Winter “Bored Sticks” Jar – 40 ideas

I discovered this idea via the blog “The Diary of a Frugal Family“(one of my favourite blogs!). This is a great idea to keep your little ones (and big ones!) occupied.

I bought some coloured lolly sticks from Dunhelm Mill as they were only £1. You can also get them from Hobbycraft but they retail at £2.

Rather than print off my list and add them to each coloured lolly stick, I’ve numbered each of the sticks and then printed out the list below. This means I can change it at will and don’t have to keep making new sticks.

It also means that I can make a list for myself, especially for those things that I never seem to be motivated to get around too! lol.

I plan to put together a list for a “Summer bored Sticks Jar” too, so look out for that around May time.

Do you have any suggestions that I can add into this post?

Ideas for your Winter Bored Sticks Jar

1. Make Gloop with buttons

2. Get the plastic balls and the tent out

3. Make cookies

4. Do some painting

5. Do some glueing and sticking

6. Make some birthday cards

7. Feed the ducks

8. Find some puddles and splash in them

9. Build a tent or den

10. Have a picnic with pretend food

11. Have an indoor picnic with real food

12. Draw something

13. Read a book

14. Make a gift for someone

15. Go to the park

16. Go to the beach

17. Make a musical instrument/play on some musical instruments

18. Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet

19. Learn ten words in a different language (this is probably more for me than Miss NHM at this stage! lol)

20. Play with or make play doh

21. Let Daddy choose something to do

22. Let Mummy choose something to do

23. Play a board game ( I taught Miss NHM how to play Jenga recently and it was hillarious. She also loves dice)

24. Dance to some music

25. Make cupcakes or fairy cakes

26. Do a craft project or google one to make with empty plastic bottles, toilet roll holders, old christmas cards

27. Make coloured spaghetti

28. Do some dried food cooking

29. Watch a film

30. Make some DIY coloured sand

31. Make a village from any toys that you have

32. Make a memory board

33. Make a scrapbook of a recent event  or holiday

34. Visit a castle. The nearest one to Basingstoke is Odiham Castle, near Hook.

35. Go to the kids club cinema at Odeon or Vue

36. Go out for dinner somewhere. Check out these posts HERE for a list of baby and Children friendly restaurants in Basingstoke.

37. Listen to an Audio Book

38. Go Swimming. Check out the post HERE for details of local swimming pools

30. Visit your local Library.

40. Do a fitness video together as a family. (We did this recently, and it was hilarious!)

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Toddler Games: Dry Food Play

Sometimes something is SO obvious that when you finally twig, you feel the need to slap yourself silly for not thinking of it earlier. No? Just me? oh well. 😉

This is one of those activities. It kept Miss NHM busy for well over an hour and wasn’t too messy.

What you will need

  • Red or Green lentils
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Pasta (coloured looks good)
  • Lots of different types of bowls and plates
  • Cooking implements like wooden spoons, spatula’s and children’s knives and forks

Dry Food Play

I raided the cupboard for dried food. I found red lentils, oats and some brown rice.

I put them all into different bowls and put them on the table with some cooking implements like spatula’s, wooden spoons and Miss NHM’s knife and fork. 


I recently bought some multi-coloured pasta from Sainsburys that was on offer, so I put out a bowl of this.


Miss NHM had so much fun playing with this activity. She kept telling me that she was “cooking like Mummy”. Bless.



It’s probably best to do this somewhere that you don’t mind being made a bit messy. We did this in the kitchen as it’s easy to sweep up.

Have lots of different types of texture of dried food.

Probably not a good idea to do this with your little one if they are still experimenting by putting things in their mouth…


Don’t add water unless you REALLY want your little one to create havoc :-D.

Let me know if you enjoyed this activity as much as we did.

Toddler Games: Making Gloop!

This post is for Jo who thought I said “Goop” and then thought I was best friends with Gwyenth Paltrow because she has a blog called “Goop” :-D.

I’ve been wanting to do this for ages with Miss NHM, since before she was born! I can’t even remember where I first found out about Gloop, but it’s such a simple idea and a very cheap activity.

What you will need

1 cup cold water

2 cups corn flour

Random buttons

Making the Gloop

Slowly add one cup of water to two cups corn flour in a bowl.


Stir until the water is absorbed by the corn  flour.

Add buttons. Fishing buttons out of the gloop is great for your little one’s fine motor skills.


Miss NHM played with the Gloop for about an hour. We had a brilliant time playing with it and fishing the buttons out added another dimension to her interest.


Go to the toilet before you start. I didn’t do this and spent most of the time playing, wishing I had gone beforehand! The thought of leaving Miss NHM on her own or trying to get her to stop playing just wasn’t an option!


Don’t use fabric buttons like I accidentally did. Duh.

Do this somewhere that you don’t mind getting dirty. We found the kitchen was the best place. I probably wouldn’t do this in a carpeted room.


You can also step it up a level by adding either food colouring or food essence. We might try this next time.

Also, if the weather is nice next time we try this, I will try this outside.

Let me know if you enjoy this activity as much as we did!

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Toddler Games: Coloured Spaghetti

Toddler Games: Coloured Spaghetti

I’ve been meaning to do this activity for ages and we finally got around to it this morning. It was BRILLIANT! I really didn’t think we would have so much fun. I made blue spaghetti first, to try it out, and gave that to my little one with some plastic plates, cups and a spoon. She spent about 20 mins playing with it, whilst I pottered around the kitchen. I then did some red and green spaghetti and we both played with it together for about another hour!! I really didn’t expect to have so much fun with it:

It’s easy peasy. I first saw the idea HERE and have had it on my “list of things” to do since my little one was born. All you need is some spaghetti and food colouring. I picked up the spaghetti we used from the Sainsburys value range, about 40p, but you can get it cheaper in Tesco’s. We used about a quarter of it, so we can do this at least 3 more times. I cooked my spaghetti up with the food colouring directly and am pleased to report that it didn’t stain my saucepans. I got a bit covered in food colouring, but that was half the fun and I’m not great with those food colouring bottles! lol. My little one had so much fun moving the spaghetti from bowl, to plate, to cup and learnt that she could bite the spaghetti in half to make smaller pieces. We came up with some very multicoloured patterns as you can see:

It was a great opportunity for my little one’s motor skills and for us to practice colours. I totally recommend this activity with your toddler, especially for a rainy day. If you do try it out, let me know how it goes!

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Toddler Games: Making Gloop