Positive play on a rainy day…
When the weather turns grey and there are no firm plans, a day with small people can loom ahead like a life sentence. Here are a few ideas of how to keep your precious souls occupied and enjoy unexpected days at home…
The glory of gloop
This is simple (a bit messy) but SO MUCH FUN! All you need is cornflour, water and a tray or plate… Mix the water and flour to a thick consistency, empty on to the tray or plate and let the kids loose…
It’s amazing. As they move their fingers around, the mix takes a long time to reform its shape. As they grab it, it becomes solid and as they release it, it magically turns to liquid and oozes through their fingers.
We used to add all sorts of objects to the mix, the favourite being their toy wild animals. Then washing the animals at the sink after is a whole new activity! Go on…enjoy the gloop!
‘Clean’ messy play…
OK, we don’t always want to create more work by making a big mess. So ‘clean’ messy activities are also fun. When my kids were young a friend invested in a ‘tuff spot’ for me. It’s basically the tray which builders use for making cement. I added all sorts of dry ingredients to this, like pasta, rice, lentils and added other containers/toys or whatever the children chose. Then you let them loose and they love it!
You get more creative with this over time and the opportunities for switching it up are infinite. My kids loved brown rice and diggers and cooked spaghetti and dinosaurs. Follow your child’s interests and have fun!
Water, old tea pots, cups (a family favourite)
I bought a set of old 80’s style café teapots and jugs from a charity shop. The best £1.50 I ever spent. Just add water and watch the play evolve. My girls loved having a tea party for their teddies which involved getting very wet pouring out a drink for about 20 teddies.
It took at least an hour to put the teddies in a circle, count them, make sure they all had a suitable container and then another hour to help them all drink.
We also used to take this set everywhere the kids might get bored. Literally hours of fun!
It’s a classic but with good reason, there are very few kids that don’t love a good den.
For an easy option simply put a sheet over a table and the next level is getting pegs and multiple sheets involved!
My kids loved hiding in their den with torches, cushions and blankets and I’d lose them for hours as they revelled in the newness of the space and the joy of being in a secret place…
Every time I baked with my littlies I would get halfway through and scream to myself, ‘Why did I do this?!’. It was not until I was once at a toddler group and they got out KNIVES for the kids to use I realised that there is a whole other level in kitchen activities…
There are some great safe kid’s kitchen knives on the market. They are serrated, fairly sharp and good for cutting vegetables such as carrots. Teach your kids to do the bridge hold and to saw not press and they’ll wow you with how quickly they pick it up.
Once I discovered this, my kids could be fully involved in preparing meals. Therefore, a time which was previously stressful (trying to amuse tired kids whilst also cooking tea) became an activity in itself, win, win!
Boredom breeds creativity!!!
Finally, and most importantly my advice is this…keep the TV off and let children battle through the ‘bored stage’. This is a serious hack, small people are naturally curious and they’re not good at being bored for long. Throw some random objects around which they’ve not played with before; a cardboard box, an umbrella, some blankets and watch the magic unfold.
Children are wonderful creative beings, rest, breathe and let them lead.
Images: © Shutterstock | © Kiddikutter