Here are 26 great rainy day activities to do with your toddler so you have a little longer before they explode.
1. Build cardboard houses. Little toddlers will have hours and probably days of entertainment, until they break it of course. Better yet get your child to help decorate it first. Two activities in one!
2. Create a sensory discovery box. Fill a large tub or box with coloured rice and just add plastic animals, rocks, shells, seed pods or other touchy-feely items for some sensory exploration.
3. Square eyes. I don't like to use TV and movies too often but sometimes you just need a breather. Put on some Sesame Street or In The Night Garden and if you're lucky it might grab their attention for a half hour or so.
4. Get crafty. There are so many great craft activities for toddlers around, get Google-ing for some fun ideas!
5. Playdough is a winner for most toddlers and kids. You can buy it relatively cheaply but making it is easy and you don't have to worry about how much of it they eat. Try this great recipe from The Imagination Tree.
6. Get colouring. Its fun and relatively mess free. Plus you can pop them in a highchair or on the floor to colour while you get on with something else.
7. Read, read, read. My child is obsessed with books. If your toddler isn't great at concentrating on having books read to them maybe try letting them flip through the pages themselves and just describe the things they point at, or pick up some books with sounds or music. If you run out of entertaining books, there is always the library!
8. Shaving cream. Put them in the bath with a whole lot of shaving cream and they'll have a ball. Plus you're already in the bath, so clean up is easy.
9. Gel in a bag. Grab a large ziplock bag, put some gel and glitter inside and seal it up (best to tape up the edges too to stop leakages) then watch your toddler explore the squishiness. You could also add little objects in the gel mix for extra fun.
10. Make some goo. This could get messy, but it sure is fun. All you do is mix cornflour (corn starch) and a little bit of water you get a thick paste. Find easy directions here!
11. Dance baby. Put on some Wiggles and go crazy. Great exercise for you, loads of fun for your toddler.
12. Baskets of fun. I call this making a 'Fun Basket'. I take my toddler around the house and her let them pick up small objects (I'm talking fabric, tins, a packet of Tictacs etc... not choking-sized small) to put into a basket and then let her explore the objects. Generally she just takes them in and out of the baskets for a good half hour, showing them to me sporadically so I can marvel at how fantastic it is.
13. Leap frog. Line up cushions on the floor and leap or step from one to the next. Great for coordination and motor skills. Young toddlers like mine are likely to push them into a pile and jump into the cushions instead, but that's ok too!
14. Box cars. Older toddlers will love this. Find a couple of cardboard box and decorate them to look like cars. Attach some string to the box to make straps to go over your shoulders and then 'drive' around like cars. Beep Beep.
15. Colour collage. Cut up coloured tissue paper into 1 inch squares, cover a sheet of paper in glue and let your toddler stick the pieces wherever. You'll end up with a pretty collage.
16. Handprint keepsakes. Record your little ones hand prints in paint or homemade clay. You might as well take a rain day opportunity to make a copy of your child's handprints and see how they've grown over time.
18. Play with pasta, cook some pasta or spaghetti in boiling water as usual but add a few drops of food colouring and it will soak up the colours. Cool and let your toddler play with the coloured spaghetti.
19. Bubble wrap. Stick some big bubble wrap to the floor and play on it.
20. Build it up. Blocks, cups, Duplo... whatever kind of blocks you have, let them build it up and knock it down!
21. Edible Sandbox. Use Rice Bubbles to fill up a big low-edges tub, add some sandbox toys for an indoor edible sandbox.
22. Ribbons in a bottle. Tie together ribbons and push them into an empty plastic milk bottle leaving the top of the ribbon tray sticking and, then let your toddler pull until all the ribbons are free.
23. Flour. One packet of flour, one bath tub, one toddler... let them go nuts!
24. Painting with yogurt. Yogurt makes a great edible paint, albeit a little sticky.
25. Touchy feely walls. Build a sensory wall using a sheet of wood or thick card. Stick on different fabrics like fuzzy material, zips, sandpaper and things that move like baby wipes flip lids and let them play with the different textures.
26. Tupperware drums. Pull out all your plastic containers and give your little musician some wooden spoons and let them bash around for hours of noise.... I mean fun. Hours of fun.
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