Pom Pom Drop- Keeping Toddlers Busy

Guest Post by Nicolette of Powerful Mothering.

My 18 month old’s new obsession is to drag one of the plastic chairs rather noisily to the kitchen then stand on it to see what is being done on the kitchen counter.

Now, usually I don’t mind at all for her observing and sometimes helping by handing me a tomato but at times it is not safe for her to be there. For instance when I am using the eclectic beater to make a cake or using boiling hot liquids.

This is where a little distraction comes in! I give you the pom pom drop to occupy your little one in the kitchen.

pom pom drop busy toddlers in the kitchen

This one is rather simple to make and will occupy my toddler for about 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Which is just enough time to beat the batter, pour the hot water into the tea cups or strain some hot pasta in the sink.

Use a cardboard box of a nice size for your little one. Optionally paint it with pretty colors to draw more interest from the toddler and make a few holes in the sides to fit pom poms.

have fun popping pom poms in

There you have it, a pretty box and an appealing basket of pom poms to occupy your toddler next time they toddle into the kitchen!

The first time we used this activity I had to show her that the pom poms went into the holes. This sparked her curiosity and she took over making the pom poms disappear!

busy toddlers in the kitchen

Check out my other ideas to keep toddlers busy in the kitchen and my toddlers favorite things to do at 18 months old. :D

We would love to hear what do you do with your toddler when in the kitchen?


Nicolette is a stay-at-home mom of three kids, four years old and younger. You will often find her on the floor at kid level, learning through play. Simple and easy activities and crafts are the most popular with her little ones and she shares these on her blog Powerful Mothering.

Preschoolers and Toddlers Learning Together: Pasta Snakes

Guest Post by Katey of Having Fun at Home 


Having both a preschooler and a toddler at home at the same time can be a bit tricky.  Projects that work well for preschoolers often don’t work well for toddlers-  and the other way around!


So when I thought of a project that would be engaging and educational for both my four-year-old and my two-year-old I knew we had to try it.


Educational Objectives for Toddler:

Fine motor skills

Color Recognition


Educational Objectives for Preschooler:

Following written instructions

Pattern Recognition

Fine Motor Skills



Rubbing Alcohol

Food Dye (found out the hard way that it must be liquid dye and not gel; the gel doesn’t dissolve in alcohol)

Pasta (hollow and tubular- penne, etc.)

String or Yarn



Scotch Tape


1.  Fill small containers with rubbing alcohol and mix a different color of food dye in each vat.  Submerge noodles in vats and leave for about a minute.

2.  Take out pasta and dry on paper towels for about an hour.

3.  Tie a crayon to one end of a piece of string or yarn (to keep the pasta from slipping off).  Wrap the other end of the string in scotch tape (to make it stiff for threading the pasta)



For Your Toddler:

Teach them to thread pasta pieces on to the snake.  When they have that down, let them practice color recognition by following instructions about which color to add to their snake next.


For Your Preschooler:

Write down several color patterns on paper.  At the end of each written pattern, ask your preschooler to predict what color comes next.  Then have them make a pasta snake modeled after each written pattern.

I found that both the toddler and the preschooler could work happily on their respective projects at the same time- without over-extention for mom.  Horray!

Katey writes about simple and inexpensive ideas for families to enjoy together at her blog Having Fun at Home




Toddler Time: Sorting (and Counting) Ornaments

Before we go any further, let me preface:  Do not use ornaments that are special or sentimental to you.  And obviously, no glass.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

We used some drum ornaments that I bought for 30 cents each at Dollar General last year after Christmas.


I dumped them in a bowl and Little Brother and I attempted to sort them by color.


But Little Brother is going through a bit of a possessive phase…so that didn’t go so well.

So we counted them instead.  And counted them again.  And again…


Adaptation…that’s life with a 2-year old, right?


Toddler Time: Touchy-Feely Activity

We used lots of items from around the house to talk about sensory descriptors like soft, rough, smooth, sticky, and bumpy.  This would be a perfect activity for older babies and toddlers!   Just be sure you don’t use any items that could potentially be a choking hazard.

I just threw the items (shown above) in a bowl and let Little Brother pick them out one at a time.  I would say the word and have him repeat it.

Then, we reversed the game.  I would ask him to find something sticky (for example) and then he would have to pull out the corresponding item from the bowl.




Baby and Toddler Activity: Fun with an Emergency Mylar Blanket

Prince Charming ran a half marathon last Sunday.  It was a relatively cool, rainy morning.  At the end of the race, all the runners were offered one of these emergency mylar blankets to warm up (or at least that’s what I’m assuming their intended use was).  Prince Charming didn’t want one, but I talked him into getting it anyway because I knew the boys would have fun with it!

And fun was certainly had!

The boys loved the texture of this mylar blanket and literally went a little crazy crawling, running, and jumping all over it!

I don’t have any “babies” anymore *tear*, but I can imagine laying a baby on this blanket and letting them crawl around on it.  Some babies would probably love it and others might hate it.  But it would be a great sensory experience nonetheless.

Plus, it is shiny.  All babies love shiny things, right?

I’ve been told you can purchase these blankets in the camping section of most stores for around a dollar.  Or you can buy them here.

Have fun!!!