A seemingly never-ending Sydney summer has finally given way to cooler, rainier days. Though the reprieve from the heat is welcome it does mean fewer afternoons spent in the park which is a staple of our weekday activities.
So I’ve been challenging myself to find more indoor activities for Luella when it’s tempting to just snuggle up and watch Sesame Street all day. I found this great Sydney-based website called Ella’s List that tells you about loads of activities around town for little ones, including a Rainy Days section. I found out about all kinds of indoor play areas, rhyme time sessions, and Lennox House in Newtown (which I wish I’d known about when we lived there!)
Last week I took Lu to the indoor baby pool at Ashfield Aquatic Centre and good times were had by all! We’ll definitely be going back. Another good rainy day activity is the Dendy Reel Bubs sessions but they haven’t had anything good playing in ages. Playdates can be another great indoor activity – which is my subtle way of putting out an open playdate invitation to all my mumma friends. Lu loves the train so we’re happy to travel!
And what about those days when we’re stuck at home for whatever reason? I’ve been getting really into the concept of sensory play. I’ve pinned dozens of project ideas – some we’ve tried, some are saved for when Lu’s a little older. Here’s what’s worked great so far:
- Sensory baths – bubbles, balloons, coloured ice cubes, spaghetti, corn flour. We dump all kinds of things into the bath with us to see what happens.
- Sensory bins and boxes. Now that Luella’s developing her fine motor skills she’s into picking at little things. So I fill tupperware containers with lentils, beans, diffreent shaped pastas, and let her go to town. I also made her a sticky box – just a tissue box covered in double-sided tape that I stick ribbons, pom-poms, and bits of cardboard to so she can poke at them and pull them on and off.
- Random dollar store crap. Ok, so I kind of hate plastic junk so I try to find her stuff that’s re-usable or has interesting texture. Things like little mirrors, ribbons, sponges, scarves, pipe cleaners, even things you might not expect, like pill boxes or paper lanterns, can become interesting new toys.
- Rubbish. Haha not the gross stuff, but there’s all kinds of stuff to be made from toilet paper rolls, empty jars, bottles, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and heaps of other things that end up in the bin.
- Messy materials. This hasn’t been as successful – I think we’ll have better luck when Lu is older, but we’ve made play dough, slime, edible paint and experimented with natural food colours.
I love seeing her reactions to new things and watch her skills develop through play. There are some great websites out there for inspiration. Here are some of my faves:
What do you do with your bub to keep from going mad on rainy days?