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7 Ways To Entertain A Toddler When It’s Raining

7 Ways To Entertain A Toddler When It’s Raining

Before my son could walk, he didn’t need a lot of entertaining. I tended to be the one who got bored and so we left the house a lot. The mall. The grocery store. Walks in the park. Wherever I could with colorful things for him to look at – that’s where we’d spend free time.

Now that he’s learned to walk, talk, and express his wealth of opinions, I don’t get to choose as often. He knows what he wants and when he wants it. Should I stand in the way, he’s the first to let me know.

But when the clouds roll in, the sky opens up, and the rain starts to fall, things get more difficult. Not quite able to understand why he can’t go outside in the rain, and more than a little upset about it, it takes more than his blocks and an Elmo board book to make up for the fact that we won’t be going to the playground when a thunder storm is overhead.

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As a result, we’ve developed a checklist of things to try when this happens. While there’s no guarantee any one of these will do the trick, most of the time a little creativity and a whole lot of patience will get us through the bad weather in one relatively happy piece.

Recorded Baseball

We don’t watch a lot of TV, if only because he turns into a unresponsive zombie when it’s on and he rarely asks for it. The one exception to this rule is baseball. I have an MLB.tv subscription to watch my home team Seattle Mariners from across the country and the fact that these games are on throughout most days seems to have made my son a fan. The best part is that the nature of the game makes it an interactive activity. From explaining what is happening on screen to cheering Mariner hits, we have a lot of fun watching clips and games together.

Elaborate Obstacle Courses

What rainy day would be complete without a reconstructed living room? While my son certainly does a good job of this on his own, particularly nasty days bring out the builder in both of us. From blanket forts to race tracks for his growing collection of trucks, we find ways to turn old toys into new activities.

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Remind Him It Is Raining

While it would be foolish to underestimate the stubbornness of a toddler, I do my best to remind him that it is in fact raining outside, explaining why we can’t go in the yard, and even reminding him that, sometimes the rain is dangerous. It works on occasion.

Find an Indoor Playground

Indoor playgrounds are never as good as their outdoor variants, plus they tend to be a little gross. But with sanitizing wipes in tow and expectations in check, we’ll visit the local Children’s Museum, the toy section in Barnes and Noble, or the play areas in our local mall.

Record Short Movies of Him

We take a lot of photos and record movies whenever possible. It’s too easy not to with a smart phone always in hand, so there is a large library of images and videos featuring our son on electronic devices throughout the house. He knows what they are and, better yet, he knows when we’re recording. It makes for some fun exercises in climbing, tower building, and general craziness as he hams it up for the camera.

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Make Something New to Eat

Your mileage may vary with this one. I have been blessed with an exceptionally open minded eater for a son, so we have a lot of fun trying new foods, experimenting with (admittedly questionable) combinations of condiments, and taste tests. Whether he’s offering suggestions while I cook or taste testing the results, this is a fun way to burn an hour or two on a rainy afternoon.

Drop in on a Class He (Might) Be Too Young For

This is less of an issue now than it was 6 months ago when he was technically too young for most of the toddler-focused classes in our area. At the time, though, most classes we found were for children two and up. We’d go anyways, though, and nine times out of ten it was still quite a bit of fun. He enjoys observing older children and had a blast painting, building, and playing with musical instruments.

There are moments when nothing I do or say is enough to compensate for the rain. If a two year old wants to be outside and can’t go, he’s going to make his displeasure known. But with the right combination of distractions, cultivation of activities that don’t require the outdoors, and a willingness to have fun with it myself, we still manage to have fun most of the time.

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Featured photo credit: Purple Rain/Matthias Ripp via flic.kr

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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