Thursday, July 21, 2011

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 20: Cars and Cans

Today's activity is courtesy of my friend, Sam. She has two boys: Charlie is 2.5, and Jack is 6 months old. They all battled a virus last week, and Sam was desperate for indoor activities. Here's what she came up with: Cars & Cans. I love how creative she got using stuff from the kitchen to make tunnels for Charlie's cars!

I decided Oliver needed his own round of Cars & Cans. I used actual canned goods and set up my cooling rack on top. I got Oliver's car ready and showed him the fun of driving it through the tunnel. Oliver got really excited... but not about the car. Oliver was excited for the cans.

Oliver toppled my tunnel over and started playing with the cans. I tried to rebuild it a few times, but it was completely futile. Oliver wanted those cans! Finally, I decided to let him have the cans, and I got four identical mugs down from the cabinet to use as the support for the tunnel. Oliver found this acceptable.
He started stacking his cans on top of it. He had a blast, and I'd count each can for him: One, two, three! I was worried the whole thing would come crashing down on his toes, but he seemed to balance them well. He only liked stacking them directly on top of each other. I tried to stack them in a pyramid, but he never did that himself.

I started to see the wheels turning in Oliver's head as he realized the tunnel could hold weight. Sure enough, he walked up to it and sat down on it. It was strong enough to hold him up! I wouldn't let him stand on it, though (Yes, he tried).

Oliver continued stacking cans, and the activity kept him happy, smiley and occupied for twenty minutes!

About an hour later, I finally caught him playing with his car and the tunnel. He didn't drive the car through it, but instead enjoyed the sounds it made as he drove it on top of the tunnel. As soon as I came to join him, he stopped (of course). I left it set up for him to play with all afternoon. Then, Andrew came home and crashed into it. Oops.

This is a great activity to do with young toddlers, and it's perfect for a day indoors. Use whatever you have in the house to build it. If you use canned goods like I did, expect that your child will eventually drop them on his toes. Thankfully, Oliver didn't today, but I know it's just a matter of time. Ouch! In spite of that risk factor, I give this activity an A+. It's easy to do, and it was so much fun for my little guy, even if he didn't play it as I'd intended.

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