Toddler activities on miserable, rainy, dark days?

(34 Posts)

What do you do with your toddlers on days like today? DD is 2.3 and currently having a nap. It will be nearly dark when she wakes up. We read, draw, paint, watch TV, she plays with her toys a bit but generally seems under occupied. Any ideas for good rainy day activities which take up decent chunks of the day?

nextphase Sat 29-Dec-12 14:21:22

Well, we've spent the morning at Pets at Home, and then went out to lunch.
The garden centre which sells fish is also good value for money (and cake!).

Have you got any old wallpaper? Drawing round child on the reverse of the paper, and letting them colour themselves in seems to occupy for ages.

have you done any cooking with her? Cake, biscuits, melting Christmas chocolate into rice krispie cakes, pizzas. Not a big chuck activity, but something we do often.

Otherwise, marking place for other ideas!

beela Sat 29-Dec-12 14:32:12

Also marking my place as DS (2.2) is also having his nap at the moment.

A bath is sometimes good - we put loud music on (to make it different from a bedtime bath, you understand), add in different bath toys and he is happy in there for a good half hour at least. Obviously you have to supervise so I alternate between playing with him and cleaning the bathroom.

LaCiccolina Sat 29-Dec-12 16:06:54

Yup I cut pictures out of magazines and dd with a prit stick can be happy for a good hour (2). We put music on and dance too.

Also watching this thread now... smile

bluerememberedthrills Sat 29-Dec-12 16:09:40

Not something I can face every day but as we've been cooped up for ages: put on wellies and waterproof and jump in muddly puddles like peppa pig.

They enjoyed it but you do need a warm dry place and a hot drink to retreat to afterwards.

Bowednotbroken Sat 29-Dec-12 16:13:27

An obstacle course out of sofa cushions to climb over, a blanket to scramble under, something to jump across, a tower of bricks to build ... We used to have an old fashioned wooden clothes horse, with a blanket over it it was a tunnel to wriggle through! All great fun.

slatternlymother Sat 29-Dec-12 16:21:24

YY to baking; even one of those ready-kits you get from Tesco or whatever so they don't get bored adding all the ingredients.

Play Doh, Sticker books (Peppa Pig magazine always comes with a sticker activity section), and even just getting toys out, putting them in the front room and going 'here you go, amuse yourself' whilst you get on with housework is good. DS (2.2) amuses himself a fair amount in this way and gets a lot out of his imaginary games with Peppa and George. Although George has just been called a douchebag, so I'm going to have to sort that out...

DD won't nap!! She hasn't done for months, I'm SO SO jealous of those of you with normal sleeping children envy (although she sleeps bloody brilliantly 90% of the time at night so I really shouldn't grumble)

Today we have been to our local gym for a toddler gym session where they get to bounce on the trampoline, walk along the beams, play with hula hoops, cause general havoc etc. That took up an hour in the morning, since then we've had happyland out, duplo out, playdo out, more duplo out, her new dolly pushchair repeatedly pushed round the lounge...and I may have resorted to sticking cbeebies on and both slumping with a tube of pringles for 20 minutes out of sheer exhaustion.

I shall mainly be lurking for ideas as I'm clearly not a source of inspiration!

ll31 Sat 29-Dec-12 16:22:19

Rain jacket on and parks, museims, garden centres, playing physical jumping,' wrestling' type games inside etc!

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sat 29-Dec-12 16:25:37

DD 4yo loves making cards so I bought some green A5 cardboard and gave her the Christmas cards to cut up and stick and some Christmas stickers and she has made new cards for next year. They may definitely will need some tweaking before handing out grin.

Kept her busy for ages though

slatternlymother Sat 29-Dec-12 16:32:34

stop that gym class sounds amazing!

bigkidsdidit Sat 29-Dec-12 16:36:46

We do baking and often painting - I cover the dining table with newspaper and he paints it and glitters it.

Running races in the hallways!

Obstacle courses

A bit of Cbeebies

Bouncing on the beds

Stickers

I need more inspiration too, DS will generally play by himself of I'm nearby but I don't feel he gets enough exercise

slatternlymother Sat 29-Dec-12 17:16:16

bigkids you can only do so much though, can't you? Took my DS all wrapped up to the beach the other day, but we all nearly got blown away! It was bloody freezing! You just have to make up for it as far as you can when it's drier and in the summer months.

bigkidsdidit Sat 29-Dec-12 17:28:43

Yes, I know, and we go try I get to soft play or somewhere of poss. But DS is 99.6% for weight and I do worry sad

Fuzzymum1 Sat 29-Dec-12 17:39:15

Rice!

