The sun has been slow to show its face this summer, so we thought we’d round up some great free things to do, for anyone who can’t stand the sight of another indoor soft play centre!
1. Create an obstacle course. With really small ones, this can be as simple as jumping over a stacking cup, throwing a ball and then running back to the start again. For toddlers, make it a bit more elaborate – ask them to throw a ball into a bucket, crawl under a kitchen chair, jump three times on the spot then walk backwards to the start!
2. Build a den. Whether it’s warm outside and you build a den in the garden using bed sheets and pegs, or it’s a grey day and you use cushions and a table indoors, it’s so much fun to make a den and then just SIT in it! Read stories, play with some toys or have a tickle fest.
3. Make a pasta picture. Most people have dried pasta in their kitchen cupboard, and glueing the different shapes onto paper or card can make a great picture. If you’re being adventurous, paint the pasta shapes first or dip them in glue and glitter.
4. Go on a scavenger hunt. Whether you live in the countryside or a town, you can pull on your wellies then head out with a list of items to collect. Some ideas of treasures to look for: long stick, round stone, yellow leaf, a shell & a coin. If going outside is off the agenda, hide some small toys around your home, for your little one to find.
5. Have a teddy bears’ picnic. Gather together a bunch of furry friends (and dolls – don’t forget them!) and place them on the ground around your picnic blanket. You and your little one can eat real food while the teddies can just pretend.
6. Have a kitchen disco! Whether you put nursery rhymes or Taylor Swift on the stereo, make sure it’s loud. Then blow up some balloons and DANCE. We guarantee it’ll be the most fun you have all week, never mind your toddler.
7. Get messy. Messy play doesn’t have to be just for nursery and playgroups. Especially if you do it outside! Fill some washing up bowls with shaving foam, cornflour, even mashed potato – anything for them to squelch and feel with their hands.
8. Make your own musical instruments. Pop some rice in a jam jar, pasta in a large water bottle and elastic bands around a tissue box – you’ll have your very own band before you know it.
9. Decorate a cake. Most people have icing and sprinkles already so give your toddler free reign and let them go wild with different coloured icing and decorations!
10 Make your own petal perfume. We bet you did this as a child, and it’s so much fun to mix petals and water to create your very own scent!
What’s your favourite thing to do with your little one?