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The child is 2 years 3 months old, and she loves following 4 activities:

  • Getting read books.
  • Making sketches with me.
  • Going outside to play.
  • Watching cartoons on TV.

The problem is that these activities require me or her father to engaged all the time.

I cannot read to her throughout the day (she would be extremely happy if I did so though), but I can't because reading books in a dramatic way to the child consumes a lot energy. Besides I have read all these books multiple number of time so I am bored to death but she is not.

I read 3 books at max and then I get tired and bored.

We do take her outside to play but that also requires terrible energy from our side because we have to be constantly run after her and be watchful of what she is touching and putting in her mouth.

Her father takes her out for 45 minutes in the evening.
While drawing sketches she wants me to participating all the time.

My problem is that these activities can be done only for a limited period of time. What should be done after that? When there is nothing to do she tells me to switch on TV. I comply because I know there is nothing for her to do.

She has got toys non mechanical toys but she doesn't play with them. Previously she used to enjoy playing with blocks but now she is bored of it probably because the only thing which she can build is a long tower! How many times can I expect her to build that tower?

She is very social.

This problem is only for Saturdays and Sundays when the daycare is closed and she is at home with us.

4

You should not feel that you have to be supplying all of her entertainment. Between daycare and the home life you have described it sounds like your daughter never has to find her own entertainment. This is not something you want to encourage, rather she should be encouraged to learn how to entertain herself and be comfortable with her own company. This might be done by giving her toys or an activity to do, on her own, but near you. You might have to tell her that she has to play on her own for 10 minutes/until you finish a task/ etc. You will probably have to do this many times. Eventually, she will learn that she can play on her own.

A few things that I used to do were to pull a chair up to the kitchen sink and fill it with water and bubbles, then let my child "wash" small, non breakable dishes while I prepared meals. Water spilled and wiped up was a quick wipe up of the kitchen floor. I also had a container of puffed rice they could play with in the kitchen. A child size table was tucked in the corner of the kitchen where there were crayons, paper, scissors, marker, etc. Things that you need to keep an eye on, but they could do while being near me.

Another suggestion is to not keep toys in a toy box, but instead to display a few out where she can clearly see them, and change them ever couple weeks. It makes them more attractive and likely to be used. You usually see toys displayed in daycares for that very reason. I don't know if you keep all her toys in her bedroom or a play room, but I would bring some out into wherever you spend your time.

3

Tv is not an answer. At this age the amount of TV should be very, very limited - 1 to 2 hours according to American Academy of Pediatrics - but I'd say that 1h is absolute maximum, seeing how my girl is hooked to tv, watching it with open mount and a thoughtless impression.

As for other activties - here are some ideas:

Our daughter loves playing with duplos - with the figures, mostly, but since a month or so also with the blocks. She aligns her pets in a row, puts them around a toy plate and feeds them, then we build a "house" and put the figures around. If you haven't tried these, I recommend you get a "starter" set of a "zoo" or "forest" with some animals and some human figures and see if she enjoys it. Remember that you have to teach her how to play with them - at first it will be you who will have to do things with those figures. Building things with blocks, even picking them up, arranging them, really does improve motoric skills a lot.

duplo forest

If it's still warm where you live, try putting your daughter in a sandbox with a plastic bucket, moulds, shovel, rake... And see what happens. Again, you will have to initiate the playing at first, but in a short while she should grasp the idea.

Plasticine and kinetic sand could be a good idea. With plasticine you could build animals, pots, cars... Whatever you think of, actually. And a kinetic sand is more-or-less an indoor substitute of a normal sand. Just remember to play in one place and not distribute the sand everywhere. Here's how the sand looks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgf0fpo1W6c

Two years is the age I think is OK to introduce first phone/tablet apps. There are few available for a 2yo kid, but, in particular, the lego duplo apps "forest" and "ice-cream" I think are appropriate for that age. I haven't found any other, though, most were for older children. These apps, btw, combine well with playing with real blocks (I guess that's duplo's idea behind making those), so after playing a tablet game, your daughter can be asked to build some things she saw there with the blocks she has. And remember to limit the tablet-time to a sensible amount (we, for now, stick to one-play-per-day, which is around 10-15 minutes).