Get a bag of cheap rice, put a quarter of it in a tub with a secure lid, add a few drops of food colouring and then put the lid on and shake like crazy, repeat 3 times with a different colour each time so you end up with 4 different colours then mix them together, put it in a deep tray (we use a potting tray from the garden centre) add some spoons, pots, funnels etc.

It's a bit like paying with sand but safer and easier to clean up - it dries really fast so can be ready to play with in a few minutes.

DS3 loved it at 18 months and still likes it now at nearly six. I must make some more as he's been nagging me for weeks

Fuzzy that sounds amazing! Definitely doing some of that!

Slattern it is fab, it's Lewis Smith and Dan Keating's training gym <showing off now> but they're desperate for an update/refurb so whilst its not snazzy (my mum took me there when I was a kid and its not changed much!) they stuff they do with kids is brilliant.

moonstorm Sun 30-Dec-12 18:04:23

Get dressed for the weather and go out anyway. I can't imagine never going out. Doesn't matter if it's dark to play in the garden. Play with torches!

Theveryhungrymuma Mon 31-Dec-12 00:02:41

Really cheap activity, decorating biscuits- packet of icing sugar about 99p and a pack of hundreds and thousands about 99p in aldi/ home bargains, packet of rich tea fingers .coat the biscuits in icing and let dc put sprinkles on, keeps my dd amused for hours.

make Oreo biscuit cakes, grind down a load of Oreo biscuits, melt a packet of marshmallows and some butter in the microwave and add in the crushed biscuits, pour into tray,bung in fridge. Get dc to stir and pour.

Dd loves glitter, smother a page of card with glue and let loose with glitter shaker, messy but keeps her amused for a while. Pound land do lots of crafty packs, paint , glue ,Pom poms etc get them all there. have made a sort of washing line with string where her masterpieces are pegged to show daddy her 'prettys' when he gets in, also lets them dry without her touching after I've cleaned up!

Also I often get one of those Betty Crocker pancake shakers, add water get dd to shake (whilst sat in high chair) I will cook one round , while they are cooling ready to eat ,do the next round, lovely and quick to do. We always have them when we've been out in the cold!

Dd has a 'proper' water table now, but before I bought it I used to fill a washing up pan with warm water and bubble bath lay down lots of towels and throw in her ducks from the bath, stacking cups, kitchen jug anything to splash about.

Do you have a Pinterest account op, there are lots of fab ideas on there, I have a board ready for wet weather ideas!

bbface Mon 31-Dec-12 08:02:28

Prob for boys more than girls, but we do sword fights. DS (2.4) dresses up in his knight's outfit. I get the dodgy broken flimsy sword, he gets the gleaming knight's sword and we run around the house, sometimes him chasing me, sometimes vice versa. Shouting nonsense to one another and basically poking each other with swords. I kid you not, this can go on for an hour, then break, then more.

I am 32 weeks pregnant and, if you knew me, you would know how this is not something I would appear to do with my child, I am no earth mother, I am not great at playing BUT for some some, we both love doing this and ideal for this time of year.

I am no baker as can not be bothered with the after cleaning of baking. So I got a load of decorations, squeezey icing, hundreds and thousands, silver balls etc etc, and some ready made fairy cakes and / or large plain biscuits. We then decorate them together. He loves that, actually I love it too.

I get the iPad and ask him what animals or anything really he wants not look at. He starts listing anything and everything, from owls to dinosaurs to monster trucks. Then we go through the images or you tube videos of them. That can easily while away an hour or so.

Theveryhungrymuma Mon 31-Dec-12 14:23:59

If you have Facebook there are two good pages I've liked, the rainy day mom and the imagination tree, lots of good ideas for preschoolers I'm hoping to try in the new year.

Spookey80 Mon 31-Dec-12 14:30:18

Bump- brill thread.

slatternlymother Mon 31-Dec-12 15:38:00

Oh yy to water tables; they rock! And the decorating biscuits; they do that at my DS' nursery.

