So it’s rained a lot so far on our journey. It’s currently raining. The tip tap on the roof of the motorhome is pretty relaxing and reminds me of our time in the Amazon, sleeping alone beneath the canopy in an open-sided jungle room, feeling a little anxious of the spiders but smelling the fresh breeze wafting through. Although this time we are sat in Portugal in a 6.25 metre box with a 15 month old and no jungle insects to worry about. Eek. Totally different set of priorities. Different, but still amazing in its own way.
So how do you entertain a 15-month-old toddler in a small space when it rains? Here are some of our tried and tested ideas:
1. Lots of playtime!
The reason we quit our UK lives to travel was so that we could spend more time with our boy. The rain often gives you an excuse to shut off from the world and concentrate purely on family time. We switch off our phones, close the computers and play. And the best games? Plates, bowls, tins of food and plastic water bottles! Add a little dried pasta into the bottle and start making music! Cheesy family band, oh yer! Our little boy loves stickel bricks, cars, birds and dinosaurs in particular.
2. Embrace it
Get out and enjoy the rain! Who cares if you get wet?! Ok so as long as you’re not in the middle of a storm or its hail stoning, why not get your wellies on and enjoy the puddles?! Kids absolutely love getting wet and what better sensory experience than to feel the puddles under their little feet. Ethan loves the puddles so much it becomes a battle to get him back in the motorhome again as splashing away!
3. Search out a local swimming pool or library
Ethan loves to swim so on rainy days we search out the local indoor pool. They are usually right in the centre and are only a few euros if its a municipal one for example. Having a splash and practising swimming is a great way to pass the time whilst getting a bit of exercise. An alternative to the pool is the local library. Ok so everything is in a language you may not know, but at least they can have a crawl around (and good stretch out away from the van) and look at the pretty pictures. There is usually a nice little English section too.
4. Get crafty
Ok so there’s only so many craft projects you can do with a baby, but you can pass the time by trying! Ethan loves to rip paper so we give him some old unwanted leaflets or the local tourist map to rip up! We then use this and sellotape them to another piece of paper. Sounds a little crazy but it works (and creates a mini masterpiece!). You could also clear the floor from mats or pop them in a highchair, and do some much-loved colouring (by me mostly!).
6. Create a cinema
I really wanted to get away from TV and movies when we were away, but it’s actually been fantastic to have it as a resource, especially on days like this. So close up the curtains, set the bed up and snuggle up to a good family flick. We also have quite a few educational dvds for Ethan and some much loved progs on repeat, namely Postman Pat! I think Ive seen all the episodes at least ten times!
We bought plenty of books with us on the trip as we love to read. So you could set up a comfy area and get all the books around you for some well-enjoyed storytime.
If all else fails, jump in your cab and drive! Pass the time on the road and get to your next destination early so you have more time to enjoy the new town!
Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? Comment below so I can add them!