Rainy Days with a Toddler/Preschooler

Toddlers have spurts of energy and if they don’t get an oppurtunity to expel that energy – they may explode!  They don’t need to be outside or running to release energy.  Here are some ideas for rainy days:

I got this idea because the day before our rainy day was a sunshiny, warm day and we went to the Wild Animal Park.  We jumped on  ‘lily pads’ there and I know first hand how tiring it can be because I got talked into jumping also.  (Ok i wanted to jump on them and being there with my grandkids meant I could join in without looking like a kook)

I cut ‘lily pads’ out of this weird green colored paper I had in my granny bag.  Brodey put them in a line and jumped like a frog from lily pad to lily pad and then we put them in a circle.


Bonus if you have a kid in your care that doesn’t like to stop playing to eat;  I would tell him to stick out his tongue and I put a ‘fly” (it was granola) on his tongue and he gobbled it up!  You could also put numbers/letters on the lily pads and tell them which pad  to jump onto.  Brodey didn’t want to do that this time.

After a tiring activity, you can do a quiet project.  We did PlayDoh, of course, because Brodey is the king of PlayDoh!  This lasted for about an hour!

Today I added popsicle sticks to the playdoh table.  

He put his creations on a stick and we stuck the sticks into a glob of play doh so they could stand.

Some of his creations were too heavy to stand up in a blob of playDoh so I fetched this styrofoam cup out of the trash to use as a stand. He poked the popsicle stick through the cup.  Try adding pipe cleaners, google eyes or whatever supplies you have at home already, to keep it interesting.

Brinley was occupied for a while just taking off and putting on lids, dropping them and saying ‘uh oh” and rearranging the containers on ledges and tables.

By the way, is it just me or is it adorable to see little ones sitting on a chair with their feet dangling down, unable to reach the floor, even on a kids size chair?

When they tire of the play doh, you should go back to a more physical activity.  You could make an obstacle course for them.   Use tables, chairs, step stools, pillows, and tell them to crawl under the table or chair, jump off the step stool and  hop over a pillow.  Only use the amount of instructions per year old they are.  Three instructions for a three-year old.  They have to do exactly what you say in the order you say it.  If it’s not an organized activity this turns into a crazy time real quick.  It’s also good for their brains to listen to your instruction, and follow through, but still keep it fun for them to try to get it right.  It’s not boot camp!  When they get tired of one course, make another or just switch up the order until they are tired of this.

Now a settled down activity or lunch.

If the rain isn’t falling, you could let them wear rain boots and stomp in the puddles.  If the rain is falling, maybe add an umbrella and go outside anyway!

This schedule of large motor skill activity (something physical) then a quieter activity, is what I used when I taught preschool.  It doesn’t have to be rigid but keep that idea in mind that this works well with .





2 Replies to “Rainy Days with a Toddler/Preschooler”

    1. Thanks Jolynn! Let’s grab our rain boots and jump when it rains again!

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