I don’t know about you, but I can only handle so much being inside before I start going nuts. Aria gets stir crazy too. Thankfully, Ezra doesn’t have a preference yet, so i’ll enjoy that while I can :). Since we’re stuck at home with the flash floods that we’ve been getting in Santa Barbara, I’ve been trying to mix up the things I have Aria do to reduce meltdowns, keep the peace, and facilitate some learning and imagination while we’re at it :).
Aria’s all about imaginative play right now, and it’s so fun to watch. Just at snack time, she was building a “choo-choo chain” with her cheese cubes and said, “Mama, yook!” since I was on the couch nursing Ezra.
Rainy Day Indoor Ideas for Your Toddler
Painting w/ water on a paper bag (or colored paper, so what they’re drawing shows up)
I love these brushes since they’ve got nice big handles. And I love using water since…well, duh…WAY less mess. And honestly, messes stress me out, so the fewer the better (We live in a 2-bedroom apartment, so even a bit of a mess feels like a big one). When I don’t have a baby strapped on me most of the time, i’ll throw a smock on Aria and let her use real paint outside to her heart’s content. Until then… (A note about using paper bags–we do all of her coloring and art stuff in the kitchen, so I have those at the ready.)
I know this sounds super obvious, but reading when it’s raining outside is so much better for some reason–anyone feel me on this?? Pile onto the couch in your favorite blankets and read to your little one (even it means reading the same book(s) over and over).
- Some of Aria’s favorite books right now:
- The Bear Book Series/ Bear Wants More (We’ve read this one enough to where she’ll know when certain words are coming and say them herself.) She got these from her grandpa and grandma who live in North Carolina where bears regularly visit their back yard!
- Heads –fun tabs to pull and super fun textures to feel (Another one of her grandmas got her this book since she loved this one so much.)
- Giraffes Can’t Dance –Aria loves her “jerry-raffe” book–she does a little wiggle dance as we read through it.
This isn’t a regular thing for Aria yet. I mean, she’s only two, so I feel like forts will become more common place as she gets a bit older. So right now, they’re super novel, and she likes to crawl under them, demolish them, snuggle in them. And let’s keep in mind a two-year-old’s attention span, shall we? This may just be awesome for like 2 minutes. Keep those expectations low (I’m basically reminding myself here, haha).
Playing with Magnet Tiles
Aria’s favorite thing to build with these tiles are castles. The sky’s the limit though. With most of these magnet tiles comes ideas of what you can make (flowers, cars, animals, etc…). I’m excited to see what she’ll come up with as that imagination of hers continues to grow.
Doing Mini Obstacle Courses
This may not be American Ninja Warrior status, but it’s awesome for burning some energy and developing those gross motor (big muscle group) skills. You don’t need any crazy props for this (I mean you can if you want, but again–less mess, the better!) I’ll pull pillows down that she can run around or climb over. I like to put out her tunnel, so she can crawl through it. I’ll put a basket out that she has to throw some toys into (AKA helping mom put tows away :D). (A note on the tunnel: It’s collapsible, so storing this is a breeze.) Adapt the mini obstacle course according to your kid’s age: You can incorporate jump ropes, somersaults, skipping, etc…
Watching/listening to the Rain
Let’s get back to the basics on this last one. We don’t nearly get as much rain as I’d like where we live, so when it rains, we do love it. I love looking outside the window and breathing in the crisp air, and it seems like Aria’s a fan too:). It’s fun for her to hear the sound of the cars driving through the rain. She loves watching the wind blowing through the trees outside (“So wee-yee, Mama.)
What do you do to keep you and your kiddos sane when you can’t get outside on a rainy day? I’d love to hear–the more ideas the merrier. I know these will get tired after a while and we’ll need some new activities :).