I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that we were not the only people to have bought garden furniture recently; or perhaps there’ve been a lot of cricket matches going on around here, but there must be something more than just one little patio table and a nice comfy chair to mean that the heavens opened as soon as the box.  For all I was suffering in the heat, I’d forgotten how lovely it was to just throw open the doors and throw us out into the garden, or the play park or the splash pad or just outside anywhere.

I’ve loved July and all our sunshine adventures and I really hope that they aren’t over; a couple of days of torrential rain (and we’re talking rain storms that turned the hill in our village into a river and brought water pouring through our boiler flue and into the kitchen) have been more than enough!

But it did force me to come up with a rainy day plan that I rather love; and one I’m definitely repeating in the autumn – and any other time we need it – we made a rainy day road for our Duplo train.

We’d picked up one of those giant rolls of drawing paper from the children’s bit of IKEA on a trip to buy bookcases, because it is of course a rule of IKEA that you can’t go and buy just the thing you actually planned to buy, and it was just begging to be put to good use.  So with the rain splattering down outside we pulled out a couple of metres off the roll and taped it to the hall floor; grabbed the crayons and set to.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I drew a nice long wiggly road with a roundabout at one end and then handed it over to the girls.  And as we sat on the hall floor we added butterflies and flowers; a pond with some goldfish, and then another pond for the duck; a pony with Kitty and Elma on board, and last, but by no means, a beach.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

The beach was Kitty’s idea; I asked her where the train was going, and that was the answer that came back, so we drew some sand and some sea; and then beach towels (as coloured in by Kit), a sun umbrella (ditto) and a few sandcastles.

And Elma toddled up and down our ‘road’ with her fire truck squeaking “nee nah nee nah” and colouring big scribbly stripes all over everything.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I’d thought it might occupy them for half an hour or so but we played with it for ages; and then when we came back later in the afternoon they immediately gravitated back to it; adding more colour, more scribbles and more flowers, and we were still sat there when H came home.

So if we’ve done a road, I’m thinking next time it might need to be a river, or perhaps an airport – any ideas?

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27 Responses to Rainy Day Road

  1. Anna-Marie says:

    I love this Carie! Such a clever idea and hours of fun!!

  2. What a fab idea, I am definitely stealing this for today as we have a giant roll of paper prime for using! Thank you!

    Gorgeous shots, particularly love the last one xx

  3. I love love love this idea! So simple and effective and look how much fun she is having!!! x

  4. Jenny says:

    Amazing Carie. What a great idea to get creative and keep everyone entertained for so long. Very impressive. lol Definitely a river next or maybe a carnival. #ordinarymoments

    • Carie Carie says:

      Oh I like the idea of a carnival – we’ve got a whole heap of Duplo zoo animals that could have a parade and Kitty would love a carousel (I might have to get H to draw that one though!)

  5. What a fab idea for indoor play! We have one of those rolls too, Ikea is fab to get all kinds of stuff in addition to what you went for! I will def remember this the next time we need to some rainy day indoor play!! Xx #ordinarymoments

  6. Emma Kershaw says:

    What a brilliant idea! Looks like you had lots of fun with it :) xx

  7. Vickie says:

    This is such a brilliant idea!

    I’m sending Hubs out during his lunch hour to track down a roll of paper. I think we’ll go with an airport as we’ve just had the Farnborough Air Show nearby and Bubs is a bit obsessed with the Red Arrows.

  8. This is a great idea, totally nicking this, sorry! I’ve often taped a long roll of paper down on the floor before for them just to colour on, but not for a train/vehicle. Really like your blog by the way, first time visitor here! #ordinarymoments

    • Carie Carie says:

      Well welcome to this corner of the internet! And yes, totally steal it – I’m sure I’m neither the first nor the last to think of it!

  9. Eline says:

    Right, I’m going to Ikea for one of those rolls first chance I get (because I REALLY need an excuse to go there. Hmm). I’d add a picnic area, as indoor picnics are just great on rainy days.
    Lovely pics too x

    • Carie Carie says:

      That would be fun – we only got as far as beach towels, sun umbrellas and sandcastles but I’m sure that some sort of ice cream hut needs to feature next time (and I think I’m going to need to start taking art lessons from H!)

  10. Donna says:

    I love this idea! Such a lovely rainy day activity and beautiful photos as always! x

  11. Ah this is cute and what a lovely idea. I haven’t had any proper rain where we are yet, so preparing for some soon. I really hope our sunny days aren’t over either, I have been loving them so much. x

    • Carie Carie says:

      Thank you – you can always save it up for winter; and lucky you not having had the torrential rain – it really feels harder than when it’s cold and wet!

  12. Katie says:

    This is so lovely Carie – I’m going to try it with my boys but i somehow think it might just get destroyed! Still nothing ventured…
    It’s meant to rain all day tomorrow, shame i don’t have the paper! x

    • Carie Carie says:

      The best thing is it doesn’t matter if it gets destroyed – it’s only paper and a bit of crayon and you can always draw another one!

  13. sally says:

    What a great idea and they look like they had lots of fun. I’ve got a feeling Maria would like something like this too, and we have a roll of lining paper for crafting, so will have to try.

    • Carie Carie says:

      Oh they’d love it – I think it might be the kind of thing that can keep going for a few years, especially as their drawing skills get better than mine!

  14. […] was too young to really appreciate it at the time. I had forgotten about it entirely until I read this post by Carie at Space for the Butterflies. Seeing how much her girls enjoyed it made me keen to give it […]

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