Stuck at home and struggling to find ways to keep your kids busy? Struggling to keep yourself sane? If you’re looking for ways to entertain your kids that don’t involve a TV or iPad, keep reading to discover 8 simple, rainy day activities.
I’m a seasoned Occupational Therapist and I have a hard time finding creative ways to keep my kids busy. I don’t like messes or chaos and I’m guilty of letting them spend too much time on electronics. But, no shame here. We’re all doing the best we can.
Somedays I want to do better. So I put together a small list of rainy day activities to do when we’re stuck at home. The OT in me made me incorporate some sensory activities.
If your child is just starting to learn his letters or has been struggling to learn them, this is a helpful and fun activity.
- Paint the bottom of a shallow shadow box with a dark color.
- When it’s dry, cover the bottom of the box with a thin layer of uncooked rice.
- Show your child how to draw a letter in the rice with his finger.
- Then have him draw the letter by himself.
- Shake the box between letters to redistribute the rice.
You don’t have to go to a bowling alley and wear dirty shoes to enjoy the fun of bowling. Set up a small bowling alley in your home.
- Pick an uncluttered room or hallway to set up your own bowling alley.
- Use 10 empty soda or water bottles as the pins. Or you can stack 10 groups of blocks.
- Use a soft ball and have your child kick or toss the ball toward the pins.
- Give your child two turns to knock them all down, then set up for another turn.
- Keep score by counting who knocks down the most pins in 10 turns.
This one goes against my anti-mess rule, but it’s a creative way for kids to channel their energy. Let your kids try the drip and spatter work of art that is on display in art museums.
- Gather a few jars of tempera paint, an old spoon, and a paint stirrer. If you don’t have a paint stirrer, find something that can substitute for dripping, splattering and drizzling.
- Lay out a large plastic tarp or some kind of protective covering on the floor.
- Unroll a long sheet of paper on the tarp and let the creativity begin.
Make a Human Jelly Roll
- Gently roll your child in a blanket, sheet, or sleeping bag like jam rolled inside a cake.
- Once she’s wrapped up, call out “Wake up, jelly roll”.
- Pull on the edge of the blanket to slowly unroll your child.
Make a Healthy Airplane Snack
Getting kids to eat healthily can be quite the chore! Let them get creative and have some fun and you’ll be surprised by how much veggies they’ll eat.
- Slice a cucumber in half lengthwise.
- Have your child hollow out one of the halves with a melon scoop or spoon to make the body of the plane.
- Cut a slit in each side of the plane.
- Insert carrot or cucumber sticks into the slits to make the wings.
- Make another slit on top of the end of the plane.
- Insert a carrot stick sticking straight up to make the tail.
- Park the plane on a plate of lettuce clouds.
- Add ranch or your favorite veggie dip.
- Use cherry tomatoes for passengers.
Turn this simple, ordinary activity into something extraordinary. Make your own bubble solution and turn household items into blowers.
To make the bubble solution:
- 1 cup liquid detergent or baby shampoo
- 3 cups of water
- Food coloring (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bucket or dishpan.
For the bubble wands:
- Use a plastic strawberry basket, the plastic holder from a six-pack of soda, or a toilet paper tube.
- Use your imagination and get creative.
- You can also use a traditional bubble wand.
Make a Texture Collage
Have fun and get creative making texture collages.
- Cardboard, stock or construction paper
- Assorted textures
- uncooked rice, bean, or pasta
- dry cereal
- scraps of fabric or ribbon
- crinkled aluminum foil or waxed paper
Glue the items to the cardboard, construction or stock paper.
Stress Relieving Playdough
Make your own playdough at home. It’s fun to make with your kids, and it provides tons of sensory input.
You know that yucky smell when you open a can of store-bought play dough? You won’t get that with your homemade recipe. You can make it smell amazing and relieve your stress with aromatherapy. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to improve your sensory and emotional experience. Try lavender, orange, lemon or peppermint essential oils.
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
- 2 T cream of tartar
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 T canola oil
- Food coloring or 1 pkg of unsweetened Kool-Aid
- Essential oils
- Mix all ingredients except water in a large mixing bowl.
- Boil the water.
- Add the water to the bowl of ingredients.
- Stir immediately.
- When cool enough to handle knead until smooth.
- Let cool and place in Ziploc bag or airtight container.
This list is by no means complete. I hope it sparks your imagination and creativity to break out of your rut. Here are some additional ideas for Rainy Day Toddler Fun.
Finding new ways to use our minds and our bodies keeps us healthy and sane.