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Toddler activities on miserable, rainy, dark days?

(52 Posts)
breatheslowly Sat 29-Dec-12 14:11:25

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?

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

zolissa Mon 16-Jan-17 23:18:20

Love this thread my little ones are poorly but still bouncing off the walls in the house and ice run out of ideas how to entertain them as they get bored super quick. Not anymore though! Thanks guys I'm making a dinning room table den tomorrow 😆

Jellybluebean Sun 29-Jan-17 17:57:47

Thank you for the rice tip! My 2.5 year old loved it this afternoon smile

Mol1628 Sun 29-Jan-17 18:01:34

Try not to schedule too many activities. Mine love to just be left to play sometimes. I go out first thing whatever the weather, then do one activity at home, so painting, playdough, baking, and then generally let them potter around playing with what they want and they usually invite me to play.

MrsGB2225 Sun 29-Jan-17 18:06:17

Place marking!

Flingmoo Sun 29-Jan-17 18:17:33

Get a big bowl/plastic tub or similar, fill with bubbly water (can use hand soap, shampoo, anything really) and toddler can give their plastic toy animals a "bath" smile Give toddler a tea towel for drying them off afterwards.

I get mine to do this in the kitchen and I spread out a big blanket or towel to catch splashes. I am lazy when it comes to setting up and clearing up toddler activities but this one is really easy even for me.

You could also make this a car washing session instead of an animal bath if your toddler has lots of little metal or plastic cars.

PinkPancakes Sun 29-Jan-17 18:35:44

Make pastry if you can be arsed or for less hassle make play dough - takes about 3 mins incl cooking, they can mix, then you add a couple of drops of food colour or glitter and I will they play for ages- warm play dough is the best!

baytreebalm Thu 23-Mar-17 13:53:22

Thought I would resurrect this thread as some good ideas and its peeing down where we are. Anyone got anything to add?

SealSong Thu 23-Mar-17 14:10:22

Good old potato printing - here

baytreebalm Thu 23-Mar-17 17:50:56

ooh I like that!

Mynd Thu 23-Mar-17 23:04:36

I used to let DD do printing using poster paint and the feet of her plastic animals and dinosaurs. Also the cars dipped in paint make cool tracks across the paper.... What else...? Bubbles are always a biggy. Sock puppets (cut out bits of felt or paper and let them glue them on a sock to make dragons, mice, monsters etc). If you've got wrapping paper tubes etc, you can build quite good oversize marble runs (but for hi-bounce balls), by taping the tubes to chairs etc. We'd have the balls, dropping into boxes and funnels... got quite into it. Downside is having to step over the wretched thing for weeks because they refuse to let you dismantle it afterwards. I had a massive box of foam chips at one point, which DD loved sitting in when she was about 18m. Oh, and it's easy to build a big cardboard house if you have some boxes. Doesn't matter if they're flatpack IKEA type ones. You can cut big wall panels and tape them together to build a house. I punched holes along the edges of my panels and sewed them together with a load of that twizzly wrapping paper ribbon. Looked pretty and lasted a year, no kidding. She drew flowers around the door, coloured in the shutters... was great.

luciole15 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:16:52

A long bus trip to a shopping mall is a good way of getting exercise when it's raining. Keeps the mess at home at bay!

Find all the annoying light up, flashing toys, dim the lights, put on some funky music and have a disco!

buddy79 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:29:33

Great ideas! One I had surprising success with is various cardboard / boxes covered with tin foil to make robots / wands / swords / spaceships - my 2 yr old marched up and down the lounge proffering his tin foil stick for AGES!!!
Gonna try the decorating biscuits thing at the weekend, thank you!

buddy79 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:31:03

Also, tried potato printing recently but he wanted to paint the potatoes themselves, which was also pretty good!

MiddleClassProblem Thu 23-Mar-17 23:37:24

Place marking. I

I feel so bad I've not been brace enough to do paints at home yet. I think I need to suck it up. Just picturing the dogs blue and red 😔

luciole15 Fri 24-Mar-17 07:41:58

If you have a garden how about making a covered area and doing really messy stuff out there? If they're in waterproofs you can hose the paint off before they come back in. smile Only tricky when it's cold and you need gloves, though I've just discovered you can get rubber gloves in extra small, so might work for a bit?

wescarebecausewecare Fri 24-Mar-17 09:36:40

This is a brilliant thread, my two have spend the last half hour bathing their farm animals in a basin of bubbly water.....never mind the fact that both of them now have their feet in the basin now too! Thanks for the great idea!

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