Active games for rainy days
When you’re faced with a rainy day, and your baby is getting restless, it can be tough to come up with ideas to keep her entertained. There are as many weird, toddler-games as there are unexpected ideas in your toddler’s head, though, and one of the following games might be a great jumping-off point for the next big hit in your household.
- Follow the leader: If you’ve got a group of kiddos to entertain, follow the leader is a great game for three or more players. First, appoint a leader, then have the followers play along by mimicking the actions of the leader. The leader may choose to jump up and down, act like a monkey, or whatever else comes to mind. Followers who start lagging behind, or don’t obey the leader’s command, are out of the round. The incentive? The last one standing becomes the new leader! If it’s just you and your baby, challenging her to just do what you do is also a safe bet for some fun, active play.
- Freeze: Bump up the jams and have your baby dance along to the music, then shut off the music and yell, “freeze!” Once the music stops, she must freeze in whatever position she is in, no matter how tricky it is to hold - though for tots who are brand new to the game, just halting dancing on command might be a great first challenge to start with. This is a great way to shake out the sillies and have some laughs, too.
- Hide-and-seek: This classic game doesn’t need much of an introduction, but it sure is a great way to pass the time and get creative. If your baby has an older sibling, you can have him or her hide, then have your baby cover her eyes while you count aloud, and partner up with your baby as you search the house for the hidden player, and keep going until you’ve run out of ideas (or giggles). If it’s just you and your baby, it’s probably easiest for her to hide, and you to seek, or, even better, for her to hide a specific toy, and then come back to watch you look for it.
- Duck, duck, goose: If you need a refresher on this classic, you start by forming a circle and choosing who will be “it.” The person who is “it” walks around the circle, tapping everyone’s head and calling out “duck,” until finally choosing someone to be the “goose.” The “goose” then chases the one who is “it” around the circle and tries to tag that person before he or she is able to sit back in “goose’s” seat. If “it” successfully reaches the goose's seat without being tagged, the goose is the new “it.” If the goose tags “it,” the goose keeps his spot in the circle. “It” must then either continue for another turn, or sit in the middle of the circle until another “it” is tagged. This one isn’t as easy to scale down to a two, or even three-person game, but if you and your baby are willing to get a little creative about designating dolls or stuffed animals as players, and then having them “run,” it’s definitely still possible.
- Treasure hunt: What’s a hunt without a little incentive? Read out clues and have your baby try to follow the hint to find a piece of treasure. What you include is up to you: candy, coins for the piggy bank, or small toys. Get creative and encourage some thinking!
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