Toddlers can be hard to amuse for any length of time, especially if you’re the only face they see most of the time and the novelty of your presence has worn off. Breaking your day up into five minute activities can make it seem never ending. It’s harder if they don’t have a focus and you’re, god forbid, stuck indoors. I have a book of things to do with your toddler that inspired me to write this post. Here are some ideas for indoor activities you can stretch out to hopefully fill a full half hour!
1. Sticking stuff in Play Doh. For example, kids’ pasta shapes, spaghetti, pipe cleaners, buttons. They also create prints in the Play Doh which toddlers like.
2. Have an indoor picnic. Put sandwich fillings in bowls and let them help to make their own. Use a picnic blanket, add teddies and mini snacks. Kids like miniature snacks.
3. Let them dress up in your clothes. Give them hats, shoes and jewellery. Get them to do a fashion show for you. They also like dressing up as you.
4. Make magic pictures. Get them to draw heavily in crayon. Give them paint and a little pot of water to mix it with. Paint lightly over the crayon and the picture shows through.
5. Play “hide the teddy bear” or whatever small object you like. My kids play it with a tiny teddy. My sister and I used to play it with a thimble. Tell them if they are getting “warmer” or “colder.”
6. Make a scrapbook or seasonal journal, e.g., winter diary, Easter holiday diary, etc. Collect items together on your travels. Let them put pictures and found items in them.
7. Make bookmarks for their favourite books. You can make themed ones to match the books.
8. Play pretend holiday. Get them to pack what they want in a small bag. Arrange seats like on a plane. Get out their bucket and spade. Let them paddle in a “rock pool” (fill a basin with water.) Make beach “cocktails.” Kids like running around in swimsuits for no reason.
9. Make a reading corner with pillows and all their favourite stories. Make a nook with fairy lights, milk and biscuits.
10. Have a home cinema. Make pretend tickets. Have a pretend shop where they can fill their own bowl with cinema snacks. Let them pick a movie and invite teddies.
11. Bread is actually really easy to make and your kids can help to knead it. They also like watching it rise in the oven and then get to eat it when it’s ready.
Hope these help to tame the rainy day tantrums!