An indoor swing or a platform are an interesting idea. A swing is safer, while a platform improves body coordination and sense of balance. Both are fun.

platform

  • We also like those duplo games. Good for problem solving. Another good one is Toca Band. They (Toca) also have a cooking game – MiniMum Oct 13 '15 at 17:26
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I have a similarly tireless 21 month old and it can be hard to keep up with his endless energy. We also only have to take care of him on weekends as he is in daycare during the week. However I feel this time while he is small and wants to spend a lot of time with his parents will pass way too fast so when I find things a bit overwhelming I try to remind myself of that.

We are pretty lucky in that he is quite good at entertaining himself. He does frequently look round for reassurance or approval but we don't need to be constantly interacting with him actively. Some of the things that he loves to do that he is happy to do by himself with occasional encouragement are:

  • puzzles - he has a range of easier and more difficult puzzles. If we want to get something done, we give him a puzzle that's easy enough to do by himself but not so easy that he does it too quickly and gets bored. If we have a bit of time to spare we do a more difficult one and help him.

  • our son also loves the type of duplo blocks with characters mentioned in the previous answer. He has a very simple set where he can make different animals that entertains him for a while. Also playmobil 123, and bristle blocks keep him amused for a long time. Anything like this where you can make a variety of things may be more interesting than just building a tower.

  • play kitchen with pretend food, cups, plates, cooking equipment etc

  • drawing - he loves drawing and doesn't mind doing it by himself. Not sure how you can encourage your daughter to draw by herself but perhaps giving crayons and blank paper and allowing her to draw whatever she likes rather than setting any particular task will let her draw more independently

  • train sets. My toddler enjoys assembling train tracks and driving the trains around. You can get a small starter set and add to it if she enjoys it. He also likes other play transport items like cars, boats and tractors. Traditionally, these are more often seen as toys used by boys but I don't see why girls can't also enjoy them.

  • music - my toddler loves to listen to music - he likes nursery rhymes that he can recognise but he also enjoys the kind of music myself and my husband might listen to. He also likes to play music - banging a drum or xylophone or shaking bells or shakers.

Another thing that we find useful if we are trying to get something done and can't pay attention to his toys and playing is to get him to help out with chores. He will load the washing machine, help take things out, if I need to cook I sometimes stand him on a chair to watch (at a safe enough distance from any thing dangerous). He even likes watching the vacuuming.

As your daughter likes playing outside, can you take her for a day out one day of the weekend? Somewhere that you can all find something to enjoy? When you take her outside, can you show her things in a supervised way, like flowers, insects etc. It may take some energy to find things but could be easier than chasing after her all the time.

Our son rarely watches TV, maybe he's still a bit young to follow it but also he just doesn't like to sit still. But because he doesn't watch it much, it's more of a novelty and we can occasionally get him to sit in front of it for 15 mins or so when we need to do something that he can't be involved in.

Finally when I really do need a break, I find it's good to meet up with friends or relatives. They are always happy to pay attention to my son while I might have a chance to have an adult chat and a cup of tea.

  • What kind of trains do you recommend for a toddler? What kind of set? – Dariusz Oct 13 '15 at 16:38
  • We have two types. One is wooden, called Brio which is the one I was thinking of when I said you can get a simple set and add to it. Another has a plastic track with a train which keeps moving by itself after you push it a bit. They are both suitable from about 18 months – MiniMum Oct 13 '15 at 17:10
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What does her daycare do? Surely they are not watching over your child specifically all day as they have other children to mind. Try doing some of the things that work there.

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This is a timeless question, i'll add a timeless answer: sand!

My kid needed to be entertained all the time, except if there was sand to play with.

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