Today’s post is by my lovely friend Clare. Clare is a mum of 22-month-old twin girls and is sharing with us some ideas and suggestions on what to do with little ones when it’s practically a monsoon outside. Over to you Clare!
While the Domestic Princess has been basking in the Indian sunshine, those of us in the UK have been plagued by rainy weather (which, if we’re to believe the forecasters, is set to stay for the rest of the month). Wet weather isn’t much fun for anyone, especially those with toddlers who suffer easily from cabin fever.
I’ve listed 10 of the activities that have proved winners with the girls once they’ve tired of their toys. As they have quite short attention spans (butterfly minds as my Mum would call it!), each activity might last around half an hour so I do a mixture of them each day.
This is always a winner with my girls and they’ll quite happily sit for a while rolling and cutting out shapes. I’ve been a bit lazy and never tried making my own, but to be honest you can get the Play-Doh Big Barrel for a reasonable price and that includes everything you need to get started – including two animal moulds which have proved very popular!
2. Cookie baking
The girls aren’t showing too much interest in the whole mixing process yet, preferring instead to fast-forward to sampling the end product! (Who doesn’t like doing this?!) However, after the success of the Play-Doh, I’ve found that they enjoy rolling and cutting out shortbread; as the recipe is egg-free it doesn’t matter that they eat some of the raw mixture along the way! I tend to halve the batch and keep one lot in the fridge for another day. Lakeland do some lovely ranges of cookie cutters, which are perfect for little hands.
Keeping on the creative theme, gluing is very popular in our house and also inexpensive. Just equip yourself with paper, non-toxic glue and a load of pictures, flowers, sequins etc. and you are all set to make a collage. I cut pictures out of magazines and find that the local pound shop is a good source of glittery bits and pieces.
4. Chalk board
This idea came from our recent holiday at Center Parcs, where there was a chalk board in our lodge, combined with my daughters’ persistent desire to colour on our walls rather than on paper. So my hubby painted a section of our kitchen wall with blackboard paint, bought some chalk and hey presto! If you’re after a less permanent chalk board, these can be bought from Early Learning Centre as well as other retailers.
5. Dressing up
This is just starting to gain popularity, several weeks after me leaving out sparkly winged fairy dresses around the house in the hope that they would pique the girls’ interest. I have to admit that they seem to have as much fun with blankets, sheets and a pair of their Dad’s shoes – anything that gets their imagination going!
6. Chase / hide and seek
Being indoors doesn’t necessary mean there isn’t a chance to get active, and the girls love tearing around after each other, or getting me involved in a game of hide and seek. But you can also introduce a pop up tunnel, balls and cushions to climb over and they’ll soon burn off some energy.
All children seem to love music, and the girls now mime the actions to the song they want me to sing (our version of charades I guess!) It doesn’t always have to be nursery favourites; they’re partial to a bit of Bruno Mars as well! Bring out a box of instruments (tambourine, maracas, drum etc.) and you’re ready for a fun (and noisy) half hour!
8. The box game
What child can resist a box? It can be a boat, a den, a house for their cuddly toys….add in some of the vast amounts of paper packaging that the online retailers seem to use with their deliveries these days, and my little ones can be entertained for ages.
9. DVD Time
I’m sure some people might think this is a bit of a cop-out, but there is definitely a welcome place for a Peppa Pig DVD in our house (usually at the point where toys are being bickered over in tug-of-war style ; the mere mention of Peppa’s name brings an immediate end to hostilities). It also gives me the chance to grab a well-earned cup of tea!
10. Puddle Splashing
Unless the rain is lashing down, why not venture outside? The girls are quite happy to don their wellies and rain macs and head over to the park in search of some nice big puddles to jump in. I’ve found one essential item of clothing for this activity is waterproof trousers, and I can highly recommend JoJo Maman Bebe’s pack away ones. The girls love sitting down in puddles and these trousers save them from having to be changed when they get home. Tip: as the reviewers say on the site, the trousers come up quite small, so you may need to buy a size or two up.
So, there you have it – 10 excellent rainy day ideas for entertaining toddlers; thank you Clare! Look out for some more guest posts from Clare over the coming weeks. How do you entertain your little ones? What are their favourite rainy day activities – we’d love to hear about them!
With much love
The Domestic Princess