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Along with springtime’s beautiful blooms, baby animals, and bright sunshine, you and baby are bound to weather a few rainy days. Finding ways to keep a baby or toddler entertained when the sky is falling can be a challenge (especially if you aren’t getting much sleep these days!), but don’t worry! Stormy weather creates all kinds of fun opportunities for indoor and outdoor rainy-day fun.
All you need is baby, a few basic supplies, and our Rainy Day To-Do List!
Outdoor Rainy Day To-Dos: Caution – you will get wet.
If the rain is warm, and you feel okay about a few muddy footprints in the entry way, you can bundle up baby and lean into the weather by heading outside to play! Babies and toddlers are fascinated by raindrops, puddles, and opportunities to splash. Here are a few great ways to make some #dadadamoment memories in the rain together.
Take a sensory walk.
You’ll need: a baby carrier, an umbrella or rain gear, and your senses.
With baby snuggled safely in your carrier, take a stroll around the block in the rain. Point out sounds, like the plop plop of raindrops on your umbrella (be sure to be very careful of little faces and umbrella edges while babywearing!), the squish squish of your boots in the mud, and the splash that cars make as they go through puddles. Notice and talk to baby about smells, like wet pavement, fresh grass, and new blooms. Let the raindrops fall on baby’s hands or feet, and help them touch damp flowers, fences, and windows. The rain is still brand new to your little one, and it provides a great opportunity to explore!
Make some mud prints.
You’ll need: clothes that can get dirty, some heavy paper, and a little patience.
Ah, mud – it’s every toddler’s favorite artistic medium. Embrace the mess and dress yourself and your baby up in clothes that aren’t precious, then find a great muddy spot in the yard to squelch, squirm, and squash into works of art! Experiment with leaves and small rocks as stamps with muddy ink and see if you can capture a muddy leaf print on paper. Let little ones get good and messy, then pile everyone into a bath, followed by the coziest pjs and some snuggles in your Weeble Rocking Chair.
Puddle paint with sidewalk chalk.
You’ll need: chalk, a broom, and some puddles.
Turn those driveway puddles into masterpieces with sidewalk chalk. Show older toddlers how to draw near the puddles with chalk, then use a broom or paintbrush to smear and smudge the chalk with puddle water. You’ll be left with a watercolor rainbow (and most likely, a very splash-happy kid)!
Indoor Rainy Day To-Dos: for those who prefer to stay warm and dry
If you and your little one are more inclined to snuggle up and stay cozy than you are to go outside and splash around, here are a few ways to pass the long daytime hours together!
Make an irresistible touch bag.
You’ll need: your baby’s most tempting messy substance and a few heavy-duty gallon Ziplock bags.
You know how your baby’s tiny fingers are magnetically drawn to everything they aren’t supposed to touch? A rainy day is a great time to turn a no into a yes by filling a Ziplock bag with your little one’s favorite messy substance: paint, slime, oatmeal, pasta, glitter, or anything else small enough to seal in a bag. Tape the sealed bag of messy goodness to the wall, and let baby go to town touching, squishing, and mess making, without really making any mess at all!
Start your own family recording studio.
You’ll need: your phone, your baby, and your imagination.
Use the voice memo recorder on your phone to capture and replay sounds around the house. Start with baby’s own laughs, coos, or babbles – hearing themselves in play back should help pique their interest. From there, explore the sounds of the house, from kitten meows to timer dings, pot bangs to door hinge creaks. Record them, play them back to baby, and see where your sound creativity takes you. You can even make a “mixtape” of the sounds they love best!
When all else fails, trust the classics.
You’ll need: just you, your baby, and your home
Rainy day classics are favorites for a reason, and they are all brand new to baby! Play hide-and-seek by moving just out of view and peeking until baby crawls to you. Build a pillow fort and snuggle up together to look at picture books, nap, or sing favorite songs. If baby is old enough to try new foods, make a favorite soup for lunch, complete with toast to dip. Dance around the living room to your best bop and spend some time just watching the rain run down your windows.
When you lean into the magic of baby’s first rain, you get the joy of watching them experience an everyday wonder for the very first time. And that’s a #dadadamoment, outside in the puddles or cozied up indoors.
Here’s to the rainy-day memories you’ll make!