Parents of BUSY toddlers! How do you keep your little ones occupied for more than 5 seconds, so you can actually breathe for a moment???? Eating, drinking, tantrums, mess and them getting into ALLLL the things doesn’t leave a lot of room for parents to get a breather. So, we asked Mums and Dads in the know to give us their best play ideas for little ones!

One of our favourites is a little bowl of foamy water and some kitchen utensils. – Carlene Cox

Cutting the grass with a pair of safety scissors – Jessle Kate

Send them outside with a selection of paint brushes in a jug of water – Jacki Bishop

Off cuts of wood (splinter free) and some sandpaper – Kids will spend ages sanding back their own special piece of wood – Darren

Shaving cream on the shower door – gets your shower clean and keeps kids busy – Zoe Stefan

Hide and seek animals or dinosaurs in the garden – hide a variety of animals/dinos in the garden and sent them out to hunt for them! Jessle Kate

Freeze small toys in containers of water… send kids outside to try and figure out how to get the toy out, this is a great sensory activity as they watch the ice melt – Renee Shawcross

Soup mix spoons cups and various kitchen utensils. Add new tools every 10-15 minutes – Bonnie Gell

Spray bottle – this is a versatile one. You can simply get your toddler to water the garden with it, or I also draw things on our fence and rock wall for my son to spray. If you can change the nozzle so it sprays like a jet rather than a mist, it’s great for hand eye coordination, fine motor and strengthening the muscles in their hands. You could even get them to wash the car with it! – Jessle Kate

Toy wash station – so easy. All you need is a bucket of soapy water, a bucket of fresh water, an old toothbrush or some sort of cloth, and some outdoor toys. For boys washing trucks, cars or diggers is perfect. They will put so much effort into cleaning them, you might even get some cleaning done yourself while they’re at it. 😂 – Jessle Kate

Hide paint cards in the garden. Use lots of different colours so you have ones that are obvious and ones that are camouflaged really well. This will give you a good 20 minutes or so of peace. – Jessle Kate

Surprise box – need to be prepared for this one though. Put in a box some toys your toddler has not played with for a while and put it out for them when you need some timeout. It will feel like Christmas to them. – Jessle Kate

Pipes and cars or balls – Pick up some plumbing pipes from a hardware store and use to zoom cars or roll balls down – Carlene

A messy area – We have a special corner in our garden just for messy play. Add some old kitchen utensils and water and they’ll be busy for hours, we also add fun things like sand, bark, flowers and dirt if we’re feeling really creative! – Carlene