100 Ways to Keep Little Kids Happy

Really Fun 5-Minute Activities

91. Let your child scrub, scrub, scrub. "I fill the sink or a bucket with soapy water and give my kids plastic dishes or their dolls to clean," says Jodie Fratantuno, of Los Angeles.
92. Hand him an old cell phone. Name a relative or a friend to call.
93. Have her talk into a big plastic party cup. She'll be fascinated by the echo.
94. Pound out some energy. Give your child some golf tees and a toy hammer, and have him bang the tees into Styrofoam.
95. Dance on bubble wrap. Tape a piece to the floor and go wild.
96. Wipe down the kitchen. "My 2-year-old loves it when I give her a damp sponge to go over the counter and cabinets like Mommy does," says Depew.
97. Mesmerize him with a calculator. Kids especially love ones with big buttons.
98. Lay out a foam place mat and foam stickers. "My 19-month-old sits for a long time sticking on each decoration and then pulling it off," says Jane Martin, of Overland Park, Kansas.


99. Present her with a photo album with plastic pages. She'll like seeing memories of her birthday party or pictures of her cousins.
100. Enjoy teatime outside. "My 3-year-old pours water back and forth between her plastic teapot and teacups," says Elli Goyette, of Newport News, Virginia.

Originally published in the April 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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