On our most recent trip to Mount Rushmore and Badlands National park, we dealt with a day rainy enough that we didn’t get to spend any time outside. There seems to be one of those on every trip! Sometimes, if you aren’t prepared with rainy day camping activities, you might have to get creative to keep your toddler from going stir crazy. In this post I will give you four fun ideas for your toddler that you can set up with things you likely already have in your camper.
Does your kid LOVE unwrapping presents on their birthday, maybe even more than some of the presents themselves? Ours does! Aluminum foil is definitely a staple in any camper, and we always have a few small toys with us. This time it was cars, but I’ve done this with teething toys, bath toys, even small stuffed animals. Simply tear off a sheet of foil, and wrap up some small toys. Ellie will unwrap them all then hold them out and ask for help wrapping them back up.
I’m willing to bet you have some kind, if not multiple kinds of tape in your camper. Masking tape works best, and kids love the different colors, but plain old scotch tape works well too! Of course you want to use something that wont damage your walls or cabinets, so avoid strong adhesives like duct tape. Of these rainy day camping activities, this is the most simple. I cut tape to different lengths, fold over one end a bit so she has a place to grab, and place it on the walls in all different angles and directions. She loves pulling it off, trying to stick it back on, and balling it up.
A colander is a pretty basic kitchen staple. If you don’t have one in your camper now, we love this one because it collapses and takes up so little space (we use the measuring cups and spoons too!). Now, we keep pipe cleaners because they are so versatile for crafting and play with Ellie, but if you do not have pipe cleaners you can use zip ties, or even do a threading variation with string! The goal is getting the pipe cleaners in the small holes. This activity is great for fine motor skills. If you want to use string, then simply tie a knot in one end, thread that side so the string is caught, then help your toddler thread the string through the holes. If your child is too young for that, you can tie knots in both ends so they can pull the string back and forward.
This one is definitely Ellie’s favorite of the four activities in this list. You’re just setting up some sort of material that your toddler can scoop, dump, touch, and experiment with. In this picture Ellie has rice, but there are so many possibilities. If you look around, I’m sure you will find something in your camper that you can use. Rice, beans, pasta, cereal, dirt, and sand are other options. You can even use water! I just set her up on a towel with some bowls and our measuring cups, and she will scoop, dump, transfer between bowls, and let it run through her hands. Whens she is done playing, I just pick up the towel carefully and dump whatever she was playing with out.
I hope you find these ideas helpful next time you are stuck inside your camper on a rainy day! What are your go to quick activities for your toddler?