21 July 2009

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

Where is our long hot Summer?

We're sorted for outdoor activities. We have balls and boules. We have a sandpit and water table. We have a paddling pool (still in its bag), we have balls to convert the paddling pool into a ball pond (still in their bag).

What we don't have is sunshine!

This morning I looked out of the window at the rain pouring down and wondered what we could do today. Tuesday is our only free day. If it's fine we walk to the shops and the park, or we play in the garden. It's not fine though. We didn't even need anything from the shops, otherwise I would have braved the elements with a mac for me and a rain cover for the boys.

So this morning we read some books, watched a bit of CBeebies (I heart Doodle Doo!) and played with toys. When Cash had a nap, Presley and I ate some toast and then I watched him play on the settee. This involved sliding from the settee on to the carpet either knees first or head first. I soon put down some cushions!

I feel like I'm letting Presley down though. At 22 months should I be doing more activities with him? Should I be painting, gluing, making and baking with him? He still seems a bit young to me.

He has crayons and a colouring book, but I have to supervise him closely otherwise he crayons on everything! This is the extent of our arts and crafts so far.

Whatever we do I'm sure Cash, at 10 months, could happily watch from the safety on the baby walker.

Please leave me a comment with some suggestions. I'd love to hear what you think.



  1. Rainy days are a pain sometimes...

  2. Playdoh or the like can be good as long as you make sure they dont eat it..my smurf used to love it, still does...also loves to play in the sink with water, and various pouring tubs..and loves to play in the sink with gloop...a mixture of cornflour and water,,try it feels really weird.

  3. What about making noise shakers (if you can stand the noise), get empty bottles and fill them with pasta shapes or rice and then decorate and get them dancing and grooving to some cd's.

  4. Dancing can be good. Mainly I let my little one help around the house. She takes the washing out of the basket for me to hang up, "helps" to sort the socks, names everything in the shops, that kind of thing. The park is good for seeing other children, too.

    I used to really worry about that, but now I believe that they all have enough toys to stimulate them, and then all they need is attention and stimulation, which they get simply by spending time together.

    Don't worry too much, they will mostly bring themselves up and tell you what they need.

  5. I have a recipe that my 18m old loves to make: oat raisin biscuits that you roll into balls and let your little helper "squash" them into shape! He LOVES it. He also helps to add/eat the raisins. I will post it on my blog for you later tonight (after bedtime), and after we've made them, we sweep the kitchen floor and wipe the surfaces, which he loves to do. Then we eat them!

  6. Well, Charlie helped Sarah 'bake' some cakes this morning. Well, I say 'helped'... Maybe try something else!

  7. Painting is great and they love it. strip them down to their nappies and find a huge piece of paper and a huge sheet to cover the floor. Don't bother with water just get washable paints and squeeze them onto a plastic plate and give them each a brush. My little man loves it.

    Baking buns is also great - don't worry about the mess and you can pop them in their high chairs and give them little bowls of icing to decorate them afterwards.

    Have a fun playtime bath.

    Dance to CDs and let them play percussion instruments.

  8. Oh, we have stacks! Where we live it rains ALL THE TIME so we're well practiced! Off the top of my head:

    Teddy bear's picnic
    Make your own play dough
    Bring the sandpit inside, fill with play balls
    Making dens and caves using sheets and the sofa (or Ikea does the most amazing kids' tent for £6)
    We have a fantastic easel - Ikea, £10 - which we use a lot when it's rainy
    A huge basket of musical instruments
    Making dress up outfits - cut down old clothes, used sheets to make ghost outfits etc

    If all else fails, just get out the wellies and go puddle splashing!

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  10. I would suggest move to a different country! (lol)

    I used to play outside with the kids to see who could catch the biggest raindrop and they'd run about trying to catch them, squealing with laughter.

    Yeah, we're an odd family!

    Love RMx

  11. With two boys??? We're outside all the time much to my disgust as I hate the rain but they don't seem to mind at all. We have a whole load of long sticks and an old tarp and most of the time make dens and wigwams. Other times we go along to the playground yep even in the drizzle. When I have had anough of that I grab my bestest book and head off to the local play centre and enjoy a wonderful coffee while they play endlessly in the safe confines of the kiddies play pen.
    If the boys are feeling crafty them the local library does a whole host of supervidsed activities for tots and toddlers too and best of all it's free!!!

  12. Totally sympathise. Lashing in Ireland too - constantly. My tips: in between showers, get wellies on and go for a ruddy good splash-a-thon. Inside picnics, hide and seek, play dough, musical bumps, painting (cover everything and let them at it). Of course, this will only take you to 10.30am. :-(

  13. I will have to bookmark this post and come back and review in about a year and a half. It all sounds so much fun.

    I bought some blackboard paint from Homebase recently - perhaps you could get a big wooden board and paint it and then get some chalks? I would think they could do less damage to their surroundings with chalk? (although I could be showing my complete ignorance here!).

    When I was a kid we made playdoh ourselves. I'm sure you could find a recipe online.

  14. MelRox, it rains a lot here!

    Lorraine, ooh, I love the smell of playdough! I bet P would enjoy playing with water and gloop too. Thanks!

    b, I've made some shakers, but hadn't thought of dancing along to CDs, thanks!

    Mwa, yes, P loves to 'help' round the house. If we're in the kitchen he's my bin monitor! Silly me, I hadn't recognised that the housework is all part of their growing up experience. Thanks!

    Allgrownup, thank you so much for the recipe, can't wait to try it!

    The D, kitchen experiments here we come!!

    Pink, thanks for all the brilliant ideas. I'd thought about painting, what a good idea for them to just do it in their nappies!

    Sally, thank you! I think we live quite close, I'm in Preston. It rains. A lot!! I love the picnic idea. I used to build dens all the time. Easel, great idea! Off to Ikea now :-)

    RM, I'd love to live somewhere with more predictable sunny weather! I love the raindrop game. Just as soon as Cash starts walking, we'll be out there! x

    Tattie, I don't like getting wet either! Good idea to spend more time at the library (we normally go once a week for bounce & rhyme), they can look at books for ages. I'll have to see if there's a play centre nearby. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

    HCM, LOL, yes they've got rather short attention spans. I can't wait for the baby to be able to splash about, I can't let the toddler out on his own in the garden yet! Thanks for the hide and seek idea, brilliant!

    Dancinfairy, yes, so many good ideas. I've been inspired. Blackboard and chalk is a great idea, but I've gone cold at the thought of nails scraping down the board!!! I'm sure I saw a playdough recipe on a blog, if only I could remember where :-)

  15. Push a chair up to the kitchen sink, put towels on the floor, get out lots of interesting kitchen utensils, including small pots, and a jug. Let him while away the time playing "washing up". You can fill a sink with soapy water, or you can leave the plug out and let him play with the water as it runs out of the tap - for variety. Mine used to spend hours doing this. Have a change of clothes ready - obviously - and I would suggest remaining in the vicinity while the activity is in progress.

    It's also educational, because they learn so much about volume and measuring. So have pots of different sizes, and an easy-pour jug, and let the education commence!

  16. Iota, what an excellent idea! We tried it today, thanks for all your tips. Blog post and photos to follow!

  17. OMG I'm so crap at messy play! But playdoh is great. My 2 love drawing, even Baby B who just chews the pencils. Summer hols are so long! xx

  18. Clare, I don't like mess either! Will definitely have to try play dough :-)


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