In my search for new activities I went to Pinterest, of course. I usually use what I find as more of a guide and put my own spin on things. I saw on The Activity Moms blog the idea to fill a bowl with rice and give your toddler a small cup and funnel to use to play with. Instead of rice, which we actually like to eat, I used some beans, that we don't eat (unless canned and ready to go).
Layla had fun with the beans but mainly just wanted to eat them so this activity was cut very short. I tried to encourage her to play and not eat but it didn't work, haha. Something to keep in mind for when she's older. Hopefully she'll outgrow putting everything in her mouth!
I also made some animal flashcards to help me teach her animal sounds and recognition. She loves animals! Her favorites are cats, dogs, polar bears and ducks. (A little random, but that's our family!)
My wonderful designer husband put the pictures together nicely in InDesign and I printed them off and cut them with my handy mini paper cutter from my MIL. I need to borrow my moms laminator bc after just a few minutes with them Layla has them pretty bent up (and I printed on card stock).
After we went through all the cards a few times I pulled up some animal sounds on YouTube and she loved that! It was a great way for her to make the connection of sound with the animals and to see the animal on the card and on my phone. This activity was definitely successful.
And there you have it! Super cheap, super easy entertainment for your toddler!