In the Seattle area, lots of activities are canceled due to concerns about transmitting coronavirus, but busy toddlers don’t understand this and still need to burn off energy. I’ve written a series in the past about “cheap dates with toddlers.” Here’s some that will keep you busy without putting you indoors in close contact with others.
- Farm Parks – It’s fun to take kids to meet farm animals. On the Eastside, there’s Farrell McWhirter Park in Redmond, Kelsey Creek in Bellevue, and more.
- Egg Hunts – need a rainy day play activity for any day of the year? Plastic egg hunts – they’re not just for Easter anymore!
- Nature Shopping – collecting rocks, leaves, pinecones, or photos.
- Explore New Parks – covers St. Edward’s, O.O. Denny, and Big Finn Hill in Kenmore. Even on cool rainy days the park is a lot of fun as long as you have appropriate clothing.
- “Counting Cars” on any street corner… kept my boy busy for hours!
- Go to a Dog Park – even if you don’t have a dog!
- Construction Theatre – do you have a construction project in your neighborhood? Take your child by from time to time to see the progress.
- Take a Ferry. Don’t spend a lot of time up in the seating area, but drive your car on and spend time on the deck in the wind with the view.
- Rock Shops and Plant Nurseries – offer fun outdoor exploration and an opportunity for some basic botany and geology lessons.
- Go for walks around your neighborhood, or take a drive to somewhere new to walk. You can prolong a walk with kids by making a walk anABC scavenger hunt. They need to find the alphabet in sequence along your walk in the letters on street signs, garbage bins, license plates, etc. Could do the same w/numbers. Walk until you have found all the letters in order. Also, you could make it a scavenger hunt with a list you compose before you leave home. List all the things you have to pass before you can come home…a green car, a black and white cat, a garbage bin, etc. Or take dice with you and roll at each intersection – odds left, evens right – or adjust if you have 3 options. nice way to explore the neighborhood and fun for them. Or in a downtown area, follow the lights… at every intersection, press the button for the walk light crossing both ways – whichever one says walk first, that’s the way you go.
- Plan daily Skype calls with grandparents, your friends, your kids’ friends. Have someone else entertain your child for a little while – you get a break, they get to bond, and reduce isolation for all. Folks can read stories, play charades or do puppet shows, do art together, sing songs together, and more.
- Teach life skills – if you’re doing laundry, can your child help you sort socks? If you’re putting away dishes, can they find all the spoons? If you’re gardening, give them a trowel to dig with.
- Check out this ParentMap article: Seattle-Area Places to Go With Kids Amid Coronavirus Fears
- Try a Pop-Up Story Walk – as you walk, you’ll encounter pages from a storybook that entice a child to walk on to find the next page.
- Here’s 100 Low Prep Activities You Can Do In Your Own Backyard
- Some easy ideas for keeping your child busy and happy.
You can also check out my “Fun with Toddlers” series, which include songs, games, crafts and books for toddlers, all related to themes, such as Transportation, Spring, Ducks, Stars, and so on.