Rainy days inside can be tough, especially if you have a toddler who is bored. Young children left to their own devices with no mental stimulation can be like a hurricane tearing through your house. Here are a few rainy day activities for toddlers to help you make it through.

Living Room Safari

A fun activity that can keep your kids happy is having a home safari. Have your kids stay in one room while you set up a fun safari for them by hiding little animal toys for them to find. You could use small plastic animals, stuffed animals, paper cutouts or whatever you have available. Make sure to challenge them, but don’t make it too hard or you might induce a frustrated tantrum.

Kids love the opportunity to look for things, and you can use it as an opportunity to teach them some facts about animals while they search. With any luck you will also get a few minutes to sit on the couch and relax while they are hunting.

Forts Forts Forts

Kids love making play areas out of whatever you’ve got laying around. Get together chairs, blankets, pillows, cardboard boxes or whatever you have to build with and let your imagination run wild. Your children will love crawling in, under and around whatever you’ve constructed with them.

Older kids will appreciate coming up with stories surrounding the fort for imaginative play. You could bring some books in and turn it into a library or get a steering wheel and other controls to have a fun car or plane for them to pilot.

Get Out When and Where You Can

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you have to completely give up on going outside. Throw on a rain jacket and some rain boots and venture out into the rain as long as it’s not lightning or thundering. Jump in some puddles, look for frogs and be silly.

Learning to be Independent

Parents want their kids to learn to be independent and master skills such as using the potty, eating with utensils, and getting dressed. Kids vary in how quickly they learn, and few follow an idealized progression. If your child is lagging behind in some skills, rainy days are a great time to practice.

If your child’s progress is stalled out on something that you think they should be capable of doing, you can try to break the task down into smaller parts. For example, if you are trying to help them learn to wash their hands, maybe start with just turning the faucet on or off or just drying their hands off afterward. Focus on just one aspect at a time, and try to find ways to make a game out of it or reward the child for completing the task.

Fun in the Kitchen

Many kids love to help out in the kitchen, but parents with busy schedules don’t always have time to do much cooking, with or without the kids involved. If you are stuck inside, now would be a great time to dust off some latent baking skills and make some cookies or cupcakes as a rainy day activity for your toddler.

Young children can get good practice in fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by pouring ingredients into bowls, transferring ingredients with a spoon or mixing. Doing these simple tasks is a great physical practice, and it’s also a good way to build the child’s confidence and self-esteem.

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