10 Ways to Entertain Children During the Day – For Free!


Guest Post by Katelyn of What’s Up Fagan’s?


Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean that I know how to entertain my children all. day. long. Especially when I do not have a car during the day and have limited toys, crafting supplies, and money (and don’t want the TV to be a ‘babysitter’). So, I have compiled a list of 10 things for both you and your toddler to do during the day that will help you learn, play, grow, exercise, and even clean, all without costing you a penny!

10 Ways to Entertain Children During the Day:

1. Keep the diaper box. They can push it, pull it, put items in and out of it, and even turn it into a home-made slide! Plus, you can put your child in the box and pull and spin them around.

2. Car Seat/Stroller. Bring your car seat in from the car and let your child sit in them and try to figure out how they buckle together. Or let your child push their stroller around and watch them put their toys or themselves in the seat!


3. Turn the mattress into a slide!  When changing crib sheets, lean the mattress against the bedrail or dresser and help your child slide down the mattress! Just make sure there’s nothing they can bump their heads on nearby!


4. Pots, Pans, and Utensils. It never fails to entertain children. Give them safe utensils and let them play “kitchen” or “rock band.”


5. Go outside. Explore. Take them to the park. Get the mail with them. Look at flowers, throw a ball around, or hold hands as you go for a walk.



6. Laundry.  Let your child help you transfer your wet clothes to the dryer, or hand you clothes to wash, and put away their clothes. Give them a hanger or two and let them try to hang up their shirts.


7. Sing. Sing nursery rhymes, incorporating hand gesture or body motions and keep them coming back for more!


8. Books. Ask them questions as you go, have them turn the page, make animal sounds, do voices, and have a great time! Try to go to the library for story time or to pick up new books.


9. Cleaning. Have your kids help you put away the vacuum, pick up their toys, clean the windows, throw away trash, clean up their spills, sweep or hold the dustpan, and more. It teaches them responsibility and helps you have a clean house, even if it might take a little bit longer.



10. Games and Playtime. Play Peek-a-Boo, give piggy back rides, toss them into the air, spin them around, dance with them, have tickle-fights, identify body parts, teach them how to do somersaults, and pretend play with them. Lie on the floor and let them climb all over you. The point is to get down to their level and enjoy being with your child, really interacting with them.


What are some of your favorite ways to entertain children during those long days at home? 


Katelyn is a blogger, part-time artist, wife, and stay-at-home mother. On her blog she describes the challenges of tackling marriage, twin toddlers, employment, money problems, car accidents, art projects, and much more. Join her as she navigates her simple, yet complex life, with humor, honesty, and faith at whatsupfagans.blogspot.com.


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  1. Great ideas. One thing I do with my 3 and 5 year old is sit on the floor with legs spread apart, we form a circle and then do some stretching – to make it fun, we make pizzas. Reach high into the air and grab our toppings, reach down stretching to put the toppings on the “pizza in the middle of the floor. We take turns choosing a topping and it can get pretty interesting because I have silly girls that like to add stuff like hair and gummy snowmen to their “pizzas”.

  2. At my house we love to dance, dance, dance! To add a little “enrichment” to our dancing I make up play lists of children’s songs about whatever theme we are studying at the moment. We sing along and sometimes learn a few fun facts in the songs as we are dancing. We also do lots of treasure hunts. Sometimes I make up a list with photos and words of the hidden items (all surrounding our theme as well). The kids then get a list and search high and low, upstairs and downstairs until they have collected all the items. I love activities like these that get a little language development in there along with the fun. And the best part is they are active, so even if we are stuck inside for the day my kiddos still get a good amount of exercise (and then a good nap! :-D)

    1. My girls also love dancing! Anything from the dishwasher to a theme song on TV gets them dancing. It’s so cute! I love your idea of incorporating a little learning into that! I’ll have to try that as my girls continue to get a little older!

  3. These are great ideas! To go along with the laundry idea, my boys love to play “boat” with the laundry basket and can easily spend an hour or two pushing and pulling their toys around in them. My older son also loved the vacuum when he was little, and after I finished using it, I would let him play with the attachments (unplugged, of course). It bought a few minutes when I was cleaning or finishing up a task. I can also give him a rag to dust or a dry mop to go over our floors. He thinks he’s having fun and doesn’t realize it’s work yet. :)

    1. My girls have toy vacuums so now they can “vacuum” with me, and I let them help wrap up the cord. They are no longer afraid of vacuuming! And I almost always have the girls help pick up cereal or food they dropped on the floor or any other spills they make… but that’s more punishment/learning than fun time, but I try to sing a song and of course I help them finish the task. :) But, it great when they think cleaning is fun!

  4. We definitely do a lot on this list! My boys also love playing hide and seek, bouncing a ball around and digging holes in the yard.

    1. My girls LOVE water. Bath time is a treat for them! I’ll have to try this with the sponges! Maybe I’ll do it on mopping day… save some time right?

  5. I love the idea of water play. When we can’t go outside and the sink might not be right to play with, I put my daughter in her bathing suit and she goes “swimming” in the tub. She loves the idea of not having to be “soaped up” – it’s all fun!

  6. My boys love when I do the sheets! I actually leave the mattress tilted for a few hours and they are ecstatic about “matty slide time”

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