5 Ways to Entertain a Toddler When it's Raining
Today is pretty gloomy. It’s Overcast, Rainy, and slightly chilly with a forecast predicting that this will last all weekend. While all we want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep, we have a rambunctious little tyke begging us to go outside. We had weather similar to this a few weeks back and we learned pretty quickly that lounging around does not bode well with a toddler. The first day was the hardest, however after a bit of creativity and some strategic planning, we figured out 5 ways to get through the nasty weather while also letting Ezra get some of his wiggles out.
1. Circulate the toys! I read this tip on one of the baby center forums and let me tell you it works like a charm. What we did is divide commonly used toys into groups of three, leaving only one group at a time out for Ezra to play with. When he got bored or frustrated we would switch it out with the next group and so on. To him, it was like getting brand new toys to play with each time! It helped extend his independent play time by an extra 30 minutes (glorious time we used to lay on the couch and rest). We’ve since decided to implement this tactic even when the weather is nice in order to get more housework done.
2. Bust out the crayons. When the circulation of toys stops working it’s time to start coloring. We have large cup full of crayons and a blank sketch pad that we set on the floor for Ezra to experiment with. Crayons are nice because they don’t really mark the skin or clothes, so clean-up in that sense is very easy. Right now Ezra likes to take the crayons in and out of the cup and will occasionally test them out on paper. It’s a pretty low energy activity, although we did have to exert ourselves a little bit when he decided to try and eat one, got mad that we said “no,” and then started tossing them under the couch in protest.
3. Create an obstacle course. A few pillows and a blanket can go a long way with toddlers. Honestly, at this age everything is fair game for entertainment. Ezra loves crawling over, laying under, and balancing on pillows. We also draped a blanket over a chair and the couch and he had a blast crawling underneath. All we had to do was sit back, and laugh at the hilarity of our little man toddling around a bunch of throw pillows.
4. Take a bath. Playing in water is good for little ones for a number of reasons: (1) It cleans them. (2) It's good for their development. (3) It can entertain them for a good 20 to 30 min. We also let Ezra have what we call “naked baby time.” After we dry him off, he loves to dart out of the bathroom and run around his bedroom naked. To be honest, this is more because we have a hard time catching him versus having any significant benefit.
5. Watch the rain through the window or on the porch. Ezra loves rain. He gets really excited and will sit by the window for 10 or 15 minutes just watching the droplets fall. We can usually extend this time by another 10 minutes or so by pointing out where the puddles are or asking him to point to the rain drops on the window. If it isn’t storming, we will also bundle up and sit on the porch so that we can listen to the rain fall. It’s actually pretty soothing, so I do this before his nap so that he is more calm and receptive to falling asleep.
These tips and tricks worked last time we had a long bout of bad weather and I’m hoping they will work again this weekend. So far so good today, but if I learn anything new I’ll come back and update this post. If you choose to try any of the above, let me know what you think!