So, this week has been a bit of a drag, due to the preschooler being really quite sick (cold, fever, odd aches and pains, general malaise, and now the little ones are getting it too, a bit more mildly) which has been keeping us out of our usual rainy day haunts. The combo of staying home and rainy days can make for a little stir craziness for us all!
Here are a few things we did a few days ago that were a lot of fun. Everyone enjoyed themselves, kids stayed busy for the most part (whew) and we had very few meltdowns! We even got to get outside for a bit, and ate lunch outside at the picnic table, thanks to some nice sunbreaks and really warmish temps. Yay!
Anyway, here are the activities:
1) I received this pasta beading activity via a toddler activity bag trade (where 12 folks made an activity for 12 others, then we all traded and got one of each). Its just raw/dried pasta that has been dyed somehow, and ribbon with a pipe cleaner "needle" on one end and a metal loop on the other (to keep the pasta from falling off that end, and so you can fasten the pipe cleaner to it to make a temporary necklace). I had never let Elsie and Delia try this before, but they actually had fun too! I had to help them with the threading, especially with some of the smaller beads, and we lost a few that were chewed to bits (YUCK), but overall they had fun!
2) After that success I felt emboldened to pull out the bean tub, which has been in seclusion due to the mouthy baby factor. Just a washtub full of dried beans bought in bulk, and a lot of toys to play with. Fun fun! I had the brilliant idea to put it on a blanket, and tried to impress upon them the importance of keeping the beans ON the blanket to contain the mess a bit. When the blanket was covered, everyone would get off and I would dump them back in and set it back out again. It worked! Definitely took my keeping an eye on, but it was fun and not too big of a mess at all!
3) Another boredom buster that often works for us is "mixing it up" – combining toys or activities in ways we don’t ordinarily try. One thing I like to do sometimes is adding the girls play food (plastic/wooden/etc) and our real kitchen pots and pans Add in some mixing bowls and utensils and let them have at it! Similarly, my girls enjoy playing with their regular toys (plastic people/animals or plastic play dishes/silverware) in the kitchen sink with some bubbles. We have a learning tower which works great for one or two kids at a time.
Another fun combo around here is blocks and little people or plastic animals. Making buildings or roads for them, lining up all the people or animals on a long block or row of blocks, etc. Maybe this isn’t novel for most folks but around here the people and blocks tend to be played with separately so the combination adds intrigue when they are bored with their methods of play. And one last idea in this vein is to set out collections of little things (dominos, marbles, keys, etc) and some muffin tins and egg cartons (or other divided boxes or containers). I generally set them out on a big tray so that the things are somewhat contained. Emma loves this, the babies don’t get to do it as much (yet again due to putting things in mouth), but are getting there.
4) And finally, there is magazine collages. Lord knows we have enough old (and unread) magazines piled up around here! I just started cutting out of pictures from a magazine (dogs, babies & kids and food go over REALLY well, as did a lot of holiday type items like santas, presents, cookies from a December mag) while they all pointed out and grabbed the ones they liked. Then add paper and glue sticks and have at it! I had to direct the little ones with the glue a bit, and had to assist in trading/sharing some of the highly sought after pictures, but it was mostly fun and easy. And here are the results:
What are some of your favorite rainy day activities? We are always up for some new ideas!