5 rainy day projects to do with your toddlers

If you live in Chicago you are used to expecting the unexpected when it comes to precipitation. One day could be sunny and 75 degrees and the next day could be 45 degrees and raining sideways. While us seasoned Midwesterners are fairly adjusted to these highs and lows, our littles just want to play outside.

Paper plate superhero or princess masks

Michelle5

After two years in the mom-and-tot class at the River Forest Community Center, I’ve learned a few good tricks to keep them busy when everyone’s stuck indoors. If you have little ones at home, you are going to love re-creating these fun (and educational) projects with items you probably already have in your house.

Make Play-Doh from scratch

Things you’ll need:

-A large mixing bowl

-1 cup of water

-4 cups of flour

-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

-1 1/2 cups of salt

-Food coloring in your child’s favorite color

First, add water and food coloring to your bowl. Next, add the dry ingredients (salt and flour). Mix and add oil. Knead until it has a good consistency. If the dough seems dry, you can add more oil to keep it from crumbling. Store in plastic bags or sealed containers for keep.

Flower pot project

Things you’ll need:

-A little flower pot or coffee mug

-Dirt from outside (to hold the stem and flower upright)

-A skewer or stick (stem)

-Construction paper (flower)

-A photo of your child cut in a small circle (center of the flower)

My toddler still loves looking at this little project! We put actual seeds in it and planted it in our garden. To make it, you will first need to fill your pot or cup with dirt. Running outside in the rain for a minute will be fun! Gather a scoop of dirt and a stick from your garden. Second, if you have paint, you can paint the stick green like the stem of a flower. Third, cut out a paper flower and glue the photo of your child’s face in the middle. Then attach it to the stick and plant it in your pot. Like I said, it will be fun to add a seed and plant it on the next sunny day.

Scavenger hunt for colors

Things you’ll need:

-5 paper plates

-Crayons, markers or paints (to color the paper plates)

Have your child pick five crayons. Color each of the five plates a different solid color. Next, have your child find five items in the house in the first color. For example, if your first plate was colored red, you could gather a red toothbrush, a red crayon, a red straw and a red eraser. After your child finds a red item they can place it on the correct plate. Do that for each colored plate. It’s a great way to learn colors and so much fun to run around the house on a scavenger hunt.

Fun with paint and cookie cutter shapes

Things you’ll need:

-Colored construction paper (printer paper works too)

-Newspaper (to protect table from paint)

-Washable paint (watercolors can work too)

-Cookie cutters

-Bowl for paint

This craft can also double as birthday cards for their friends or a card to send to Grandma. First, spread your newspaper over the table to avoid a large mess. Second, put paint in the bowl. Third, lay the construction paper on the newspaper and fill it with painted cookie cutter shapes!

Paper plate superhero or princess masks

*In class last week, we made bug sticker crowns. I only had paper plates and crayons at home, so we improvised.

Things you’ll need:

-Paper plates (masks)

-Crayons

I cut eyeholes in the masks and had the boys color their favorite superheroes. We took it a step further and cut up old t-shirts for capes. We took it another step and recreated the Batmobile out of a large cardboard box I had from an Amazon purchase. Mom. Of. The. Year.

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