Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Keep a Toddler Entertained in a Hotel Room – Frugal Fun on a Rainy Day!

My husband sometimes travels for work and now that I’m a stay at home mom, my 2 year old son and I often tag along. We all love traveling and experiencing new places, food, and activities together so it can be a real win-win!

I love showing my son where we’ll be headed on a map and how far away it is from our home. He’s becoming quite the expert traveler and even insists on toting Daddy’s wheelie bag through the airport.

Most of the time there are plenty of new things to see and do within walking distance from the hotel. I always pack a good pair of walking shoes and the jogging stroller and we go out to explore when Daddy is at work. But what do you do when it’s a cold rainy day and your hotel isn’t located within walking distance of anything but not-so-scenic highways and parking lots?

My first thought was the hotels indoor pool, sure to be a fun adventure for my 2 year old and me. But the hotel pool was closed…foiled again!

It was confirmed, we were stuck in the hotel room for a day with no rental car, so it was time to get creative! I quickly dug through my bag to see if I had any fun surprises stashed inside. All I uncovered was a small set of crayons leftover from a restaurant visit and a few matchbox cars. Then I scanned the room and realized the only acceptable item to color was the Wall Street Journal newspaper, not exactly what I would consider a publication designed for a 2 year old, but we made it work.

It turns out a newspaper and crayons can be a great activity to entertain little ones! Who knew?! Newspapers feature ads with airplanes, cars, watches, jewelry in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of colorful line, bar, and pie charts in the business and finance sections. We colored over products featured in the article photographs and ads talking about the items and their colors. We searched out and traced all the shapes. We reviewed our ABCs and 123s. We drew lines, made dots, squiggles, circles, and drew smiley stick figures. All while Mommy brushed up on the headline news. We used what we had and that works for me!

After our marathon coloring session, we turned the newspaper into a ramp and played with the matchbox cars. Thank goodness for that newspaper, crayons, and matchbox cars, those little guys saved the rainy day. :) Not bad for a frugal, fun rainy day stuck in the hotel room!

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