5 More Rainy Day Activities To Keep Your Toddler Entertained | Just Add Ginger

The last time I wrote a post like this, Eric was 17 months old and just entering proper toddlerhood. Now he is nearly 24 months (or 2 years) old and my lord a lot has changed. I have a walking, (nearly) talking, tantruming, opinionated little sasspot on my hands who is on the go from first thing in the morning until he is literally so tired he can't keep his eyes open anymore. 

Being pregnant with baby no.2 has also altered things quite a bit. Some days I've barely had enough energy to get dressed let alone leave the house so I've really had to think on my toes when it comes to how to keep Eric entertained. 

So I call these 'rainy day activities' but really they are activities for rainy days, days when you need to get things done around the house or days when you just can't be bothered (let's face it we all have them as parents.) And hopefully when you are sitting there ready to tear your hair out and internally screaming "what are the bloody hell are we going to do today?"  these will help spark an idea.

little boy with blonde hair looking at the camera

Puzzles and Games - I don't know how it happened, but Eric is really, really good at puzzles! You know - those ones with pieces that fit in to their corresponding shapes on a board. He will power through one of those in a couple of minutes, so now I am trying (emphasis on the trying) to get him into games. That is...if he sits still long enough! 

Puzzles and games are great for a number of different reasons. They promote motor skills, understanding, communication and vocabulary and are also great if you need a good sit down, quiet activity to do pre or post nap. 

On a recommendation I am going to start building an Orchard Toys collection of games and puzzles but there are so many other great brands out there that cater to your child and their age / abilities. 

Colouring In - As crazy as he is, colouring in (and stickers) are a big hit with Eric. He will take himself off and mark make in his colouring book (or my diary) for ages and be happy as a clam. 

You take your wallpaper into your hands the minute you hand over a crayon to a toddler but there are some other great alternatives should you not want your living room to turn a different colour. There are mess free colouring books, aqua doodle mats and I've even seen colouring pads that do something similar.  

Again, colouring in works on different areas of development (fine motor and communication are but two) and gives the chance for you to talk to and interact with your child (although Eric doesn't like it if you try and colour with him.)

Soft Play - Yes, I said it! Soft play. Sometimes you just have to. Great for rainy days (and days when it's just too warm) there are some great ones out there you can take your little ones to.

I'm so funny when it comes to places I feel comfortable taking Eric but there is a play centre near us which I've started to call my 'safe place'. It's exclusively for under 5's, is very open plan, and you can see your child from nearly any angle. There is also a baby section for little ones under 12 months so ideal for if you have two or more small children with you. And I just love it. 

Play centres like this are great because they encourage social skills and independent play. Plus there's usually the option to buy a coffee if you are really struggling. So yes, I said the dreaded 's word', but if you find a good one to go to, they will honestly be a lifesaver!

little boy with blonde hair looking at the camera

Read and Sing - This is perfect for if you have a little chatterbox on your hands but also for if your child is still working on their speech. Having time set aside to sing songs or read with your child is great for bonding too. It gives a great opportunity for cuddles, snuggles and quiet moments with your child that you may otherwise not get during the day.

With a really active toddler I have specific points in the day where I know these activities are more likely to succeed. We have a 'biscuits and bed' before his nap in the morning where I will read 2-3 books to him and sometimes sing some songs. Then during the day I will intermittently start singing songs I know he likes (Five Little Monkeys, Wind The Bobbin Up and If You're Happy And You Know It always go down well.) We will often have music or an audio book on as background noise too. At night, we have The Gruffalo as that is his (what I call) 'sleep cue' story.

Repetition is key when it comes to songs. It also helps if you get really involved and enthusiastic too. Even though Eric isn't talking yet if I start singing a song he knows he will join in with actions. And it's the same with stories. The Gruffalo is his favourite book and when I describe the features of the title character, Eric will point to each place on himself.

Movie Time - Because sometimes you just have to. 

Yes, screen time isn't always encouraged but for those days when you have made it through to the afternoon and you are at the end of your tether, a film or TV show can allow you some precious moments to make a coffee, eat something and take a deep breath ready to carry on. 

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