Wow we’ve had a LOT of rain this month. Living in an area surrounded by tropical rainforest we are quite accustomed to plenty of rainy days, but this past month we seem to have had more than our usual share. What’s more, it has also been raining over the rest of island so we can’t even step out of the Roseau Valley and search out some dry West Coast sun – just rain, rain, rain.
Now as many stay-at-home parents know, spending each and everyday in the house with two young children can put a strain on our sanity and we have definitely needed to draw on our resources to get us all through the day! This is our top 30+ rainy day activities that are very simple, and do not require lots of advanced planning or specialized equipment.
Painting & Drawing
The beauty with this activity is that it can take many forms. We can draw in books, put paper on the wall and paint, use an Etch A Sketch or our Aquadoodle Mat which only uses water to draw with. I also have some wooden child safety gates between certain open doorways that I also allow the kids to draw on with crayons.
Cooking or Pretend Cooking
My 2 year old, Keeyah, loves to peel bananas for our smoothies, scrape out passion fruit for juice, peel raw cocoa beans or sort through spinach leaves whilst my 1 year old boy is obsessed with being able to press the buttons on the blender whenever I use it! When I’m busy with cooking the kids often play chefs with their wooden oven and their Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruits that they got for Christmas.
Puzzles & Jigsaw
These start with simple wooden puzzles that place the pieces into cut out slots and progress to more complex jigsaws. Keeyah has just mastered a 20-piece jigsaw puzzle and delights in doing it repeatedly throughout the day.
An obvious rainy-day activity isn’t it? Curl up with some great books and enjoy both the cuddles and the story. You can read about some of our favourite books here.
I believe that babies are born with an innate desire and ability to do yoga and with plenty of prenatal yoga my two were primed in the womb to practice! As soon as I get out the yoga mat, the children are eager to do Downward Dog, Cobra and Happy Baby poses (Check out some photos here). Simple breathing exercises offer way to get calm and centred. We also love doing the Sun Salutation to this fabulous upbeat video.
We put on some lively music with positive lyrics and jump about happily to burn off some of that indoor energy!
My babes, encouraged by their musician Daddy, love to experiment with instruments. We sometimes have a nice session with their trumpet, drum, keyboard and flute to jam the afternoon away.
Singing and Sign Language Songs
We sing many songs throughout the day (see one of them here) and are also learning some that we can sign with too as a way to practice our signing and simply have fun with.
Sign Language DVD’s
We are in LOVE with the Signing Time series, (see my previous post for a review here), and the kids really enjoy a ½ hour session of songs and signs from the Signing Time DVD’s during the day.
Sign Language Flash Cards
I recently shared how we made our own ASL signing flash cards which we enjoy playing with in a variety of ways but no drilling!
Since listening to the Signing Time song on basketball, (watch it on You Tube here), my girl loves to throw a soft ball about and proclaim she is playing basketball. Daddy has promised to make her a net to make the game even more realistic. Other soft ball games such as football or catch are also suitable for indoor play when played gently!
Hide and Seek
This is my 2 year old’s favourite game right now. Her favourite hiding places are in the cupboard, under her dining table or in the emptied out toy box. The sweet thing is that sometimes she will want me to both hide her and then find her!
Any slightly sheltered space will provide an area for blowing bubbles – a beautifully simple activity. We use our veranda, but if you have absolutely no balcony, the bathroom will do!
Put the sofa cushions on the floor, throw on a few sheets, position the high chair at the end and make a simple obstacle course to climb over and through.
Build a tower, knock it down, build a tower, knock it down, build a tower…you get the idea.
Arm the kids with a camera and get them to take some pictures of things around the house. There are some specialty kids digital cameras around designed to withstand knocks and shocks. We were given an old and hardy camera that works just fine!
A long shoelace and some Penne are all the ingredients needed to string up some pasta necklaces – a great exercise in concentration and fine motor skills. Just watch they don’t start chewing it – what is it with kids and raw pasta? Yuck!
We have various magnets on the fridge that can be arranged and played with. Unfortunately at the moment, our boy likes to chew them so it’s only Keeyah (and myself) that can play with these!
Call Family and Friends
Living miles away from many of our friends and family, a rainy day inside gives us the chance to hook up on Skype and chat online with video for free and keep in touch with our loved ones across the miles.
ABC Floor Mat
This thick alphabet and numbers floor mat is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and regularly gets pulled apart and pieced back together again. We can also jump about on it and Keeyah likes to match her flash cards on to it as well.
Explore the World
We have a Peters Projection World Map above the children’s dining table and sometimes take a look at the countries with a little chat about where we are and where our other family and friends live. I’m very excited about further exploring the map and learning about the world as the children grow.
In our pretend world the sun is always shining! We can pack bags to go to the beach, get in the car seat to get there and use the surf board float to crash in the waves. Keeyah’s imagination is blossoming right now and she explores many other environments and situations all within the confines of our rained in home!
Veranda or Indoor Gardening
Our veranda is crammed full of plants in pots. (See my previous Wordless Wednesday post for photos here). This means we can sow, water, trim and pick plants whatever the weather. Many herbs and flowers also do well inside if there is no covered outdoor space.
Playing with Toys
Another obvious one right? Get out all the toys that accumulate in our children’s life and actually play with them!
Invite Friends to Play
Rainy weather always mean less visits but thankfully we have our 7 year old neighbour who will often come to play after school rain or shine!
One of my elders always says ‘More rain, more rest’. Sometimes a rainy day is an opportunity to relax and take things at a slower pace.
Children love to emulate big people activities and it’s great that, at this stage of their life, cleaning up is fun. As soon as I start to sweep the little ones are quick to also grab their broom or mop and play alongside. Keeyah also likes to match socks and help hang out the cloth diapers.
Watch the Monkeys!
We have 6 beautiful postcards of rescued monkeys from our day out at Monkey World in the Summer. Baby boy, Amarii is particularly fascinated with looking at them and having each one named as he points. Bright, attractive photos around the house are great for stimulating imagination and knowledge.
I’ve been massaging my babes since birth and now they gladly return the favour by pounding on my back – joy! I’m really looking forward to the continued refinement of these skills!!
We were given a small wooden rocking horse which is a perfect indoor activity for my wild rodeo riders!
Inspired by being carried herself, my 2 year old (and her friend) strap on their teddies and wear their ‘babies’ around the house.
Make a Book Slide
This activity is the invention of Keeyah who sometimes likes to place all her books in a row and claim it’s a slide. She doesn’t slide on them but simply enjoys the arranging process! Gotta love 2 year olds!
Take a Float
A swimming float doubles up as a bus, boat or raft to slide around the house on!
Watch the Rain
When all else has been done sometimes there is nothing left to do but just sit and watch the cascading rain. Rain, rain go away…come back another day!
I’d love to hear of your rainy day activities so do leave your ideas and play suggestions in the comments.