As a parent we’ve all been there. We’re invited to our brother’s house, our neighbor’s BBQ or at a baby shower and they say kids are welcome but next thing you know they’re bored! Your kid can’t leave your side for more than 2 minutes leaving you no time to talk with other adults, and you spend more energy on them and you question why you even left the house. As a host, they may think, well my kid has a room full of toys, or the parents will bring something but it ends up a big misunderstanding.
Some kids are quite content playing with the host’s kids toys, but sometimes that doesn’t work out for various reasons. Sometimes the host’s kid doesn’t want to openly share (which can be developmental), sometimes the guests’ children don’t like to be out of sight from their parents in a new environment, or sometimes the toys are not of interest to the guests.
Here is a simple way you can entertain the kids for little to no effort:
Set aside a small space on the floor near the adults and lie down a tarp and a large flat bin such as the type that goes under the bed, or a couple of $1 dishbins. If you don’t have those, a couple of flat boxes could work. This helps define the space that the toys should stay in.
Put in some various toys that the kids can share, or build. If you don’t have any toys, try to collect some of the following things as another way to keep them busy.
Containers such as clean empty yogurt cups, margarine tubs, or plastic cups and glad containers could work.
Add some small materials for the kids to play with such as cotton balls, cut up straws, shredded paper, craft sticks, ribbon, etc. or if you’re outside, buy a $ bag of sand from a home improvement store.
For older kids add some scissors, long straws, larger paper and blue tape to give them creative opportunity.