Rainy days are lovely sometimes. You can sleep in, snuggle up with a book and cup of tea, watch a movie or two, and just enjoy being inside. However, if you have toddlers, it’s not exactly that relaxing.
So what can you do to keep these little (wild) people running around your home busy on rainy days? Rainy days make me feel a bit tired and slow. Not a good combination with my crazy little ones with extra energy to burn. I like rainy day activities that are easy to prepare, but that take awhile for my little ones to complete.
Here is a list of 20 innovative, quick, and creative rainy day ideas for keeping your toddler busy:
- Put shaving cream (and your toddler) in the tub. Make sure to supervise and use a sli- proof mat. Adding paint brushes and a bit of water will extend this fun even longer!
- Bring bikes inside. They have energy to burn – so give them an outlet! Create a road with painters tape on a long hallway or around the kitchen table. You could even have your toddler make stop signs and traffic lights out of construction paper.
- Finger paint with food. Finger paint itself is messy, but funny enough, when my little one paints with chocolate pudding he cleans himself quite well.
- Make mail. My little one loves making letters and pictures to send to loved ones. Whether they are just around the corner or across the country, who doesn’t love getting mail? Have some fun and send a surprise summer letter to Santa.
- Re-organize the furniture. Why not? Let your little ones plan your family room – amazingly, they will play in it for hours afterwards – as if they are playing at a new house.
- Build an indoor park or obstacle course. Take all the cushions of the couch, line up the footstool for jumping, and let the good times roll.
- Fashion show. Let your little ones raid your closets. Pull out winter clothing. Get out hockey gear. Your little one will have the time of his life – and you can have a cup of coffee. This one is well worth the mess. Did I mention the coffee?
- Take a swim. Put on swimsuits and pour water into the bath tub.
- Play frog. Little ones love to pretend they’re animals. Put some paper plates on the ground as lily pads and let your little one hop. Of course, they can decorate their lily pads too. My favourite rainy day way to decorate is with stickers – very little mess, and little supervision needed.
- Make a scavenger hunt. Give your child a clipboard with a list of items to find (draw simple pictures). Make sure you have a treasure at the end!
- Bake. Cookies, cake, muffins. It won’t really matter to your toddler!
- Clean. Have you ever noticed how much little ones love to clean? Give her a soapy cloth and let her clean away with you.
- Play in the garage. Open up the garage door to watch the rain fall. Pull out the cars and let her use her bikes, chalk, or bubbles.
- Make magic pictures. Use white crayons to write secret messages or pictures, and have your child paint with water colours over top to reveal the words/pictures.
- Play with phones. Unplug your home phone, power off your cell phone – it is amazing how much fun this can be for your little one! And shows you how much they truly listen to everything you say!
- Practise going up and down the stairs. On your bum, crawling backwards, walking holding the rail. Your little one loves to do it – now is a good time to practise!
- Make necklaces. With beads, pasta, toilet paper tubes (these also make great snakes). Using pipe cleaners instead of string is easier for little hands.
- Give all the little toy people (and animals, and cars) a bath. Either in the sink, a Tupperware container with a towel underneath, or throw them in the bathtub with your little one.
- Go shopping. No need to buy anything, just go for the outing. This is great tied in with the scavenger hunt game.
- Invite a friend over. Have them bring toys! Toys that belong to a friend are so appealing to toddlers – and can help with the “It’s Mine!” experience of having friends over.
The next time it rains, try a rainy day activity or two from this list. It may tucker your little one out enough for an extra long afternoon nap!
Though sometimes rainy days seem long, try to keep in mind that these days with your little one are fleeting. Make some memories with your young child while you can.
What are your favourite rainy day activities?