Rain, rain, come again

I love it when the skies open up and the first autumn rains come down, it is such a refreshing relief after the long dry summer, and it always makes me feel a sense of joy.  Little T is learning about rain too, dancing about in his wellies and pointing to the cloudy sky “up up”.  I’ve changed the old nursery rhyme somewhat to be more appropriate for our dry continent:

Rain, rain, come again, stay with us another day!

With the change in season comes a whole new list of keeping-your-toddler-amused activites {otherwise known as avoiding-a-tanty}.  At first I thought we would be confined to the pay-through-the-nose indoor play centre, but after some thought and inspiration, we’ve had the loveliest day without it costing a cent!

Bunnings.  I needed a couple of bits and bobs for the garden, so we quickly picked these up and then Little T played on the indoor play equipment inside Bunnings for a while.  For a toddler, this was at least as exciting as any other playground/playcentre, and I am convinced he couldn’t tell the difference.

Image from safeplay.com.au

Better Pets and Gardens.  Next I needed to pop over to get some more chook food and I discovered at the store they have fish tanks wall to wall, parrots, hermit crabs, bunny rabbits and guinea pigs.  Wow! this was better than a trip to the aquarium and the zoo combined!  Little T was very impressed.  He talked to the parrot (who answered back), oggled the crabs, and I simply could not drag him away from the fish tanks.  Everything was at his height, and the length of time we were there suited his attention span.

Images from betterpetsandgardens.com.au

Library.  Our local library just happens to have story time for toddlers on the one day of the week that I have off work.  It is free to attend, and the lovely ladies at our library do stories, rhymes and {very messy} craft activities with the little ones.  Little T gets quite overwhelmed by the excitement of seeing all those books (he takes after me!) so the activities are a good way to focus his attention.

Lunchbox picnic.  We finished the morning with an indoor lunchbox picnic (so much more exciting than sitting at the table).  I got the bento box from Laptop Lunches years ago (whilst going through my vegan phase… more on that another time), and found it is exactly the right size for Little T and he likes the compartments and colourful boxes.  I filled his lunchbox with (clockwise from top left) homemade yogurt + berries, carrot sticks + peanut butter to dip, orange + plum fruit salad, cheese, pickle + tomato on homemade bread.  Incidentally, I made Pirate Pete a few weeks ago; will post the sewing pattern online soon-ish.  Argh, me hearties!Playdough.  After Little T’s nap {he was exhausted} we made playdough.  Its WAAAAAY cheaper making it yourself, turns out exactly the same as the bought-stuff, and keeps just about forever.  Mix ½ C salt with 1 C of boiling water (to dissolve).  Add this to 1 C flour, 2 Tb cream of tartar and 1 Tb oil.  Stir to combine, then knead with your hands.  Split into portions, and add a few drops of food colouring.     

Chalk art.  Lastly, we finished off the day playing under the verandah (it wasn’t that cold outside even though it was raining).  Little T decorated every surface with his coloured chalk, and he even tagged the worm farm!    

All in all, a lovely rainy day and a happy worn-out toddler!