I don't know if this is just me but can be so difficult sometimes to come up with things to do with your baby. At the age Eric is, he needs constant stimulation. He's on the go all the time and flits from toy to toy like a little butterfly amongst the flowers. His attention span isn't quite there to sit for too long and participate in structured play so if you are stuck for ideas and find yourself restricted to the living room on a rainy day you slowly start to go insane.
Having learnt from experience that days in aren't an option unless absolutely necessary, I've put together a list of five rainy day activities for you and your baby. Some can be set up in the house to add a little variety if the weather is just too bad to venture out in, and others take place in other locatis, giving you both the chance to get out the house and have some human contact.
Messy Play - This is something I don't do enough with Eric but something that I think he would really enjoy. And there are so many different activities that come under this umbrella. Finger painting and hand / foot prints, mark making in Angel Delight or baked beans, walking through jelly and creating homemade play dough are all things I can't wait to try with him. If you have a paddling pool or large tray these are the perfect things to use for messy play as it designates an area for the mess and ensures things don't get (too) out of control. Keep a bucket of water water and a towel to one side so that you can rinse baby off or - if things get really messy - pop them in the bath. This will extend the play experience and provide you with extra quality time with your little one too.
The Library - Eric loves books. Not only stories, but looking at them too. He will often just sit there and investigate him books, peering at the illustrations, lifting flaps and turning page after page. At 13 months old he is starting to have his favourites but I like to broaden his horizons by taking him to our local library. We will look through books there, I'll read to him, and then we'll pick some to take home. It's the perfect rainy day activity because it gives you the chance to get out the house and spend some quality (scree free) time with your baby. Lots of libraries also run free story and rhyme sessions for tots too. We haven't been to any yet but they are definitely on the radar for when we are hit by a string of rainy days.
Visit The Garden Centre - I'm at that age now where dreaming about how I want our garden to look like has overtaken the hours I used to spent online eyeing up my next pair of shoes. So taking a trip to peruse at plants and pretty flowers is my idea of a dream outing. But these visits aren't just for me. Garden centre's are a free and easy way to give your baby a full-on sensory experience. They are surrounded by new sights, colours and smells (some centres even have fish they can look at too). My favourites to visit with Eric in Liverpool are Lady Green and Sefton Meadows
Children's Centre Sessions - If you anticipate the weather to be bad but you still want to get out the house with your little one then looking up the classes at your local children's centre is always a good place to start I take Eric to stay and play, tumble time and more structured play sessions at our local one on a regular basis, come rain or shine and we both love it. And because we have been out the house in a new environment, Eric always wants a nap afterwards. Different children's centres offer different things but classes are free and they offer the chance for both you and baby to socialise.
Cinebabes @ The Plaza, Crosby - Liverpool-based parents - If you are sick and tired of missing out on all the new film releases because you just can't find a babysitter then this concept solves all your problems. On a Friday morning, The Plaza Cinema in Crosby host a special movie showing for mums, dads, carers and grandparents and their tiny tots. I know there are a few chain cinemas who do this too but The Plaza is a volunteer-run community cinema that is a lot more intimate and welcoming. Prices is insanely good too (it's £3 per ticket) and you don't have to worry if your baby starts crying, crawling about or if you need to breastfeed. If you can get to Crosby and are free on a Friday it is well worth a visit.
If you have any other rainy day activity ideas, let me know in the comments below!