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If it’s a rainy day and nothing’s on the agenda, sometimes we gear up and go splash in puddles around the neighborhood. And sometimes we hunker down and don’t leave the house… which has a tendency to make the day drag on and on forever. On those days, I have a few go-to activities I can quickly set up for the boys to keep them entertained and hopefully save us all from experiencing cabin fever.
Since we are headed into May Long Weekend, and it ALWAYS rains around here, I thought I’d share some things that might make it a bit smoother if you find yourself caught inside during a rainshower.
Here’s a few quick ideas for rainy day toddler activities:
- “Car Paper” as my boys call it. All it is, is a roll of craft paper from Amazon (I get this one, it’s a perfect size) and some painters tape. You can draw out basic roads and cities for cars, or get creative and make a zoo for toy animals. Really the possibilites are so open here! You can also give your kids crayons to help add some color. I would recommend drawing out your “car paper” with a sharpie but do it before you tape it to the floor. The paper is quite thin and the ink may bleed through.
- Color Sorting. This one is so simple but it’s a great way to use all those building blocks/stacking train pieces for another purpose. Here’s all you do: set out a few pieces of colored construction paper on the table/floor, and have the kids sort the items onto the matching colored paper, ie all the green items on the green paper, red on red, etc. This is great for color recognition and for learning sorting skills. You could even do this with hotwheels cars, play kitchen food, or socks, depending on how creative you want to get!
- Kinetic Sand My kids love this stuff. If you ever ask them what they want to do, guaranteed one of them will excitedly say “play with the sand!” I got one bag from Amazon here about a year ago and it’s still just as good as when we got it. Kinetic sand is beach sand with an oil polymer mixed in, so it holds its shape like wet beach sand. However, it isn’t wet, and doesn’t leave your hands messy. I set this up on a baking tray usually, but a sensory bin would work well too! Throw in some cookie cutters, some cars to bury and dig out, and you’re all set.
- Pasta Scooping This one inevitably ends up with macaroni noodles all over my kitchen, but at least they’re super quick to clean up and 100% worth the amount of time it keeps the boys busy. I give them some measuring scoops, spoons, and a funnel or two and they have SO MUCH FUN.
- ABC Wall For about 6 months there has always been something taped up to our patio sliding door. Lately it’s the ABC wall, which is super simple! For this you’ll need just paper, painters tape and dot stickers. I’d like to thank Susie at Busy Toddler for introducing me to dot stickers for kids! I use these ones and think they’re great because they peel off anything they’re not supposed to be stuck to, without leaving any sticker residue. For this, I quickly wrote out the alphabet and handed a few sheets of dot stickers to my kids. Then I tell them “put a red sticker on the letter C”, mixing up the alphabet so they learn that each letter is independent. My younger son is turning 2 shortly and he’s recently mastered taking the stickers off the sheet himself, but he’s not able to put them on the appropriate letters yet. Still, it gets him familiar with letter shapes and colors.