First thing though as a side note that I'd like to address is that I believe in having my babe actively participate in everything he can through out the day. He helps me do everything from smoothie making, to baking, washing the car, watering the grass, checking the mail, feeding the animals, etc. Its also really great to explain what you're doing as you do it, they catch on really quickly.
Also, none of this includes making use of the actual toys he does have and love such as his toy car and bike he rides down hills or blocks he uses to build.
We also try to leave the house every single day, whether it be a walk to the park or a trip to hang around Costcos. Its pretty vital to both of our health and happiness to not be constantly cooped up in the house.
Homemade Play Dough
This ones easier than you think, I did it without cream of tartar because I didn't have any on me.
Basically I took four bowls (for four colors) into each bowl went 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, food coloring. In a separate bowl went 3 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of table salt mixed together. Take the dry ingredient mix and put a cup into each of the four bowls, mix well and knead into dough. Simple.
Its also fun to have babe help you make it, Ezykiel enjoys measuring out ingredients.
all you need is some vanilla yogurt and (one drop) food coloring. its a great alternative to using real water colors and such because your babe can eat it without any worries.
Honestly, I rarely ever end up putting up the actual sprinkler, mostly Ezykiel just loves to run through it while watering the grass. Most of the time he will water the grass himself or spray the hose to rinse the car.
Baby Pool with a Water Slide
I bought a baby pool for $4 on clearance at Walmart and it was by far the best investment ever. My child plays in it every day five times a day. We also got a small slide off of craigslist for a few bucks. We simply just move the pool under the slide and it makes a crazy fun experience for my babe.
Also, if you don't have a baby pool, a large cooler also works fine :)
One thing I've learned is that toddlers are not difficult to entertain at all. One of Ezykiel's favorite games is to simply stand on a card box while you move it quickly from under him and catch him. He also enjoys jumping from the box. I kid you not this will keep him entertained for a good hour.
I only have videos of this, i'll take pics and upload at a later date.
I believe in having my babe participate actively with anything he can. When we make smoothies, he's the one that puts everything in (with mamas help of course) and he presses the buttons to make it blend. He actually gets really upset if he doesn't get to help. He also tends to eat the fruit as I prep.
Feed the Turtle (or any animal really)
Ezykiel actually helps to feed all the animals, we have two dogs, one cat and a turtle...well tortoise to be accurate. Ezykiel's favorite animal to feed is obviously the turtle. Every morning the very first thing he does is go into the back yard, pick the red hibiscus from the bush (turtles fave,) runs it over to the turtles corner of the yard and throws them in his enclosure.
Spray Bottle Play
This one I got from another lovely mama but all I did was fill a couple of empty spray bottles with water and we had a water fight! Lots of fun and it helps babe further develop motor skills to be able to spray it at a target (you.)
I actually didn't come up with this one either. For some reason there were a bunch of bottle caps in the dirt patch in our yard and Ezykiel discovered on his own how to dig them out. He quickly mastered using his little hand shovel and when he's able to get them all out, I put them back for him to play again the next day.
Ezykiel has been going through a sticker phase and loves everything about them. He particularly likes to stick the stickers on his stomach and face. Stickers entertain him for at least a good half hour.
We use an old wipes container and fill it with old gift cards. Ezykiel really loves to dump them out and stick them back in through the slot. I play store with him with this and when he puts one in all the way he says cha-ching! (other good ideas to fill the container with is really anything with textures, old fabrics, velcro, the possibilities are endless!)
We have tons of fun playing around in the futon. Whether he's falling all over it or crawling through it, this is another one where the possiblities are endless.
Also only have videos of this, will take pictures and upload at a later date.
My child loves to help wash the car. Everything about it from scrubbing to rinsing and even drying, he's there every step of the way.
Like I said earlier, I prefer to have Ezykiel always involved in everyday activities. My grandfather (Ezykiel's great-grandfather) is usually the one to do the recycling in the house. Ezykiel helps by sorting the glass and cans into separate buckets and smashing the cans to donate.
Our mailbox isn't located on our driveway but rather two streets over since we live in an association. Ezykiel holds the keys the entire way and now knows how to stick the key in and turn it to get the mail out. Very very helpful little babe.
Magnets and Tupperware
Both are my saving grace while I try to cook. I ordered a few magnets that had pictures from instagram on them. He loves to take them off and put them back on and see whose pictures he's playing with. Also our tupperware is on the ground level shelves and free game for him, its not latched with baby locks. He can take them out as he pleases. Currently he likes to put small objects (such as ice) in cups and shake them around.
Arts and Crafts
Which usually for us means coloring on paper with pens and crayons. He's finally old enough to enjoy scribbling without having the desire to eat the pens.
This may just be a my kid thing but he loves to help sweep, vaccum or anything of the sort.