I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods these days, but Spring in the Carolinas is seeming very determined to overcome what that silly Pennsylvanian rodent predicted last week. With the advent of Spring comes rain. Lots and lots of rain. Now, I love rain. I really, really do! But ever since the arrival of babies, rainy days have become a little less enjoyable. Instead of cozy times on the couch with a steaming mug of coffee and a good book, I now have to come up with ways to entertain my energetic girl all day without being able to go outside . Not only does that make for a long day, but she's often not tired enough to nap/go to bed well on those days. I reached out to friends on Facebook last spring for some ideas of high-energy indoor activities. I tried a bunch out and thought I'd share with you today a few of our favorites.
1. Living Room Obstacle Course**
This one is easily tailored to whatever age you need. Move around furniture and make an obstacle course. I can easily set one up in our living room and have her crawl under dining room chairs, over the ottoman, run down the hall and into our room, jump on the bed, circle back around and back down the hall, and so on. She loves it! Or, in her room, she can run a lap around the rocking chair, bounce down the length of her bed (a twin-sized mattress on the floor, lest you worry that I'm having her do this in dangerous conditions), army-crawl under the crib, do a few rocks on her rocking horse, and the run back to the rocking horse where she started. She thinks this whole activity is so fun! And it's doubly fun when Mommy joins in: work out AND wear the toddler out = win-win!
2. Lava Islands
This is similar to the obstacle course, but you take all the pillows you can find, scatter them around on the floor, and pretend that the floor all around them is lava or water or whatever element you want to avoid. Then take turns jumping from pillow to pillow. If you fall in, you start all over. This, like the obstacle course, can be reconfigured into limitless layouts.
Once upon a time I spent way too much money on a ball pit for Afton. She hated it. I literally returned it two days later and bought instead a $0.97 pack of balloons which she loved. We came up with so many games with those crazy balloons all for the low low price of less than a dollar. If you don't have balloons, bubbles are also incredibly entertaining for small ones and equally economical.
4. Race Track
We do a lot of toddler triathlons around here where Afton runs a lap around the living room, grabs a push toy and races it down the hall where her little inside trike is waiting to be ridden back down the hall and across the finish line. She loves this and will do it over and over and over again, all while loudly singing The Wheels On The Bus or Bah Bah Black Sheep.
5. Puddle Jumping
Finally, when all else fails, dress your kiddo up in a rain suit and go out puddle jumping. It may not be the tidiest activity, but it does allow for some fresh air time and some great memories.
**Please keep the obstacles safe and age-appropriate! You know your child, and his/her physical abilities!
What are some of your favorite rainy day activities? Let me know if the comments!