Mommyish Gift Guide:10 Gifts For Kids That Will Keep Them Busy Long Enough For You To Pee Alone

123318168And maybe even longer!

I am a huge fan of gifts that kids actually play with, that keep them busy, that give you a few extra minutes to do some of the amazingly selfish and terrible things parents want to do alone: pee, take out the trash, write a grocery list, empty the dishwasher. You know, all those wonderful things we get to enjoy while our kids are occupied. Here are 10 awesome gift ideas that will keep your kids busy while you get all wild and make yourself some toast or something.

1: eeBOO Pom Poms 


(image: land Of Nod)

I love everything eeBOO makes and at under 10 bucks I can see my kids making pom poms for everything.

2: Potholder Loom Kit

(Image: land Of Nod)

(Image: land Of Nod)

Oh man, those of us of a certain age may remember these loom kits from when we were young, and I know they kept me very busy and made my mom have a whole mess of pot holders. Only 14.95.

3: Mr. Sherwood Stitch Kit 

(image: land Of Nod)

(image: land Of Nod)

This kit comes with everything you need to make this guy.

4: Paper Plate Bugs

(Image: Amazon)

(Image: Amazon)

I am a huge fan of all of these kits, and even toddlers can make these. Pro-tip: Get a different brand of glue stick, the ones that comes with the kit don’t work so great.

5: Snowflakes


If you know a kid old enough to hold scissors with no adult supervision, this book makes an amazing pile of snowflakes to keep an kid busy and to enchant your windows with!

6: Fake Food 

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 8.56.39 AM


I am a huge fan of all of these Melissa and Doug fake food sets. They have velcro, so you can slice them with your fake knife. The quality is great so they are a future hand-me-down, and I will even admit my 9-year-old still likes playing with fake food and baking.

7:  This Glorified Cardboard Box 

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I know what you are thinking, that I am kookoo for kookoopuffs for suggesting you spend 40 bucks on a box. But give some kids a new box of crayons and this and not only can you pee alone, but you can probably take a bath too.

 8: These Magnets 

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 9.31.54 AM

Long gone are the days when all e had were boring letters to stick all over our refrigerator. Now your kids can make a beautiful forest scene will you scrub the dishes. I love how these have no choke-y pieces so they are great for ages two and up.

9:  Collages For Little Ones 

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I love all of these craft kits, and they range images from three years on up. Plus, they come with everything you need.

10: Paper Bag Monsters 


These are geared towards young kids, but I’m sorry, older ones will wanna help because everyone loves monsters and this kit makes some truly awesome ones. At less than 10 bucks, it’s almost guaranteed to buy you an episode or two of Orange is The New Black. 

(Image: getty)

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  • NicknamesAreDull

    When my daughter was younger, I filled a small plastic bin with rice, and hid random crap in it. The box had a lid, so when I was done doing whatever, I could put it up where she couldn’t get to it.

    • I might be a bad person

      Imagine how much longer that would keep them occupied if the 5th or so time they played with it you didn’t hide anything in it.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I’m genuinely sad that I didn’t think of that.

    • Most likely a bad person

      If it’s any consolation, I’m genuinely terrified for my (possible) future children that this was my first thought upon reading your post.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      Parenting is tricking your kids until they get old enough to figure it out.
      Then you learn to get better at it.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I feel like I want that on a shirt.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      And it would be a particularly fun open thread….in what ways have you tricked your children for your own amusement, or to keep them busy?

    • Votes are in, I’m bad :)

      I feel like this is probably the most uplifting and encouraging thing anyone has told me about parenting since I started reading parenting blogs (I’m trying to figure out if I could be a decent parent or if I should just stick with cats). What I lack in maternal instincts, I know I totally make up for in being a trickster. I might not completely suck at this after all. :)

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I still don’t think I have any maternal instinct. My daughter lost a tooth last night, and I vomited. Then, I asked my husband (when she was in bed) why she couldn’t just swallow the tooth like her brother (our pug) did. When my daughter was born, I didn’t want to hold her until she de-gooped. I’ve also compared my daughter to my pug (not in front of her.)

    • Out of ‘bad’ names.

      I don’t see anything wrong with any of that. The barfing sounds like a normal reaction to seeing someone’s body fall apart.

    • Tinyfaeri

      My friend’s mother used to make him polish slate with a cloth and a bucket of water when he was antsy. Kept him busy for hours.

  • Rachel Sea

    Discovery Kids makes cardboard box castles, a space shuttle, a cottage, and a pirate ship for between $15 and $40 depending on where you get them.

    I gave them to friends’ kids last year, and they were the most beloved gift of all. The more careful kids still play with theirs. The less careful kids provided brightly colored in fireplace starter for the rest of the winter

  • pixie

    I want to do all those adorable crafty things!!
    (Currently I’m appeasing my inner Victorian lady/old lady by cross-stitching)

  • Tinyfaeri

    I need the castle for me so I can sit in it with a party hat on and roar at people while holding a lighter and saying I’m a dragon.

    And if karma exists, I have a lot of potholders coming my way in a few years.

    • Eve Vawter

      I’m moving in there with you

    • Tinyfaeri

      You may come in, and you may have a hat. :) I’ll even put streamers on yours.

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