If you're a mother, you know that sound oh so well! It's the constant call from your little one demanding your immediate attention, regardless of what your doing. Phone call; forget it - they are more important! Bathroom; doesn't matter - they are coming in! Making dinner; who cares- let it burn! Visiting with friends or family; great, they can play too! Asking them to play on their own can be like pulling teeth. Here are a couple tips and activities that I have found to help keep my 3 year old busy.
2. Set a timer. Ok, so maybe we can't always stop in the middle of making dinner to act like Anna or Elsa. But one trick that helps me out, from time-to-time, is using a timer. I pick her up, show her that I am setting the timer on the microwave or stove, and tell her I have to finish working in the kitchen, and when she hears the timer beep I will stop to play with her. For her age, I don't set it for more than 10 minutes.
3. Crafts and Activities. My daughter LOVES doing crafts. When I need just a few minutes longer to myself, I can bribe her with craft-time. I tell her SHE needs to "get things ready for us to do a craft". To her, this means retrieving the materials we need - markers, crayons, paper, etc.
On this day, she had went into her room, put on her dress-up clothes, found the dolls she wanted to play with, and came back. But, what you can't see in the picture is the best....she didn't cross the threshold into the kitchen. She set her dolls down, and said "Ok, Mom, we're waiting for the timer!". How funny!
For example, I told her we were going to make an "Animal Poster". I gave her an old magazine, and told her to circle all the animals she could find. That gave me the few minutes that I needed to myself. When she was done, I cut them out, and she glued them down onto the construction paper.
If all else fails, give them a microphone. What kid doesn't like to hear themselves?! Play their favorite music, and let them blurt it out!