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3 Easy Preschooler Activities for When You Need Time to Yourself


Sometimes during the day you probably need at least a few minutes to yourself. When I really need a bit of quiet time (to drink my hot chocolate or just think for a minute), I ask Adèle for some “mommy time.” Now that she’s older, she understands what that means and makes up her own games while I rest. But when she was smaller, I would usually set up one of the activities listed below.

Because these activities involve a large quantity of the same thing, even small children should be able play independently for a while with a lot of focus and concentration. This way you won’t have to resort to using screens and your child will work on developing their senses while you rest!



  • Paper towel or toilet paper cylinders
  • Tape
  • 2 Container
  • Walnuts, small balls, beans or whatever yo have  – anything which would fit into the cylinders. *** Just make sure that the objects used are not a choking hazard and that your child is old enough to use such objects. ***


  • Tape the cylinders to a surface which you won’t damage. Make sure your child can reach to the top. If you have many cylinders, be creative in how you attach them. Better yet, allow your child to experiment and attach them the way they choose.
  • Place one container underneath(for catching objects).
  • Place many objects into another container.
  • Show your child how to drop objects into the cylinders.



  • Beans or rice or chickpeas or shelled nuts, etc. *** Once again, make sure that the objects used are not a choking hazard and that your child is old enough to use such objects. ***
  • 2 large containers
  • Water (optional)
  • Kitchen utensils like spoons, measuring cups – whatever you have on hand.


  • Make sure that your child is old enough for this activity and that the objects you present do not pose a chocking hazard.
  • There are no rules. Your child will know what to do. Sensory Activity Beans Rice Nuts Find time to yourself Mommy Time Toddler Preschooler
  • Also, it can be used as a counting activity for older kids. 😉


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"I call this game fun-in-a-box." - Dr. Seuss from The Cat in the Hat. Child in a box. Kinesthetic Sensory Activity“I call this game fun-in-a-box.” – Dr. Seuss from The Cat in the Hat.


  • A box or a large container of any kind
  • Rice (optional) – and if you do use it, make sure that it is not a choking hazard and that your child is old enough for such activity. ***
  • Something to put under the mat so that when the rice spills, it will be easier for you to clean (optional).
  • Measuring cups and other kitchen utensils (optional)

Instructions"Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis child in a box Kinesthetic Sensory Activity Toddler Preschooler

  • Adèle loves the award-winning book “Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. Reading it inspires her to copy what the bunny is doing and to also create her own box games. Read the book together with your child and then give them a box to experiment with on their own.
  • You can put rice, beans or whatever you have at hand inside this box (if age appropriate). In this way it will become like a sandbox and your child can play inside it using measuring cups and other small containers.

What is your child’s favorite activity for independent play?



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