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Fun Activities for an Only Child

Posted By Jessica Fisher On September 13, 2011 @ 1:13 am In Family Fun,Toddlers | 12 Comments

The following is written by LifeasMOM contributing writer, Prerna [4]:

“Is it easier for you to work from home since you have just the one daughter?”

This well-meaning remark actually made me stop and think. Really, is it easier for me? Well, actually it may seem easier but in reality, it is no different.

While the challenges of multiple kids are definitely many, the challenges of an only child aren’t any less. You see, when you have an only child, he or she does not have siblings to hang out with, squabble with or basically, grow up with.

He has YOU.

Keeping an only child engaged and entertained while you try to juggle work, home and other odd jobs in your life as mom needs a fair amount of planning and thinking.

Since my husband and I have a home-based business and an only child in tow, I’ve needed to come up with a few ways to keep our daughter occupied while we work:

{While I use these ideas to keep my only child engaged, I’m sure you can use them just as well with multiple kids as well.}

1. Pretend Play

Pretend play is a fantastic way to keep only kids engaged. Our daughter, particularly, likes to play school or hold a tea party with her dolls for company. She also, likes to be a car driver and vroom around with a toy car or two.

2. Pretend Play Kitchen, Doctor and Cleaning Sets

To add to the pretend play fun, we have a few toy sets that she can use when she tires of just playing with dolls and cars. The pretend kitchen and cleaning sets are her favorites followed by her doctor set. She can spend a couple of hours cooking, cleaning and tending to “patients”.

The best part is that I can set her kitchen up close to my desk and keep sampling her “dishes” while I work. Similarly, with the doctor set, she enjoys coming over and giving us an injection or checking our heartbeat.

3. Coloring and Water Paint Books

While she does love to paint, I can’t let her paint unsupervised for fear of messing up the pristine white walls in our new apartment.

What I can let her do though is color with washable crayons and do water painting. We get these water painting books at the Dollar Store and she loves dipping her brush in plain water to see colors appear magically on the sheet. Safe and fun!

4. DIY Craft

While most of our craft activities [5] are joint ventures, there are a few things that a preschooler can do on their own with minimal supervision. Gluing cutouts or stickers to a card, tearing paper for future craft projects or putting together picture puzzles are all activities that a toddler can do with little or no supervision.

5. Picture Books

My toddler can’t read yet but luckily, she still loves books. So I have a set of picture books that she enjoys leafing through. The colorful pictures keep her engrossed and she has her own story to go along with the photos that I can often hear her tell her toys.

Plus, she also enjoys looking at the pictures and identifying colors or counting objects in them.

How do you keep an only child busy and entertained?

[6]– Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her simple tips and easy-to-do ideas at The Mom Writes [4] or follow her on Twitter [7].


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