Happy New Year everyone!
We're in for some wet weather in the Bay Area this week, and when the weather outside is frightful, sitting cooped up in the house all day with an active toddler can turn into an extreme exercise of patience for both of you, especially after a few rainy days in a row. Keep the winter blues away with a few new rainy activities this winter.
Winter art activities
Potato Stamp Snowmen – Cut potatoes make great paint “stamps” for little hands.
What you need: White or gray paint, colored construction paper, potato, small plate, crayons/markers Directions: Cut potatoes in half, pour a small amount of white paint onto a plate. Have your toddler place the cut side of the potatoes into the paint and then “stamp” circles onto their paper to create a snowman shape. Use crayons or markers to draw a top hat, scarf, and scenery.
Sparkle scenes – Nothing is more fun than dumping, shaking, and brushing, until your toddler shakes all the excess off to reveal the sparkling picture underneath!
What you need: Glitter, glue stick or white glue/paint brush, paper, crayons/markers Directions: Using crayons or markers draw outlines of bells, trees, snowmen, or other fun and simple shapes. Let your toddler use a glue stick, or a paint brush dipped in glue, to “color in” the outline and then shake glitter all over the glue. The more the better! Lift the paper to shake off the excess into a collection plate or bowl, repeat.
Choose simple recipes that allow lots of dumping, mixing, and topping for your toddler. Make sure you keep a small bowl for “tastes!”
You can measure, then hand the cup over to your baker to dump into the bowl. Explain what you’re doing, and take the opportunity to talk about kitchen safety as well. Before your treats go into the oven - have your toddler sprinkle with a topping like mini-chocolate chips, sprinkles, oatmeal, or cinnamon sugar.
Build an obstacle course
Set up pillows, blankets, couch cushions, and those empty Amazon boxes to create an indoor obstacle course. Have your toddler run around obstacles, climb over them, and even jump into soft piles of pillows and blankets. Great way to get some energy out on days where the kids are cooped up inside.
Put on some tunes, dress up in some silly clothes, pull out musical instruments or make your own from spoons and bowls. While away the minutes dancing like there’s nobody watching and encourage your little one to wiggle the rainy day blues away.
Build a reading nest
Throw a bunch of blankets and pillows onto the couch or floor and create a big, cozy “nest.” Have your child choose some books and snuggle up in your special nest to read. If your child enjoys looking through books on their own, bring your book along and model a lifetime love of reading while next to your child as they look through theirs.
Get out the galoshes
The rain doesn’t have to mean you stay inside all day! Take advantage of the fun environment outside. Bundle everyone up and go on a nature walk around your yard, your neighborhood, or your local park. Let your little one enjoy some fun stomping in puddles and exploring the wonders of a rainy day, explain the rain, talk about clouds, look at the wet leaves of plants, catch raindrops on your tongue. Rain can be magical for little ones.
Rainy Day Outings
When it’s been raining for days on end, even the most amusing indoor activities start to feel a little stale. Take advantage of our great local resources while staying dry.