I’ve made the mistake more times than I’d really like to admit. The weather is coming down in buckets, and/ or my kids have colds, and somehow I think, “it’s okay, we’ll just take it easy today”. With a ten-month-old, this is actually a safe thought. With a toddler? Not so much! Even with pink eye, a horrible cough, or a green runny nose, the world is still their oyster and a lack of stimulation leads, at least in my household to unbearable whining and seemingly incessant boundary testing. Here are some of my favourite ideas to occupy my kids, well mainly my toddler, on days we can’t go out and play!
Painting with a Wine Cork “Stamp”
Sounds simple enough, I know, but my daughter and son LOVE this.
What we use
- Wine cork (s)
- Washable paints – I only give the lids from Elmer’s Washable Finger Paint so I don’t have to worry about the entire paint set being mixed into different shades of brown!
- paint smock or old t-shirt – we have the Crayola Beginnings Tidy Top, and love it!
- Poster board or any sizeable paper – the reason I suggest this is you aren’t left with a multitude of semi-finished art projects. We reuse the same board several times before it gets displayed. Also, it covers a greater surface area resulting in less cleanup afterwards.
I got this idea when my friend, Kristin – mother of three, shared a blog post with me on Sensory Sinks. It has been a wonderful way for my toddler to be stimulated while I take some very rare time for myself to dry my hair or paint my nails!
What we use
- A large mixing bowl placed on the kitchen floor/ in the bath, or a sink accessed by a stool
- A little bit of Jello mix to give the water both a scent and colour
- Foam shapes
- Glow in the dark any other type of rocks
- Little People and other bath toys we already had
The best part of this activity is all you need is a general idea, your own imagination, and resourcefulness.
Now, the stipulation with this idea is you need to already have a box or somehow find one. But if you do, oh the fun you can have! Our most recent one started as a train, and ultimately became a house.
What we used
- A furniture box
- Serrated knife to cut door
- Crayons or markers to decorate
- Existing toys to use in the “house”
Rain Puddle Adventure
Despite what your grandmother may have told you, going out in the rain won’t give you a cold or more of a cold. In fact, I look at our adventures finding puddles as a natural humidifier when the kids are a little congested.
What we use
- rubber boots
- rain jacket
- rain shield for the stroller
- stomping feet
- an eye for puddles and a spirit of adventure!
Homemade Jello Play Dough
Play Dough is an incredible medium to stimulate the imagination (you can really create anything the mind can dream up) and it’s excellent for working the muscles needed to learn how to print (check this out for more info on how Play Dough can develop fine motor skills).
What we use
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 oz pkg of no name Jello
- 2 tbs cooking oil
- 2 tbs cream of tartar
This is an adaptation on an original recipe that can be found here on Modern Parents, Messy Kids.
With the help of a small step-ladder, my two-year-old loves dumping ingredients into a bowl. She also very eagerly samples throughout the entire process!
- 2 cups whole wheat no additive flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup butter or non-hydrogenated margarine
- 3/4 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raw organic sugar
- 1 egg and 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup crushed pecans
- What we use
For instructions, and nutritional info, check out my old blog!
Do you have tried and true activities for rainy, runny nose sorts of days? Comment below!
Also check out my post on our Indoor Safari!