Lets be honest, before you had kids rainy days were the best, you would cuddle up on the couch drink some coffee (or tea) read a good book, watch a movie. Mmmmmmm…rainy days 🙂 Now that you have little tinies rainy days are still great because you have all those beautiful little kids running around like crazy making you smile. And if your kids are older you can still cuddle on the couch and read a book or watch a movie with them. BUT if you have young toddlers, little ones that just started waddling around getting into everything, it can sometimes be frustrating to be stuck inside all day. So, here are a few things that people assume they can’t do with young toddlers but you actually can!
These activities are also great for kids with sensory issues. Children with sensory issues sometime have break downs over touching or feeling things they are not used to feeling. This can lead to freak outs in public or play dates when faced with feeling the things they most dislike, but are perfectly normal to other people. The only way to help your child over come this sensory sensitivity is by slowly exposing them to new textures in a safe environment (your home) surrounded by safe people (you). These rainy day activities use a few of great textures that children with sensory issues have problems touching.
1. FINGER PAINT
I just scared you didn’t I? You’re little one, is waaaay to young to play with finger paint, they still put everything in their mouth and they don’t really understand the concept of coloring yet. Guess what, that’s okay! First off, believe it or not, you don’t just have to finger paint on paper, you can finger paint….wait for it….YOURSELF! Or even more shocking, You’re bathtub or shower! Stick you’re child in your bathing area, whether it be shower or bathtub, in a diaper or, since you’re already in the bath tub, nothing, and put some paint in there with them. Show them how to smear it around on the walls or their chubby little belly and then let them play. They will love it! And by the end of the play time you will be convinced your child has artistic talent. They best part? They are already in the best place to wash them off afterwards, a great bonus to this is that baths usually end up fun colors because of the paint, so there is a new interesting, fun, and CLEAN, rainy day play activity.
Still convinced your child can’t do it because they are going to eat the paint? I understand, toddlers have a way of eating everything. Thankfully though you have a few options, all the paint that you can actually buy at a store to finger paint are non-toxic and would not hurt you’re child if they stuck it in their mouth a few times. Trust me when I say the stuff taste nasty and they won’t do it for very long. But if that still makes you nervous that’s okay, you have another option, homemade finger paint. These paints are completely edible and shouldn’t make you nervous at all.
Here is a few links to home-made edible finger paint.
Sensory children can give you just as much worry with finger paint as young toddlers do, but for different reasons. You’re child might start screaming as soon as you put the paint on their fingers, or even beside them. Worry not my friend, this can be conquered, slowly, but it will happen, you might still have to put your child in the shower with finger paint when they are 16, but that’s okay, at least they are getting somewhere. Start slowly with your child, no one is watching, no one is judging, sit them down at the table and put only little drop on their paper and help them drag their finger through it, or try the bathtub method and put a little drop on the wall or on their finger. Slow and steady wins the race.
2. Play Dough
Same fears for play dough you had for finger paint, or think you’re child wont even understand the concept of play dough? That’s okay no one made rules for how you have to play with play dough. With younger toddlers, AND with sensory children the best way to play with play dough is to help them squeeze it between their fingers or to help them squish it flat and then give them something to stab it with, such as fork. Help them press it in and make a pattern and then run their fingers over it. As always you have the store bought play dough that is a perfectly safe option for your kids, but if you love homemade things, home-made play dough is a very real possibility!
3. GO OUTSIDE
Believe it or not this is an option, well it’s an option if it isn’t thunder storming or freezing cold outside. But if its a warm spring/summer rain, just kind of dreary day, take you’re child outside and let them experience a new kind of weather. Don’t worry about getting wet, they would be getting wet in they were in the bathtub, or playing in the pool on a hot sunny day. It can be so much fun for you as well, watching your child explore this new thing, this new feeling on their skin or face, and even if it’s not fun right in that moment, it is still a good experience for your toddler or sensory child. It’s new and different, so it might be hard at first, but just like before work up little by little. stand on your porch, or just inside you’re door and stick you’re child’s hand out in the rain, build slowly, one day they’ll be running around outside splashing in puddles while you sit inside and wonder how you’re going to get the mud from tracking all around the house. But isn’t that a much better worry?
Rainy days don’t always have to put you in a slump, there are fun creative ways to explore and play on these days too. Some other things to try on a, “can’t get out of this grey fog, rainy day,” are turning on fun music and dancing around the living room, building tunnels and forts with blankets pillows and chairs to crawl through or sit in (another great therapy play), play tickle monster until you both can’t breath. Just try to make the day fun as best you can and soon you and you’re young toddler, or sensory child, will soon look forward to rainy day play.