Keeping your kids busy and out of your hair is often just a matter of presenting them with something they can use for open ended play.
I like to keep sturdy cylindrical containers and tubes that come my way. I taped four together and numbered them. I was thinking it might be good for ball play, but the boys had other ideas. They wanted to use it with their toy vehicles.
My toddler started using it as a parking garage.
Later on, Kiddo insisted I add two more containers. He also added gas pumps (i.e. blocks).
Man, they are so obsessed with transportation.
Side note: as I was using painter’s tape to construct this –whatever it is– I was thinking to myself, I bet one of those crafty people featured at The Crafty Crow would do something fabulous like paint each container a different color, hand-stencil the numbers and find some invisible way of fixing the containers to each other. I’m just not talented enough for that (or maybe just too lazy), but if you are a crafty crow, I bet you can make yours look not-so-ugly.