4 PM in the afternoon. It is pouring outside. Toddler yelling, ‘Mommy, BORED, go out!’. You played. You have sung all the rhymes. You have danced. You have read. Still the boredom continues.
What do you do? What do you do?
(No I am not saying the line like from the movie Speed, but maybe I am.)
Well you entertain like there is no tomorrow. A whiny toddler or a big tantrum is going to make the task more daunting. After all the usual stuff, that one begins to customise according to the toddler in hand. The toddler in my hand, is a handful. She is hyperactive and has learned the word ‘Bored’ before the usual words like ‘mumma‘, ‘dadda‘, etc; She loves to go out and interact with people.
Funnily, though, she becomes bored very easily, repetitiveness is not boring. It actually is fun! Phew! An activity invented has a shelf life of about a month or so.
So here are a few of the tried and tested activities I do with my toddler on a day when we can’t go out.
Activity 1: Balcony
- A bean bag (Or any chair)
Simplest. I stand her up on stool near the balcony railing and leave her to harass the neighbours and random people on the road by yelling out to them. I sit on my beanbag, next to her, with a book and earphones plugged in.
- Balcony needs to be grilled
- No small items, in vicinity, that can be thrown out
15-20 minutes depending on how interesting/interactive the people are. More time if a dump truck passes by or a pigeon/cat decides to visit. Usually, people cannot resist a little girl and give in.
Activity 2: Painting
- Some papers
Painting is an age old favourite of kids. It’s messy but it’s fun. Just spread an old newspaper and bring out the paper and paints. Mommy can show off her talent to an ever appreciating toddler. The best fun is when I let go off the brush and let the toddler dip her fingers into the paint.
- Should not be bothered by a little mess (sometimes more)
- Get a hot bath ready for later
30 minutes. A real good fun thing for both of us. But I don’t do this always as the said hyperactive toddler makes a royal mess each time and we live in a rented apartment.
Activity 3: Watering the plants
We recently promoted ourselves from just one plant to 4 more potted plants because I believe the toddler has green hands.
- Potted plants,
- A mug
- Some water
This is an exercise regime of sorts. The toddler fills up water in a mug from the wash basin. Then she runs outside to water a plant. This running is done for each plant. So there is a lot of running and a little energy utilised well.
The mug shouldn’t be allowed more water than the toddler can hold while running. Spilled water is no-no for a running toddler. I don’t allow more than a quarter of water in a usual sized mug.
Depends on the number of potted plants and also the water. The toddler spends about 10-15 minutes running between the plants and the wash basin as she takes really little water each time. She is impatient to let the mug fill up a bit. 🙂
Activity 4: Photos
- Lots of albums
Bring out the old school albums. The toddler enjoys looking at various places and people. Also she learns about the relatives she has.
I don’t believe in replacing the physical albums with digital ones. Sitting with Picasa album is actually not a really good activity for the tiny eyes I thinks.
Activity 5: Cooking helper
- A mixing bowl
- Few grains of rice, lentils, groundnut, etc.
- Water (Optional)
- Kneading Pin
This is an age old activity I think, done while mommies are cooking in the kitchen. I sit the toddler with a medium-sized bowl and a few grains. She pretends to cook while I actually manage to really cook.
Don’t give really small grains (choking hazard) if the child has a habit of eating stuff. Grains can be easily replaced by some flour. The toddler will have fun making a gooey mess.
Do tell me what all do you do with your toddler, on a rainy day?
An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. 🙂 She loves to dance, dream and read a lot!