Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Play: Rainy day activities to try with your kids

It's been super hot these days, or pouring! We usually head outdoors in the morning for playground time, but spend most afternoons at home. Now what do we do if it rains, and we can't head out? We play at home of course! We've shared many of our play activities before, but here's looking at three of our favorite right now:

:: We explore different parts of the world together: 
Lil J is quite the kinesthetic learner, so I'm trying my best to give him more sensory play, which all three of them enjoy. These days, our Torkis clothes basket comes in handy for sensory play, since it's large enough to let all three of them play together, and deep enough to reduce spillage of messy materials like sand, water beads or beans. Here's a simple coral reef set up that we did recently as they were learning about sea creatures in their Chinese co-op, using the basket, sea shells (a gift from the grandparents), and Safari toobs:

It's pretty easy to set up some sensory play when you're stuck home with the kids. Just lay a picnic mat, put the basket on top, and fill with materials like sand, and add interesting details like small animal figures! Cleaning up is much easier with a mat, and you'll be surprised how long the kids can play with such simple materials. 

:: We create our own worlds: 
We have a blackboard wall for the kids to doodle on in the learning corner that was set up in our access corridor, and these days we've been putting up long stretches of paper for the kids to draw on in our dining area. The Mala drawing roll is pretty good for this, since I can just cut out a suitable length of paper, and the roll lasts for almost forever! 

I find that the younger two draw more when they have vertical surfaces available for doodling (here are some reasons why providing vertical surfaces for children is helpful).

The boys seem to be more fond of markers than crayons. The baby loves uncapping all the markers and running around with them, so I keep them sorted in enamel cups held in place with a Grundtal magnetic knife rack, way out of his reach. He gets the markers only when I am around to supervise, but the older two can still access the markers on their own if they need them. 

We use Crayola markersMala stamp pens and Mala felt tip pens.

The knife rack is pretty strong! 

:: We set up our own farmer's market:
I've blogged about how we loved and missed the farmer's market over in Germany, so the other day we set up our own! 

Our market sold flowers (Smycka flowers come in a huge range!) held in a Socker plant pot.

Our Trofast storage unit has been used for various play set-ups: the boys use the top to set up shop, or to prepare meals, or for mock birthday parties. This time round, we used it as our market stand, and we pulled out one of the shelves to hold the shopping baskets (which are just recycled fruit baskets). We decorated our Mala easel to add to the festive atmosphere. 

There was plenty of fresh produce at the farmer's market!

The kids have lots of play food, amongst them the Duktig fruit set and vegetable set

Surprisingly, one of their favourite items at the market were the flowers! I stuffed small cushions into their clothes basket, and let them "gather" the flowers to prep for the market. 

We decided to serve cake at the market too, since the ones in Germany usually have little cafes where you can have a coffee and snack. 

The kids love this Grattis cake set!

The strange thing was that all the boys wanted to be customers, and no one wanted to man the store. The older two were delighted that they had credit cards to use at the market. 

Duktig toy cash register. I love how the frame is made from wood,
and how cardboard coins and credit cards, as well as paper money is provided.
The buttons actually work, and the register functions as a calculator! 

They even prepared their own paper money, which they spent rather freely. 

They appointed Tigger to be the farmer, and he was supposed to man the market stall. But Tigger more or less slept through market day, so the boys did their own cashiering when checking out their own items!

Business was brisk, and everyone went home with something!

PS: This post is part of a series of collaborative posts with IKEA. We were given a gift card to purchase some of the aforementioned items in this post, and no monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own. 


  1. Wow your place is like a mini Ikea! And it does seem much more than 3 activities here! :)

  2. Oh knife holder and enamel cups! I am so copying that



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