Today marked day three of school and business closures thanks to fickle Texas weather. Another lovely blanket of snow (yes, real snow!) covered our lawns and streets. Prior to that, we had an ice storm and several dreary, rainy days that kept us inside. Ironically, after a few of these days I experience feelings of cabin fever (I’m sure those of you in cold climates are laughing, it’s ok). I can’t stand it!!! Since the arrival of the quads venturing out is a rarity, but when I feel as though weather traps us, I feel irritated. We play outside every single day even if we stay home and we crave the sunshine here. The kids pick up on my feelings, and their behavior deteriorates quickly. Everyone gets cranky and demanding, which exacerbates cabin fever for me. To keep my cabin fever at bay and behavior in line, I tried a few new activities to keep us occupied. All are worth a repeat!
1. Salt Trays– My Nearest & Dearest inspired this one (stop by her page for a few other ideas we are yet to try). I sprinkled a thin layer of salt into Brookstone sand trays (a cookie sheet with sides or a lunch tray would work). The quads used their fingers to create designs and also ran cars through the salt to create tracks. It was a rather “Zen” activity that relaxed all of us. I played yoga tracks from Pandora, which helped set the mood.
2. Colander Game– Borrowing from Learning and Exploring Through Play, I used wooden skewers to create a maze through a colander then the quads took turns dropping pom poms through the maze. They worked on turn taking and recognizing attributes (e.g. color, size, texture) for this one. It involved maybe a minute to prep and clean up, and they were entertained about 15-20 minutes.
3. Tea Party- We hosted several tea parties when the quads had a cold this winter and it’s always a nice distraction. It’s also the opportune time to practice table manners and drinking from open cups.
4. Bring the Snow Inside– Typically I’m in favor of bundling the kids to play in cold weather, especially if they’ll have an opportunity to play in snow. However, I didn’t feel up to the challenge again. Instead, I brought the snow inside. Scooping, shaping, and coloring the snow kept all four occupied for a solid 45 minutes!
5. Window Clings– I periodically snatch gel window clings from the Dollar Tree or Target’s One Spot and now we have a decent collection for each season. I pulled the den blinds up and let the quads loose with sheets of them. I was surprised at how they independently sorted them by attributes and reassembled several of the designs including a snowman, Santa, and penguins. It involved zero prep on my part and took less than five minutes to clean up. They played happily for about 30-40 minutes!
What are some of your favorite indoor activities for bad weather days?
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7 thoughts on “Toddler Activities for Bad Weather Days”
Great ideas!!! It’s been a while since we brought snow inside, so thanks for the reminder, I definitely will do that this weekend! Another fun idea is to get paint in a gallon or half gallon bag, ziplock & duct tape the top, and let them trace on it. We did that at the table top a few days, and now (thanks to boredom & snags from fingernails) I have triple-reinforced it with packaging tape, taped all 4 bags together, and taped it to our slider door. It’s fun to trace designs in the paint and see the sun peeking through!
Thats a good one! We haven’t done that in a very long time. In fact, not since we moved.
I love your creative take on play. I wish I’d done more of these kinds of activities when my kids were in the toddler stage!
Thank you! I can thank Pinterest, a preschool background, and my mom for helping inspire me to try new things. Also… It gets crazy at my house without fresh ideas.
These are great suggestions!
Thank you! =)
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