Toddlers are adorable little balls of energy…but when rainy days strike, they can become unyielding tyrants looking for the next fun activity and wondering why they can’t go play in the rain ‘just for a bit’.
If you’re cooped up indoors with a bored toddler, take a look at our list of eight great activities that you can do with your toddler right now. Grab some craft supplies, turn up the music, and get ready to spend quality time with your lovable little one. Here are eight rainy day activities for toddlers and children:
1. Get out the playdough
Playdough is one of the most fun, versatile ‘toys’ that you can give to your toddler. They may not become a great clay sculptor, but you never what could happen when you give them some playdough and watch their imagination come unleashed.
You can whip up a batch of homemade playdough if a trip to the store isn’t on your to-do list. Throw in some fun-shaped cookie cutters and a toy rolling pin and your toddler will be all set to create whatever they want.
2. Make a pillow fort
If you never made a pillow fort as a child, you’re really missing out – but you don’t have to for much longer! With your toddler in tow, pull all the cushions off your living room couch (and/or raid your bedrooms for mattresses and pillows).
Your child will love pulling bedding and cushions together to make a grand fort (just make sure they understand that this is a ‘once in a while’ thing – otherwise, they could destroy your house more often than you bargained for). Once the fort has been built, bring in a flashlight and some animal crackers – your toddler will love both.
3. Cook something yummy
Yes, it might try your patience to let your toddler into the kitchen but it can bring you two closer together. Help your child pour some flour into a bowl as you make cookies or sprinkle croutons onto a salad. These cooking lessons are great ways to teach and care for your child.
Even the littlest tasks will have your toddler glowing with pride because they’re actually making lunch or supper or snacks – all by themselves! (Or so they think. But it’s best to just go with it, y’know?)
4. Get out a canvas
Art is one of the best rainy day activities for toddlers. Most toddlers love hands-on activities that can get a bit messy and what better way to thrill them than with some (non-toxic, washable) paints and a big canvas? Spread some sheets, dress your child in some clothes that may have seen better days, and then let them go crazy creating a multi-colored masterpiece.
Even though it’s sure to be chaotic, you might even want to join in the fun – together, you’ll be creating memories as well as a bold, colorful painting.
5. Pull out all the cardboard boxes
Most households have at least one or two cardboard boxes lying around, waiting for the next recycling day. While you wait for all that cardboard to be taken away, why not temporarily reuse it?
You might be surprised at the various ways toddlers use cardboard boxes. A box can become a train, a plane, a car, a house, a boat…so many different things! If your toddler is interested, you could offer to help them decorate the box to reflect what’s inside their head. (Markers are great for that.)
6. String colorful necklaces and other jewelry
If your toddler is showing signs of slowing down (rare, I know) they might be interested in sitting at the table and working on this slightly more challenging (though rewarding) project. Take some dry pasta noodles (macaroni noodles are a popular choice), paint or marker them whatever colors you/your toddler want, and then string the noodles on a piece of twine or yarn.
If you’re feeling especially brave you could wear the necklace, bracelet, or ring that your toddler will inevitably make for you to work or the grocery store. Sure, you might get a few weird stares but not everyone can say that their jewelry is truly made with love.
7. Go sticker crazy
Stickers are one of the best rainy day activities for toddlers. It’s a good idea to always have a few sheets of stickers on hand for times when you need to occupy your toddler – like rainy days. Hand a bunch of stickers to your toddler and tell them that they can put them wherever they want.
And then you’ll have the fun of a scavenger hunt (after they’ve crashed on the couch) as you find and throw away all the tiny stickers. But your toddler will have tons of fun and be occupied for at least several minutes, so that’s awesome.
8. Trace your toddler
All you’ll need for this activity is a long sheet of paper, some markers, paints, or crayons…and your toddler. Just get them to lie down flat on the paper and trace around them. Once tracing is finished, let them go at their silhouette with markers or whatever coloring implements they prefer. It’s a simple, quick, and easy self portrait!