My little one was ill recently, which meant a lot of days spent indoors. Just as he turned the page and was getting well, the weather turned dreadful! Alas for us, that meant a couple more days cooped up indoors. Far too much screen time later, and we were both desperately running down the stairs at the first sight of sunshine in search of civilisation - what a dark time we lived through just then!
The wet winter months are still with us here in England I'm afraid. In the spirit of never again being caught out unprepared, I did a little sleuthing to find some rainy day activities that we could do together next time we found ourselves confined indoors.
Inspired by the incredibly resourceful Susie of Resolve to Play, this one made it to the top of the list. A wonderfully easy craft with barely any mess (my impractical linen furniture will thank me), and very little supplies required (an empty kitchen paper tube, some rice or lentils, some sellotape, and according to Susie, a little stuffing to keep it all inside!).
Can you make the rainstick sound like the rain outside? What a wonderful creation and conversation starter for those of us raising multi-cultural children. This is a brilliant segue into talking about ethnic cultures, their belief systems, traditions and artefacts.
An indoor scavenger hunt
This one is for when you fancy some quiet time; a little moment to drink your tea in peace - terribly sorry I can't guarantee the duration of your respite!
Depending on the age of your toddler, this one can be tailored to meet their skills. The Blossom App at my son's nursery recommends something as simple as hunting for letters and/or numbers all over the house from random objects naturally in our home. Have your little one go around the house looking for the letter B, or the number two, spotting it on anything from the TV remote to the box of cereal. For older children, I liked this idea from The Everymom.
And so to the kitchen!
For this one, I am borrowing a leaf out of the wonderful book that is Giselle's Little Genius Club. The Little Genius Club uses food experiences to promote learning in little ones, particularly in the STEM fields, and to develop life skills. For a far more elegant explanation, I'd recommend you head over to the Little Genius Club for a bit of a nosy.
So next time when it rains, why not pull out that pre-planned recipe and together with your little one whip up something to enjoy for your next meal? I'm more of a baker than a cook, so I will be sticking to my strengths on this one. These apple heart pies are fairly straightforward and remain in season for the winter months yet.
Word of advice - pre-measure all ingredients down to the T and only have out what you need. The one time I baked with my son, I had the bicarbonate of soda out, turned around for a second, and the whole packet was decanted into our banana muffin mixture. We still baked them; they tasted a little tangy I found. My son mentioned that he didn't like them.
For more active children that need to burn off energy, you may try building a fort with them, or as my friend did for her brood, building a slide tunnel down the stairs. We tried the first - 1 hour, two tripods, one bedsheet, two harassed adults, a barely standing "fort" and a toddler that declared to be "scared to go inside" the fort later, and the project has never been revisited. I'm wishing you better luck than us, obviously ;)
Do you have favourite activities you like to do with your little ones when caught indoors? Let's connect in the comments below and share some thoughts and ideas.
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As always, with all my love