Sensory Activities For a Rainy Day
Updated: May 21, 2019
I could've sworn we were in the month of May but apparently the weather in Southern California didn't get the memo. As a former teacher, I've grown to dread the rain because that means 30 students cooped up in a classroom all day with no chance to burn off excess energy. Kids NEED recess.
Turns out, so do toddlers.
I thought my days of dreading the rain were behind me but I was wrong. In fact, I think stay-at-home moms might dread the rain even more than teachers.
So I'm always looking for ways to pass the time before nap with something constructive and something other than TV.
Here are three indoor sensory activities for a rainy day.
I have to be honest, I was pretty shocked at how entertained my son was with a bucket of dry beans. He was fascinated by the texture and the sound the beans made when he poured them back into the tub. And it was super cheap and easy and required no prep.
I just dumped a bag of dry beans into a tub, added some toy dinosaurs that we had lying around, a small cup and a scooper and my kid went to town. You can add any small toys that you already have and measuring cups work great too.
Before starting the activity, I give my son two rules:
1. The beans have to stay in the bucket.
2. They can't go in his mouth.
He does his best to keep them in the bucket but he's two so I know there will be spills. That's where the blanket comes in. I place a blanket underneath him and when he's done, I just pick it up at the corners and let all the beans fall to the center so they're easy to gather.
*This activity does require supervision due to the risk that your kiddo might put a bean in his mouth or nose so keep an eye on them!
Guys, these things are awesome! I prepared them the night before because they take about 4-6 hours to expand and after a glass of wine, my husband and I found ourselves hands deep in a bucket of these things! We just couldn't resist. They're a fun jello-like consistency and they're so fun to play with. So I knew my son was going to love them.
A friend of mine recommended these on amazon. They were around $10 for small bag but a little goes a very long way. I made the mistake of making ALL of them! I don't recommend doing that! We had 20,000 water beads that filled three containers. Way too many! I would start off with an ounce or two to begin with. They soak in water for about 4-6 hours, depending how big you want them to be. I soaked them overnight and they were about the size of a large marble.
I have to mention that this was probably the messiest of the three activities because the beads are slippery and they bounce but that's what makes them so much fun. I just let my kid go for it and accepted that I'd be picking them up when he was done. It was worth the 30 minutes he spent playing with them.
*Also requires supervision because they are so tempting to put in your mouth.
My son is obsessed with monster trucks and he loves watching YouTube videos of kids playing with monster trucks in kinetic sand so I knew this one would be a hit. I would describe the consistency as sand mixed with melted marshmallows, minus the stickiness. Kind of like a Rice Krispy treat made of sand lol. Sounds weird but it's pretty cool.
It wasn't very messy because the sand sticks to itself so it was easy to clean up. I put the sand in a shallow container with two monster trucks and handed it over to my son. This was definitely his favorite of the three activities, mostly due to his love of monster trucks.
The packaging says it is for 3+ years but with supervision, I thought it was age appropriate for my son.
If you're interested in any of the products described, click on the pictures below to purchase.
J A M I E L Y N N E