This is a super simple rainy day activity that you can set up on the fly using items that you probably already have in your kitchen.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with zero voice. None. It was my husband’s first day back at work after two weeks of vacation, and my son’s day care was closed. That meant it was me and a toddler stuck inside all day. This super simple rainy day activity saved my morning.
This rainy day activity took moments to pull together, and you can really use whatever you have handy. If your kid is still at an age where he puts things into his mouth, choose items that aren’t a choking hazard. Popped popcorn is a choking hazard, but unpopped kernels aren’t. Uncooked lentils, rice, or other grains would work well for this activity.
Kitchen Sensory Rainy Day Activity
My son is 21 months old, and he loved this activity. It kept him busy for about 20 minutes, and when I added water he played independently for another 10. If you’ve got a toddler, you know how precious that independent play can be. I’d say this rainy day activity would be good for kids who are strong sitters through older toddlers. With babies, you might need to supervise a bit more closely.
– A big towel. This is mission critical. If you’re home sick or trying to have a lazy rainy day, the last thing you want to do is vacuum when you’re done with your project.
– A cupcake pan or cookie sheet. I used a Texas muffin pan, because – real talk – that’s what was on top when I opened the drawer that holds our pans.
– A spoon.
– Things to pour. See above about choking hazards, if you are doing this with a baby or toddler.
How to Do This Thing
1. Put a towel down, then put your kid on the towel with all of the supplies. You can guide this activity or let your kid do his thing. I did some guidance, because when I first sat my child down he tried to eat the popcorn kernels. It took some coaching to show him that they were for playing, not eating, today.
2. This is a really freeform rainy day activity, so I’ll just tell you how my kid experienced it from here. I poured the popcorn kernels into one cup of our muffin tin and showed him that he could use the spoon to dig and dump them into other parts of the pan. My kid is super into experiencing sounds right now, and it was fun to see how he incorporated that with this open-ended rainy day activity. He really liked dropping the popcorn from different heights onto the pan, because they made different plink sounds.
3. After he played with just the kernels for a bit, I added a little water to a couple of the muffin cups. He loved pouring the water with his spoon and seeing the kernels of popcorn splash into the water-filled cups. This bought me an extra 10 minutes to get work done!