Motherhood: What to do when it rains, with a toddler


Gloomy days, unending rain showers.

Weather that makes you want to crawl up on the couch like a cat, sit under a blanket, and sip tea all day—quite hard to realize if you have a toddler.

That same toddler doesn't enjoy being inside all day either. So what can we do to endure rainy days?

When there was another grey day on my day off, I decided to brainstorm and search the web for things to do with a toddler.

My brainstorm didn't result in many options—somehow grey skies seem to affect my brain as well. That's why I heavily relied on my search results and bundled them in this blog post—especially for you (and me) to save them when in the future rain pours on our roofs again.

1. Indoor playground

Many cities have some type of indoor playground. These things are life savers. Apart from ball pits and bouncy castles, you're toddler probably needs assistance through the big structures. Big perk! Now you get some exercise as well.

2. Library

Libraries aren't just educational, they are also fun. Most libraries organize events such as reading sessions next to lending books and materials. 

Nowadays, libraries are set up and designed in a playful way and are inviting children to explore the space and the books—at least in the Netherlands. 

My toddler loves to go there, pick a book, and read it with me on the couch. Or he hops over to one of the play corners where kids can color or put symmetrical shapes on a velcro wall.

3. Museum

Most museums are better suited to adults, but there are some museums that do have interesting areas for kids, like the Nijntje Museum in the Netherlands which is specifically focused on toddlers. Search for something similar in your area.

4. Bake something

Depending on your toddler's development and interest, baking something will be a hit or miss. If you're opting for making cookies, your little one would love to knead and cut the dough, using the cutter shapes. Color during oven time, and enjoy your delicious treats!

5. Cafe with a play area

Want to do something for you and your child? Search for a cafe or restaurant that is child friendly. Especially in cities, there might be a couple of places that are very welcoming to kids and provide play areas. If it's raining, chances are there are more kids present—a great way to make new friends and socialize.

6. Garden center

Garden centers can be entertaining. Not only can you teach your child a thing or two about plants, but most centers also have a coffee corner or place for food and drinks. Your kid might enjoy watching the plants and eating a comfy snack at the restaurant.

7. Swimming pool

Now, this is fun with a capital F. Swimming pools, especially ones with a kiddy section, are great for visits when it's raining. Going from the slides, splashing water around, walking in and out of the water, most kids love it and don't want to go home!

8. Something creative at home

If you rather stay home (and no one's blaming you because who wants to go out in the rain?) try something creative. If your child is old enough and interested, he/she might enjoy coloring with you, painting the new Picasso, or building a tent in the living room. Now is the time to get messy. Today it's allowed to pull all blankets from the closet and drape them on chairs and couches.

9. Dance in the rain

Lastly, if there's no escaping, put on your best rain suit and boots and go for it. Dance in the rain, run through the puddles, and enjoy this creation of God. Once we put aside the "now we get dirty and wet and messy worry" you get the same thrills as your toddler, I'm sure!

As you can see, rainy days don't have to lead to boredom or frustration. Even with a toddler who isn't old enough yet to entertain him/herself with building a tower or playing with dolls for hours, you can do fun activities that make the day pass in an instant.