First time motherhood can be daunting, especially when entering new phases with your sweet little baby. Just last year there were times when I dreaded being stuck inside on rainy days with my one-year-old son. It’s been several years since I was a child who knew how to play almost as well as I knew how to breathe, and the fear of neglecting my son because of boredom frightened me. I made a promise to myself before he was born that I would be a mom who loved to get on the ground and spend quality time with her babies. I wasn’t going to be a perfect mom, just a present mom. But motherhood is sometimes lonely and filled with routine that can border on monotonous.
I couldn’t help asking myself what do you do all day with a little baby on rainy days when walks and park time is out of the question? The thought of trying to fill hours with meaningful time together stressed me out.
I turned to some fellow mamas online who were much more experienced than I was and found my answer: a rainy day box. It was a super simple idea and nothing really new, but for my panicked brain, it was the perfect start to helping bond with my son in this new stage.
I started off to Walmart with my little boy and picked out a medium plastic box to store rainy day activities in. I wanted to fill it with things that I could teach him how to use and that he could explore with as he grew. I started with a simple blank sketchbook for kids and a pack of washable markers. They were cheap, but I couldn’t help feeling giddy thinking of laying on the ground and coloring with him, drawing pictures for him and watching as his own chubby little fingers held the marker and drug it across the paper in wild lines.
Next I found a coloring book, crayons, and children’s watercolor paints. I threw in several cheap tubs of Play-Doh in a rainbow of colors. We bought the items and immediately went home and spent a solid hour on the floor in his room coloring while I talked to him about all the fun we could have with this simple little stash of art supplies.
Over time, we added to the box, including things like printable shape matching activities we got from a trip to the library and puppets to tell stories with. It didn’t matter so much what I put in the box or how much I spent to fill it, what really mattered was that I had something to open and share with my son to bring us together on a rainy day.
It’s been almost a year since I created my rainy day box, and my son has grown so much since then, but the best thing I’ve seen him develop is a love for spending time with me sitting on the floor creating. Whether we are smooshing Play-Doh into unrecognizable shapes or coloring pictures, we’ve both developed an appreciation for the slow creative moments that rainy days can reveal and the sweet smiles and laughs we share together.
designed by Michelle gifford creative
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