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35 Rainy Day Activities for Three Year Olds

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I didn’t actually realise half-term was upon us until around 3pm on the Friday before. Argh!

My niece and nephew don’t start their holidays until the week after so needless to say, I’ve been completely caught out an unprepared for the days ahead.

But we are determined to make the most of it. My eldest is usually at pre-school four days a week and come 3pm the most he can managing is slumping on the sofa and demanding snacks.

During the holidays, our usual activities centre around getting outside as much as we can but as it’s going to rain for most of the week, we need to be a bit more creative.

Here are a few ideas on how to keep the kids entertained while it’s pouring outside.

  1. Make play dough
  2. Create a forest using play dough, dry spaghetti and penne pasta – stick the spaghetti in the play dough so that it stands up then thread the penne onto the spaghetti to make trees
  3. Indoor bowling
  4. Built a fort using boxes
  5. Puzzles
  6. Paint a picture
  7. Create a cosy book corner and read
  8. Play hide and seek with objects – I love this one, we have these ELC nesting eggs and we take turns to hide each one
  9. Ice cupcakes with sprinkles and chocolate buttons
  10. Have an indoor picnic
  11. Play with stickers – Melissa and Doug Reusable Stickers are a favourite in this house, plus the kids can get really creative with making their own scenes on the huge pad
  12. Pot some indoor plants
  13. Colour-by-numbers
  14. Play copying words with magnetic letters – my eldest loves doing this. We use his favourite books and he finds words that look interesting and we spell them out together on the fridge
  15. Finger painting – this handy book from Usborne keeps little hands really busy
  16. Bubbles
  17. Thread pipe cleaners
  18. Make pancakes – get your little one to help mix the batter
  19. Wash the windows with water and vinegar – create your own mix and put in a spray bottle
  20. Butter bread – then eat it as a snack
  21. Match socks
  22. Put away clothes
  23. Play with a Slinky
  24. Listen to music and have a dance
  25. Snuggle up and watch a film
  26. Make an obstacle course in the living room
  27. Build a tower out of recycling
  28. Take pictures – Jack has his own VTech camera so enjoys going around the house taking photos of things that interest him and using all the special effects
  29. Thread beads on to pipe cleaners
  30. Play with cooked spaghetti
  31. Call or FaceTime grandma/granddad
  32. Play in the bath
  33. Write a shopping list – get your child to write their own list and read it out to you. It doesn’t matter if they can or can’t write yet, it’s a really great way of them learning how to make marks and assign meaning to it.
  34. Play a board game – We all love Dotty Dinosaurs by Orchard Toys, really simple and helps children learn about shapes and colours
  35. Play doctors/dentist with teddies

What do you and your kids like to do on cold and rainy days?

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  • Debbie Denyer - Squidgydoodle

    What a great list. I should definitely get my two to help me clean my windows! They’re usually drawing on them in the condensation! They built a cardboard house this half term as I had lots of large deliveries. The house was complete with beds, dining table, reading area and trampoline (a box filled with cushions to jump on!) We’ve not tried building a tower from recycling, we should try that too!

    • EmmaMc

      Thank you! Sounds like they’ve had plenty of fun and I love the sound of their house – especially the trampoline. That’s genius!

  • Alice Letters to my Daughter

    My daughter is 3 this week! What a fab list – I especially love the ones that involve doing chores like cleaning the windows!! Haha!
    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂

    • EmmaMc

      Aww thank you so much!! That is awesome! Oh I always try and get kiddo involved in chores…I even give him a little water spray bottle haha!

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