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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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