Since moving to Raleigh in June we have had many sunny days, some cloudy ones (what I refer to as relief in the summer), and few washouts. Most of the rain we have had passed quickly, so getting outside everyday hasn’t been out of the question. It looks like that might all change this week though. It’s early in the week, and I’m already like,
“WHAT WILL WE DO IF IT RAINS EVERYDAY???!!!” “We should make some indoor plans in case the inclement weather keeps us indoors.”
Staying inside for the whole day can be quite difficult with a toddler. So I try not to. My go-to rainy day activities still involve leaving the house. Our favorites around here are:
1. Going to the library to checkout books (if we can catch story time, that’s a big plus)
2. Heading to the kids’ museum (ours is amazing)
3. Hitting up a Gymboree class (a past time Madeline loves in rain or shine)
Some days though, you just can’t make it out the front door. Perhaps it’s storming, or going to, and your child is scared. If you’re like me, it could be that you just don’t really like driving in torrential downpours. Or maybe it’s not even raining very hard-or at all. The reason for staying in doesn’t really matter. What you are going to do to entertain a rambunctious tot until nap time is what’s important. So, here are a few of our most reliable (ie: fun and stimulating) indoor activities:
1. Play Picasso
I was admittedly nervous to break out the paints and let Madeline embrace her artistic side. I just had visions of mad chaos overcoming our entire home and no paint making it onto the actual paper. But I put my fears aside and finally bought some finger paints to try out (Crayola’s washable paint is incredible-seriously, it wipes off of everything like water). I covered four paper plates with different paint colors, placed them on the floor around a canvas, and showed Madley what to do. She caught on very quickly and went at it. Needless to say, she loved painting and had a blast creating her first masterpiece.
2. Churn Your Own Butter
We recently went to a Meet-up event hosted by Organic Valley where we got to churn butter out of heavy whipping cream. It was so fun! My girl is a little young to appreciate how remarkable the activity was, but I really enjoyed it and will definitely keep it in the rotation for the future. Eventually, I think it’s something she’ll love doing. Best of all, it was so easy and much faster than I would have guessed. We were given a glass jar with a lid filled with 4oz of cream.
After shaking it for about three minutes, we had a cup of whipped cream. We kept shake, shake, shaking, and within five to seven minutes, butter! Once you have your final result, you can eat it plain on toast, etc. or season it with garlic, herbs, sugar and cinnamon, and so on. Neat, right?
3. Go Down “Unduh”
Unduh. That’s how Madeline says, “under”. She loves to climb under our dining room table with her, “yee-ul books” (meaning board books) and read. She brings out blankets and then crawls between the chair legs to settle in. This makes for perfect rainy day fun if you simply hang blankets off the sides of the table and cram under there with a flashlight, a few books, or even some paper and crayons. Basically, just build a fort!
4. Sugar Coat It
Yes, when in doubt, bake! I’m all about keeping it healthy(ish), of course. But whipping up a batch of cookies, then decorating them, or making cupcakes to frost together can be a wonderful way to pass the time. Plus, there are many opportunities for your child to learn while baking. From measuring, to counting, or telling time, this activity really lends itself to sneaking in a teaching moment or two.
5. Think Inside the Box
Then there is the simplest way of all to make a last minute plan: keep a rainy day box on hand. Yep, it’s that easy. Stock up on a few of your child’s favorite things, store them in a box or bucket, pull it out and pop the lid off when necessary. Boom! Tons of fun at your fingertips. Madeline spends forever just sifting through all the options before choosing what we will do. I suggest puzzles, Play-Doh, streamers, bubbles, pipe cleaners, string, dry pasta, and food coloring to start. But honestly, the possibilities here are endless!
Hopefully these ideas will come in handy next time your plans are thwarted by Mother Nature. In the meantime, if you see it’s pouring out and cannot decide if it will be worse to venture out or stay home, Keep Calm and…Keep your Kids Busy! (I know, it’s been widely overused and totally exhausted. Please excuse me).
What are your best rainy day plans to keep little ones entertained? Please share!