April generally brings warmer temperatures, fresh flowers and the opportunity to get outside after the long winter months. Parents welcome all of these things with open arms after being cooped up inside with stir crazy kids. Unfortunately, April also brings rainy days, which often means being stuck inside again. We can only handle one more coloring sheet or Play-doh activity in our house before my toddler and I both go crazy. I was on a mission to find activities that would keep her busy, out from under my feet for two seconds (please tell me I’m not the only one that has tripped on my shadow of a toddler multiple times), and easy to do. I’m definitely more of an AmazonPrime mom than a Pinterest mom, so easy to do was a must. Below are some of our favorites!
These are our go-to and the easiest to put together with things you have around the house or purchased from the dollar store. Start with a large or small storage container (we have both in our house) and fill it with any sensory type item that you want. We have one that is filled with just pom-poms, another that has pom-poms, buttons, pipe cleaners, and colored feathers. We’ve also done one filled with dried beans, but be ready for a big mess!
Give your toddler measuring cups, spoons, kitchen tongs and different size containers to practice scooping and pouring the contents of the bins. You also can hide different items for your child to find. I found little dinosaurs at the dollar store that we love to bury and search for. Here is a great list of A to Z sensory bin items. The great thing about sensory bins is you can easily switch things up to prevent boredom.
Break out the finger paints or regular paints, strip your toddler down to their diaper or undies, then let them be creative! You don’t have to get fancy with Pinterest painting activities. Some of my favorite paintings that my daughter has done contain simple paint strokes with different colors mixed together.
Stickers are great to have your toddler practice fine motor skills. It took a bit for my daughter to figure out how to peel them off. I showed her a few times and she got the hang of it herself. She loves putting stickers on her coloring pages or paintings. Stickers are great to find at the dollar spot of Target or the Dollar Store. We’re also a fan of these reusable stickers.
Use the Garage
If you have a garage, pull the cars out and bring any of the bikes or ride on toys out for the kids to play. This is a great way for them to be able to get a little “fresh air” and run off energy. It’s also fun to get the sidewalk chalk out to use on the garage floor.
Puzzle Piece Hunt
I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it was great. Hide puzzle pieces around the house and have the kids find them and complete the puzzle. Easy to set up and will keep them entertained for a bit.
One of the best decisions we made this winter was to bring our empty water table indoors. I found an easy recipe for colored rice and made a bunch to put in our water table. Throw in some funnels, measuring cups, big kitchen spoons and bowls, and your kiddo is set. My two-year-old has loved scooping and pouring the rice. While this can get messy with rice going outside the table, it’s worth it to me given the length of time it keeps her busy. We have the table on carpet making it easy to vacuum up after she’s done.
If all these ideas fail, I usually end up turning the trusty TV on to Netflix for a few minutes!
What rainy day activities do you have to share?
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