Saturday, January 30, 2010

How to keep a 15 month old entertained

...using crap you already had lying around the house. Or at least, crap I already had lying around the house.

First, take some cardstock from your scrap pile. Pick colors you know you're probably never going to use, like mint green and mustard yellow. Cut them into random shapes. There is no need to be precise here, because fortunately, most toddlers don't know their shapes yet and are not sticklers for details.

Next, rummage around in cupboards and closets until you find an ancient roll of butt ugly Contact paper. Wonder briefly why on Earth you bought so much of that ugly pattern, shrug, and cut off couple of feet of it. Find some masking tape and a small area of unused wall that is low to the ground.

Peel the backing from one edge of the contact paper. Place a long strip of masking tape over the edge and stick it to the wall. Get another strip of tape ready and peel the rest of the backing off the paper. Stick down the other side. You should have the sticky side of the Contact paper facing OUT at this point. If not, say some bad words, peel it off, and do it again.

Put a couple more pieces of tape at the top and bottom of the Contact paper just to be sure it stays put. If your child is anything like mine, he will already be at your side, checking out this new activity. (he's nosy) Stick a few of the shapes to the paper. He'll get the idea and start doing it on his own. The paper is sticky enough to hold the shapes, but not so sticky that he won't be able to peel them back off to rearrange them again.

This will hold his attention anywhere from two minutes to 30 minutes. Probably closer to two. :) The best part? NO MESS. When the paper gets fuzzy and isn't sticky anymore, or when you're expecting company, all you have to do is stick all the shapes to the paper, peel it off the wall, wad it into a ball, and toss in the trash. Environmentally friendly? Perhaps not. BUT I didn't go out and buy anything new, I used old re purposed items, so that has to count for something, right?

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Blogger Samara Link said...

clever! just sent a link of your post to a couple friends with kids. it's a good idea. he's pretty cute. :)

5:57 PM  
Blogger Maggi said...

Sara, like so many other of your amazing ideas, I am SO stealing this. :) Might even keep her busy long enough for me to (gasp) use the bathroom without her flipping out.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Lindsay Teague Moreno said...

dude, my girls eat paper, books, anything cardboard. I had to put all their board books up because I found a mouth-full of book one day in Boston's mouth. They seek it out destroy it! This is such a good idea, though. I'm sure normal children would love it! :)

8:24 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Lindsay, your comment made me laugh out loud. Is that irony that a paper-loving mom has produced literal paper-loving daughters? (Even since Alanis, I can't remember which is irony and which is Alanis, sorry.)

And Sara--fun, awesome ideas as always! Does it work for 16 year olds, I wonder?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Hooptee said...


5:20 AM  
Blogger Iris Flavia said...

Hehe, great post!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Love it, what a cool idea! :)

3:03 PM  

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