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Play List: Quick & Easy Fun

For toddlers on up

? Jazz up coloring: Print out Keith Haring's imaginative artwork

? Make a perfect valentine stamp. Slice an apple in half, then cut a "V" shape at the bottom of one of the pieces. Have your child paint the flat surface red and stamp it onto cards. (Toddlers on up)

? Play laundry basketball. While you sort, hand your kids rolled-up socks and an empty trash can, and promise a kiss for every "point" they make. (Toddlers on up)

? A quick hide-and-seek game: Stick rows of Post-it notes on a piece of paper, put a sticker under one, and let your child guess where the sticker is. Then hide another! (Toddlers)

? Declare your floors "hot lava." Your child can move around the house only by hopping on "islands" (paper taped to the floor). (Toddlers on up)

? Celebrate Easter: Lay a basket on its side, line up some plastic eggs, hand your child a broom, and play huevos hockey. (Toddlers on up)

? Liven up a springtime walk. Give your child a colorful lightweight scarf to hold out of the stroller and fly like a streamer in the wind. (Toddlers)

? A good high-chair activity while you're cooking: Take an empty tissue box, throw in a few small objects  -- a washcloth, a leaf, a toy car  -- and let your child reach in and feel them. Then dump them out and put in a few different things. (Babies and toddlers)

? Decorate balloons. Rub one until it has a static charge. Supply your child with pieces of tissue or string to put on it, and let him see what else sticks. (Just be sure to watch him.) (Toddlers on up)

? Start a nature scrapbook. Grab a small photo album or notebook where your child can store finds like leaves and feathers. (Toddlers on up)

? Toss a ball in running water  -- from the hose, in a shallow stream, in the ocean. Show your child how to use a small net or strainer to catch it, then throw it back and start again! (Toddlers on up)

? Create a love map. Draw a big heart on paper, and ask your child what's in her heart. Jot down what she says for a great Father's Day gift. (Toddlers on up)

? Make pizza cookies. Give your child lumps of cold pizza dough so she can flatten them with a potato masher. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top, bake, and serve. (Toddlers on up)

? Play mix and match. Give him a few empty plastic bottles or jars and their caps, and let him figure out which go together (just keep an eye on him). (Toddlers)

? Create instant bathtime fun: Hand over your turkey baster as a squirt toy; add plastic funnels for scoop-and-pour games. (Babies on up)

? Play pasta peekaboo. Turn a colander upside down and show her how to slide spaghetti into the holes. Lift up to see where they went! (Babies on up)

? Stay cool with ice hockey. Tip over a small wastebasket in your driveway, toss some ice cubes on the ground, and use broomsticks to see who can score the most before the cubes melt! (Toddlers on up)

? Sew fun! Punch holes in an egg carton with a pen, tape on a string of yarn, and let your child thread it through the openings. (Toddlers on up)

? Make a splash! Show your child how to soak up water from one bowl with a sponge and squeeze it into another  -- silly fun in the kitchen or the backyard. (Toddlers)

? Go for color: Give your child a medicine dropper and an ice-cube tray filled with water. Add food coloring. Let him squeeze, squirt, and mix! (Older babies on up)

? Do 3-D painting. Save up the foam blocks from your packages for your child to paint. Kids love the odd shapes. (Toddlers on up)

? Grab cookie cutters and...
- Use them for stencils
- Turn melon into stars
- Cut play dough into cool shapes. (Toddlers on up)

? Have a race: Use chalk to draw a curvy course on your sidewalk for an instant trike path. (Toddlers on up)

? Make "movies." Create a flip book

? Stamp it. Give your child things from around the house  -- blocks, a wire strainer, doll's feet  -- to make impressions on play dough. (Toddlers on up)

? Leaf-peep from home. Gather fall leaves from your yard, put a piece of double-sided tape on each, and let your kid stick them on the windows. (Toddlers on up)

? Start a pickup game: Put crayons or markers in a small pile. Kids can try to remove one at a time without disturbing the others. (Older toddlers on up)

Next: For preschoolers on up