Life is unpredictable with kids, but that doesn’t mean you have fly blind as a parent. There are certain things you know will happen, and if you prepare for these, life as a parent will be that much easier.
Take rainy days for example. Every parent faces more than their fair share of rainy days, even in a country as lovely and sunny as Australia. When the rain comes down here it can be near impossible to get outdoors, and how well you’re set up indoors will determine your overall sanity when the clouds finally lift. Gather what you need ahead of time and you’ll survive even the most hideous of rainy days.
Any smart parent should have a rainy day box – a box that’s only opened when the heavens open. This keeps everything inside fresh and interesting and allows a child to feel excited for a rainy day, rather than feel bored by one.
Your rainy day box should be large, and because it’s not always in use, your box should serve a multipurpose. Take the large Zac Toy Box, for example. It offers ample space for storage and comes with the added benefit of a padded seat making it somewhere to sit when the lid is closed. When the lid opens on rainy days, it has safety hinges too to help protect little fingers.
As for what goes into the box, there are a few key elements you should add...
Playtime should be about exploring and creating, and that’s exactly what pretend play items like a toy kitchen or food and beverage set offer. Props like this encourage imaginative play and allow your child to be entertained for hours while they ‘cook’ up a storm. Why not encourage your child to set up an indoor picnic or their very own grocery store? For the latter you could add a Toy Cash Register into the mix.
Children overcome huge educational milestones in their early years, so why not help them fine tune their motor skills and advance their cognitive development with some productive rainy day play activities? Toys like wooden alphabet blocks not only provide tons of entertainment, but can encourage learning at a faster rate and higher level.
A large dolls house might be too big to pop inside your rainy day box, but something smaller like the Tiger Tribe Boxset Dollhouse is perfect. Portable, stylish and fun it contains a bed, dressing table, kitchen, a dining table with stools, a chaise lounge, and even a swing – all contained in a compact wooden box. Why not recreate a real life experience like ‘getting ready to go out’ or ‘getting ready for a party’?
What child (and parent) doesn’t like a bit of art and craft on a rainy day? Hip Kids has a ton of arts and crafts to choose from, including an Introduction to Origami Faces, Pretty Paper Planes and Pearls Nodes Beads. Your child will have fun as you bond over making things, and you can rest easy knowing they’re improving their bilateral coordination and fine motor skills as they create.
Puzzles are pretty self explanatory. Tip them out, jumble them around, and then sort. Easy right? Puzzles can be lots of fun for kids, but to make them even more exciting, try hiding a few pieces around the house or in a series of containers. The puzzle then becomes a treasure hunt too! You can also try making your own puzzles by cutting out old birthday cards or cereal boxes. Simply pop your old cards in your rainy day box and when the rain starts to pour, get cutting.
Reading to your child is incredibly important, and a rainy day presents the perfect opportunity to do so. Mix up the books that you place in your rainy day box and your kids will always get a surprise upon opening. Alternatively, you could turn reading into a science lesson and teach your child about the rain that’s falling outside. “Splish! Splash! A Book About Rain” is a book that uses simple text and wonderful illustrations to explain the science behind rain. Snuggle up on a beanbag together and spend a cosy afternoon bonding with your little one over a book.
As well as housing a rainy day box, you can fill your home with things that makes your child always happy to play indoors. Items like a Musical Toy Piano will not only keep your child entertained but will instil a love of music in them that will last forever. A Teepee Play Tentwill give them their very own hideaway and ‘special place’ to hang, be it for looking at picture books, playing with their teddies, or chatting with their imaginary friend. And a Ride-on Walking Toy Horse will ensure hours of indoor enjoyment no matter the weather!
The best way to manage a rainy day is to not fear a rainy day. Rainy days can be so much fun and offer the perfect opportunity to bond with your child. It also allows you a chance to be a kid again, tapping into the imagination you used to use on a rainy day when you were driving your parents mad.
Alternatively you could just roll with the weather, pop on your raincoats and gumboots, and head on down to your local park jumping in the puddles along the way. There’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad attire, so with the right clothing you can discover the world that a rainy day presents. Sometimes puddles, mud, and a warm bath afterwards can make for the perfect rainy day adventure.
As parents of toddlers, we’ve all been there - one minute everything is fine, and the next, your little one has a death grip on your leg and has melted into a blubbering mess. Thankfully, with a little patience, encouragement and reassurance, you can help your clingy toddler feel more independent.