes. When this happens we either sit and sulk or come up with something to do. For these little munchkins what they come up with may or may not be the best idea. Here at my house, Spencer will usually get into my jewelry, climb onto the counters, pull all the toilet paper off the role, play in the garbage, or open all the movie cases and throw them. Not what I want him to be doing. This has got to stop! But what can I do?

One of Spencer’s favorite things currently are cars. He loves to pull out his bucket of cars and drive them all over the house. The other day as he was playing I had a light bulb moment. These cars were the answer for our bored problem. I was going to use these cars to work on valuable skills while at the same time guiding him to other activities that he could when he got bored. Enter the road map!

Making a road map is really quite simple.

Supplies needed:
  •  Poster board or large piece of cardboard
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Cars
  • Blocks and animals for “destinations”

I had some poster board lying around the house but if you don’t have that a large piece of cardboard would work just fine. I drew roads onto the board. I chose to do straight, zig zag, and curved roads. Then all I had to do was grab Spencer, some cars, and various items to create “destinations”. BAM! Road map done! Simple right?

As you can see I am not the best artist but it really doesn’t matter. Just do your best.

This activity really is so simple to put together but it has some great educational value to it. If you are like me, you want your kiddos to have fun exploring and playing but also want what they are doing to have some meaning and purpose. These road maps help create a foundation for writing as well as listening and following directions. Because the roads are straight, zig zag, and curved it helps to teach writing strokes that will be used later on. By creating “destinations” I was able to give Spencer directions for his cars to follow. For example, I put a dinosaur at the end of one road and a block at the end of another. I then told him to drive the car to a certain toy.

I’ll be honest, getting him to drive his cars to the “destinations” didn’t always work so great. He 23 months old so he is easily distracted. However, this activity has been a huge hit and success with him. I originally did this activity with him several days ago. He is still entertained with it and plays with it every day. I’m actually now going to put the poster board onto some cardboard to make it sturdier so he can play with it even longer. He loves driving his cars all over the place and I love that we found an activity that is keeping him entertained but is also secretly educational. This easy to make, cheap road map has really been a lifesaver for us to distract Spencer from being bored and creating his own “fun”.

Sorry, this picture is blurry. I had to be a sneaky ninja with the camera otherwise Spencer would have seen it and not let me take a picture. He also decided that using his big cars along with the little ones would be a good idea.
Try this activity out with your munchkins and tell me how it goes? Any ideas of how I could make this cute and more attractive looking?

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