We are in the midst of a heat wave, so this was a perfect cool down activity. Your little ones will need to be supervised, in case they get a little too excited with their mallets.
What you will need:
A plastic container
Mallet or Hammer
Fill up with container with some toys and water. Throw it in the freezer over night until it is completely frozen. Once it is frozen, let the fun begin!
We started off using a hammer to break big chunks of ice off. Gray was so excited to be able to use a hammer. He is a Mr. Fix it, so using a big hammer made his day! Once we got large chunks off we moved to using the mallet, so we didn’t break any of the plastic toys.
The surprise of each new toy being found was amazing! We found toy after toy and kept chipping off at the large block. The heat helped melt some pieces away as we went and the ice was a nice cooldown treat.
My favorite part of this activity was wanting Gray figure out different ways to get the toys out. He started with the big hammer then the mallet. When those options weren’t working fast enough he dropped the large block on the concrete. After the block became smaller chunks, he used his hands to break small parts off. It was so entertaining watching his wheels turn and him problem solve.
Once all the toys were rescued from the ice block, we smashed the left over pieces. This activity wasn’t just for Gray, even Charlie got into the fun!
If you don’t have a container you could totally do this with an ice tray as well.
There’s no where my kiddos would rather be than outside; running, screaming, and exploring. They would spend the entire day outside if they could, and sometimes we do! However, there are days when we just can’t do outside. It’s too hot, it’s raining, or maybe it’s too cold, which doesn’t happen often here in North Carolina.
Regardless of the reason, all of their bottled up energy needs somewhere to go, and I’d prefer it not be them jumping from couch to couch. Of course, on these rainy days their old toys no longer interest them and they are all over the place. Thankfully there are plenty of fun, easy, and quick to put together activities to keep your little ones busy right inside your home.
1. Sensory Bins:
Sensory bins are a great way to let your little ones explore different textures, colors, and concepts. Everything is contained in a big plastic tub, or so it’s supposed to be, which makes for easy clean up! Find a plastic tub you have laying around the house and fill it with whatever interests your child. We currently LOVE construction of any kind. So, off I went to the garage, got some soil and rocks and ta-da! A sensory bin was created!
Some other fun themes are: holidays, individual colors, and seasons.
2. DIY Dry Erase Board:
Have a glass door or window? I’m sure you do! Well guess what, you also have a dry erase board. Grab some dry erase markers and let your little one draw a picture. Make sure you remind them markers are ONLY for the door or window, otherwise you may end up with a lovely Picasso-esque mural adorning your walls. When drawing their own picture loses your littles interest, draw shapes on the door, then begin naming the shapes, while having them erase or circle the shape you named. You can do this with anything: letters, numbers, shapes, sight words, etc you name it!
3. Alphabet & Number Games:
We have been focusing on our numbers, letters, and shapes for a while. Over time we have narrowed down some of our favorite games. Do you have an old cookie sheet you no longer use, alphabet or number magnets, and a sharpie? If you do, you have a new game at your fingertips. Take a sharpie, write down the alphabet (or numbers) and have your kiddo match them up! How easy is that?! If you don’t have magnets, grab a piece of paper and some paint! Write the alphabet or numbers down and have your kiddo trace them with paint. Both activities are simple to put together and will keep your little ones busy.
4. Cook together!
Cooking together doesn’t have to be elaborate! Have them help you make breakfast, or lunch. Measuring, dumping, and stirring help build fine motor skills, it also builds memories together. Bonus, my toddler also seems to eat more of the food when he helps!
5. Painters Tape Race Track!
Cranes, trains, and automobiles are just a few of our favorite things. With that being said, we have a TON of vehicles throughout our house. These vehicles sometimes need to place to go (other than under my feet!). So, we grabbed some painters tape and created a race track! But, what’s a race track without some tunnels and bridges?! Thank you solo cups! The tracks don’t have to stay on the ground. Up the walls, over the couches, and down the kitchen drawers are all fun places for their cars to travel.
6. Bring Nature Indoors!
Not literally. But when all your littles want to do is venture outside, you can still let them scope it out from the sidelines. Talk about the weather, look for wildlife with a pair of binoculars, grab a bird book and identify birds at the feeder, watch and learn about the types of clouds. If you live in a larger city or busy neighborhood, people watch! These little window-watching conversations will introduce new fun, and even new vocabulary.
7. A timeless classic…Build a Fort!
What kid doesn’t love a fort? They are ripping your house apart anyway, might as well do it intentionally! Gather all the pillows, blankets, cushions and get to work. Have flashlights or lanterns? Great! Stuffed animal role players? Awesome! Forts aren’t an everyday occurrence over here, so making a rainy day extra special with this family activity is always a blast. Leave them up all day, eat lunch in there, watch a movie by lantern-light. It only takes a slight departure from “normal” for kids to think something is magical.
Now it’s your turn!
Choose one or a few of these rainy day activities for your little one and go have fun!