ANY birthday parties you get invites to; GO. No matter how tired or unbothered you are. We've been to one this afternoon and it was fab! There was a bouncy castle and everything! We made an effort for DS' party though, so what goes around, comes around.

FairyPenguin Mon 31-Dec-12 15:41:58

Put a sheet over dining table or backs of two chairs and make a den. Even better with a torch and the lights off. Keeps my two entertained for hours!

cordiality Mon 31-Dec-12 17:34:01

This thread is amazing! We've done the biscuit decorating this afternoon, and the sofa assault course and now DH and dd are playing in a den under the table! Dd will be exhausted by bedtime!

My suggestion is to do 'washing up' at the kitchen sink. We put dd on a chair at the kitchen sink (after covering floor and chair with towels) then run the sink with lots of bubbly washing up liquid or hand wash. She can then wash up anything non breakable like wooden spoons, plastic measuring jugs, plastic bottles from the recycling, sieves, funnels, etc.

Can kill a good hour doing that, especially if we leave the tap running.

Great ideas - we did the rice thing today and DD loved it. I think about 1/3 went up the hoover afterwards, but much better than sand.

We also made a den in the lounge with the sofa cushions and did some foot and hand painting.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:16:13

Glad the rice was enjoyed,

vladthedisorganised Wed 02-Jan-13 13:20:43

Bread making goes down well - can kill an hour or two with kneading and you can't go too far wrong; it's also quite nice eating the results.
I do a mini science lab when I'm feeling really on top of my game: what happens when you put a drop of lemon juice in bicarbonate of soda (small plastic pot of bicarb and a squeezy lemon gives a safe amount of fizz), making cornflour paste which acts as a solid when you tap it with a teaspoon but can pour as a liquid, and putting a penny in Coke to see what happens). No idea how much of it goes in and you have to supervise to make sure things aren't eaten, but she seems fairly entertained..

ellee Wed 02-Jan-13 22:18:44

Oh oh, I have one!

Bought a big box of extra long and varied pipe cleaners in euroland shop, and my 1yo and 3yo love 'em! Even though I really haven't the faintest idea what we're supposed to be doing with them!

SchnappsDamnYou Fri 04-Jan-13 00:20:56

I was going to say pipe cleaners! I get a colander and ds pokes them in the holes then wears colander as hat.

Also - three blobs of red yellow blue poster paint inside taped up freezer bag. Manipulate with fingers to make interesting swirls and patterns without mess!

And chocolate broken biscuit fridge cake. Smash biscuits in plastic bag, melt choc and butter, mix and put in greased paper lined tin, refridgerate and decorate. Lots of recipes online - google tiffin or broken biscuit cake.

Cover blackboard with chalk and then draw patterns with wet fat blusher or shaving brush.

Cover baking tray with foil and slop blobs of poster paint. Use fingers or cotton buds to draw swirls then lay paper over the paint to get abstract art. When dry, cut paper into letters spelling childs name or use stencils and cut out people, animal, flowers shapes and make collage.

SchnappsDamnYou Fri 04-Jan-13 00:26:36

Also - cut out lots of simple fish shapes on card. Decorate and stick together so fish are colourful both sides. Attach lines and make mobile using wire coat hanger.

SchnappsDamnYou Fri 04-Jan-13 00:29:40

And finally. Buy or make pizza base. Chop up veg and cocktail sausages, shred ham, grate cheese. Cover pizza with passata or tomato pesto and get toddler chefs to arrange toppings. Cook.

elleephant Fri 04-Jan-13 18:25:52

I like it! Fun AND dinner!

Summersbee Fri 04-Jan-13 20:48:26

Instead of endless playdough all French children know about 'Pâte à sel' which is dough made of flour, salt and water which you can mould into all sorts of wonderful shapes and then cook, paint and varnish. One of the first things my daughter made out of it was the number 4 (her age at the time) which she painted and decorated with little 'flowers' - or you could always make an 'Angry Bird'! A Green Mouse has the recipe and instructions in English in its French activity section or look elsewhere online for books and ideas.

nitsaretheworst Mon 21-Apr-14 19:18:05

Dear Breathesslowly,
I know it's been a while since this thread has been active but I am new to mums net and thought it was worth a try. I recently signed up for a subscription on cookstreetuk.webs.com and I love it! We have gotten our first package and my husband and I love the concept. We always have something to do on rainy days now. Definitely give it a try.

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