Keeping an active toddler busy on a rainy day

rainy day toddler

Winter is fast approaching and with it comes the need to keep children entertained without the luxury of being able to play outside. Keeping active toddlers entertained can be a real challenge for even the craftiest parent.

We’ve gathered a few ideas for keeping the little ones busy when it’s miserable inside, so that you don’t have to wish away winter…

  1. The classics: All those games your mom used to play with you and your siblings are classics for good reason, they are stimulating, fun and a great way to bond. Hide and seek, treasure hunts, reading together, singing and dancing together and building forts are all great ways to keep toddlers busy when it’s raining outside. Play dates are always a winner as two toddlers can tire each other out faster than any adult could.

  2. Edible finger paints: Encourage the creative spark in your child with a finger painting session. Many parents are put off finger painting for toddlers because there’s a tendency to taste everything (including those toxic paints). Luckily you don’t need any special ingredients to mix up a batch of non-toxic edible finger paints at home. Mix corn flour, hot water, a pinch of sugar and stir until you achieve a smooth consistency. Add food colouring and enjoy! If you want to contain the mess, pop your toddler in the bathtub for art time and use the shower head for a turbo clean up afterwards.

  3. Indoor camping: Introduce your little one to the joys of camping from a young age. You can easily build a tent in your living room using large blankets and furniture. Type -rainforest sounds into YouTube and enjoy a peaceful soundtrack in the background. Glue two toilet rolls together and use as pretend binoculars. Great practise for a real camping trip! Camp-fire songs, picnics and stories by torchlight are all part of the fun too.

  4. Start a family band: We’re lucky to have many different kinds of instruments in our home, but toddlers can turn just about anything into a music maker!  Everything from the salt shaker to a wooden spoon is game in the family band. Get the family involved and get creative. Making music together is a wonderful way to bond and your toddler will burn up a bit of that crazy energy banging and dancing about.

  5. A rainy day box: Many mums like to keep an activity box for those times when you absolutely need a moment to yourself.  The joy of toddlers is that they are so easily entertained by everyday objects. You can add puzzles, stickers, toys or just about anything (anybody else have a toddler fascinated with Tupperware?). For added effect and time entertained, wrap everything.

  6. Head into the garden: It might not seem too appealing but if isn’t bucketing down you can gear up and go splash in some puddles and look for frogs. It’s a great way to burn off some of that energy and you can enjoy a warm drink when you get back inside.

  7. Balloon pong: Some balloons, a paper plate for each player and a wooden lolly stick is all you need for this game. Glue the lolly stick onto the paper plate and viola you have a great racquet/paddle. Inflate the balloons and see how long you can both keep them in the air. Balloon pong also works well with straws (blow through the straws to keep the balloons in the air) and ups the tiring out factor considerably.

  8. A trampoline: If you can spare a little bit of cash a trampoline comes highly recommended by moms of toddlers as a fantastic energy burning rainy day activity. Added bonus, you can sneak in some cardio too.

  9. Edible play dough: Combine something squishy, a dash of creativity and the ability to put something in the mouth and you have a recipe for toddler bliss. There are plenty of edible play dough recipes online that use everyday ingredients you already have at home. Try 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, up to a cup of boiling water and food colouring/jelly mix for colour. Mixing up the ingredients until you achieve the right consistency. If this recipe doesn’t appeal there are plenty more online, some include peanut butter, cool drink mixes and even a dollop of glycerine for shine.

  10. Go on an outing: A bit of a last resort when the weather is miserable and you want to burn up some of that toddler energy, there should be plenty of local options for toddler friendly outings. Anything from a local play centre, toddler dancing group to the local McDonalds will serve to burn off some energy.

Winter doesn’t have to mean frustrated toddlers. With some of these ideas you and your little one can have a glorious winter filled with happy memories. Providing outlet for all that energy can be challenging, but use some of these ideas and you will both be delighted when it rains and you have an excuse to play your rainy day games.


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