I am certain I’m not the only one eagerly awaiting warm and sunny days. Here in New England, April showers have been quite persistent. While my kids do their fair share of playing in the rain, it’s still pretty chilly, which means that outside playtime only lasts so long. On these long rainy days of early spring, I need to be equipped for indoor fun!
10 Rainy day activities for toddlers
1. Make your own sensory bins
My son’s occupational therapist gave us this idea and the boys love it! Go to any big box store and buy plastic storage bins. I buy medium-sized bins that fit on the table and I also ensure they have secure lids… for obvious reasons. What you fill your bins with is up to you — we mostly do dry rice, pasta, or beans. I like to hide items inside that the boys have to dig around to find — lots of fun and great for their fine motor skills.
2. Build a fort
This is one of my boys’ favorite activities. It’s so simple and yet it gives you hours of entertainment. I pull out old sheets and blankets and help the boys hang them from the furniture safely. They’ll read books and hang out in their new hideout for hours.
My boys love to help in the kitchen. Baking is a great activity for us to do together, the boys feel accomplished, the house smells awesome, and well, every gloomy rainy day calls for a tasty treat!
4. Bathtub painting
What kid doesn’t like to make a mess? I say let them do it in the bathtub on a rainy day! Not only will it keep the mess contained, but you don’t have to worry about the cleanup. Looking for a fun bathtub paint recipe? Check out mine on Mainely Mama.
5. Make a home movie theater
Some days are just made to be movie days. A rainy and gloomy day in New England — or wherever you live — is a perfect excuse. My boys line up their chairs, I make popcorn, and they make “tickets” to get in to the show.
6. Make your own Playdough
After years of avoiding it, I finally started making our own Playdough. It’s actually super easy and smells a heck of a lot better than the store-bought version! Made with simple ingredients found in my pantry, it’s a great rainy day project. I also highly recommend experimenting with different scents using spices or essential oils, like this Pumpkin Spice Playdough recipe.
7. Play dress up and do a photo shoot
This can be really fun… if your kids are like mine and like to be silly and have their picture taken. Hang a white sheet on a wall in your house (preferably one that gets good natural light), get out your dress up clothes and props, and have a blast in your own photo booth. Take lots of pictures of your little ones having a fun, and if you have a timer on your camera, be sure to get in some of the pictures (years from now you’ll be glad you did).
8. Build an obstacle course
We are lucky enough to have a great basement for this, but use whatever space you have for this fun way to get some extra rainy day energy out of your toddlers. You can use everything from couch cushions to laundry baskets to exercise balls to mini trampolines. I love the ideas in this obstacle course post from education.com.
9. Create a time capsule
The saying goes, “The days are long, but the years are short,” and it’s so true. These crazy rainy days can send my head spinning, but soon enough they’ll be a fleeting memory. Create a time capsule on your next rainy day at home — include a list of everyone’s current favorites (foods, words, toys, etc) and have each kiddo put in something special.
10. Do a scavenger hunt around the house
This doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, but while the kiddos are napping (if you’re lucky enough to have nappers) or while they’re eating lunch, put together a scavenger hunt. Perhaps it’s a list of things they need to find — something blue, something furry, something old, something that makes noise — or if they’re a little older, write clues leading them to around the house and eventually to a small prize, snack, or new activity.
What’s your go-to rainy day activity?
This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.