frugalfriday3I am trying to search for activities that boys would enjoy (it was part of my WFMW backwards edition), specifically 4 year old boys since I have one.  It is not that I am trying to leave girls out – I have one myself although she is only 18 months.  She will sit quietly at a table and color – already.  As I have stated before my son doesn’t want to sit still for long and he doesn’t love to color.  Below are some ideas that I have found and that others have told me about that will hopefully keep boys busy (and possibly sitting still).

I should say I want to use mostly things I have on hand and I don’t want to have to prepare something elaborate.  So here are the ideas:

Make Flubber

Make Goop

Fingerpaint with pudding

Musical bottle

Painting with ice cubes

Peanut butter play dough (we have done this before)

Toy Car Print

The next section includes suggestions from others.

Kimberly from Raising Olives says this:

My children always loved playing with dry pasta. Dry pasta and several different containers like measuring cups and different sized plastic bowls and scoops. I usually put the child and the pasta in one of round gates to contain the mess.

Amy says this:

What about puzzles with trucks, trains and such on them? I would also go to the dollar store and get little kid games like that paddle ball thing. you could fill a tub with trucks and let him have imagination time like giving him a scenario everyday (example…pretend like your trucks have to go rescue a house on fire something like that) Does he like legos…you can make something different with legos.

Niki said this:

I keep those toys from mcdonalds etc and other figurines from garage sales. these are things he never sees on a regular basis so he actually plays with them. I use them for trips in the car as well.

Cristi had this to share:

I bought Maura a dry- erase maker board with six different pages that have numbers, letters and blank space. She loves it. It is kept where she has to ask for it and knows it stays only on the kitchen table.

Sarah said this:

My Isaac really likes to cut and glue…mostly the gluing part. (glue sticks won’t work.) I give him pieces of macaroni, dry beans, etc…and some construction paper. This usually keeps him busy for quite a while. Some people shy away from bottled glue and 3 year olds, but really, the mess isn’t that bad and it’s so much fun. (non-toxic too!)

Milehimamma had some great links:

You can put any printout in a page protector and use a dry erase marker with it.

I have drawers, not bins. Some things:
tracing/stencils, pattern blocks, rice bucket with cars, funnels, etc., this activity (for older kids, I have lots of shades of the same color so they have to distinguish it), magnetic letters on a cookie tray, cuisenaire rods or blocks that are the same size, scissors and scrap paper, hole punch and scrap paper.

I also make file folder games (lots online) and this site always has great ideas!

I also make puzzles from boxes around the house – for example, I’ll cut the front off the Cheerios box and then cut it into 10 pieces. The puzzles are free, disposable, and always different.

Christy said:

Some things that worked for my oldest son when he was younger and now work great for my 4 year old are…..those cardboard sewing cards: I found some with farm animals and different vehicles and my 4yr. old loves these (for about 5 min. anyway!!), glueing pictures on paper, stringing cheerios or fruitloops on yarn, puzzles, Playful Patterns (is a Discovery Toy), playing store items: like money, small empty containers, cash register, etc.

Hadley said:

you can put him in the tub without water (swimming trunks or naked…) give him little cups full of shaving cream mixed with food coloring and let him paint the walls. He can use paintbrushes or fingers. When he finishes give him a bucket of water and a sponge.

a cookie sheet with a layer of sand, rice, oatmeal, etc and some tractors may be farm animals too. put him on a vinyl table cloth and if he gets stuff off of it, then he has to put it away.

I read an idea one time where a lady got a cheap one-ring pool for her child to do messy projects in.

Bridget said:

He did (does) LOVE to play with water…a few cups and a tote full of water on the patio kept him entertained for HOURS! He would play with play-doh for a while, too.

Heidi said:

sidewalk chalk, jacks, rice box (instead of a sand box), wipe-away learning books and she also mentioned making your own cardboard sewing cards with some cardboard and a whole punch.

What about you, do you have specific activities that your boy(s) enjoy doing?

For more Frugal Friday tips, please visit Life as a Mom.

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