Tag Archives: rainy day activities

Rainy Day Splatter Painting

Rainy Day Splatter Painting | Mama Papa BubbaWhile living in a city that gets as much rain as Vancouver does can be a little deflating some days, I know that we’ll miss it dearly once we’re back in the sandy desert.  So instead of letting the past week of rain keep us indoors today, we decided to get out and enjoy it.  After a morning walk and a long play at the park before lunch, we decided to head back outside this afternoon.  We brought along with us a baking sheet, some liquid food colouring (the neon kind), and some white construction paper to do an easy and fun art activity… Rain splatter painting!

IMG 8367To get started, Gracen laid a piece of construction paper down on the baking sheet and fully enjoyed dropping splots of food colouring all over it.

IMG 8370Once she had the food colouring exactly how she wanted it, we simply let the rain do its job.  At this point, it was raining quite hard, so the splatter effect happened quickly.  Grae loved watching the colours pop up off the page and land back down on the page in little dots.  At some point during the process, she’d say “This one is done!” and we’d pop it inside the house to dry and grab another sheet of paper to splatter.

IMG 8376The end result is beautiful, splotchy, watercolour-esque paintings, just like this one.  Fun, right?


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Kerrisdale Play Palace is Back!

IMG 9843IMG 9844IMG 9845IMG 9858IMG 9861IMG 9854One of our very favourite rainy day spots, the Kerrisdale Play Palace, recently opened for another spring/summer season.  It seems to be a bit of a hidden gem because although it does get busy, it never seems busy enough for what it is – a very reasonably priced GIANT indoor play space filled with fun inflatables.  Miss G and I went this morning for the first time this season and whoa – did she ever have a blast.  While she absolutely loved it last year, this year was even better.  A little bit braver and a little bit bigger, she is now able to make her way to the top of all of the inflatables and down all of the slides – even the huge ones.  She ran, climbed, and jumped the morning away until her hair was literally wet with sweat and it was time to go home for lunch and a nap.  It was a good morning.

The Kerrisdale Play Palace is located at the corner of 41st Avenue and East Boulevard, in the arena directly behind the McDonald’s. When visiting, keep in mind that both you and your little one(s) will need socks and that weekday admission is divided by age groups.  For the 2013 schedule and admission fees, click here.


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Under the Table Fort

Under the Table Fort | Mama Papa BubbaMany days, Miss G wakes up from her nap (though it escaped us again today) with a clear plan for our afternoon.  Today’s request involved building an indoor tent.  No big deal, right?  With limited space, a non-existent wood stash to build a frame with, and an un-napped, slightly impatient toddler on my hands, I opted for the simplest option possible… An under the table fort.  Close enough, right? ☺

IMG 8066While a basic rectangular table with four corner legs would have probably lent itself more graciously to the project, our centre stand table provided an unexpected perk – two separate rooms.  As soon as I mentioned this to Grae, she immediately deemed one of them a reading room and the other a music room.  

IMG 8073Setting up our fort couldn’t have been easier.  We simply moved the chairs into the kitchen, threw a king-sized sheet on top, and moved in a few pillows and blankets to give it a cozy feel.  In the reading room, we added a couple stacks of small books, and in the music room, we added a xylophone, a microphone, and Grae’s ‘DJ headphones’ (actually noise-cancelling headphones from when we went to the Patriots game).  It could have been more simple to set up, but G was pleased as punch with her new hideout.  It was the perfect project for an afternoon like today’s, and we’ll definitely be remembering this for our next string of rainy days. 


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Face Painting Station

Face Painting StationI thought of putting this little station together for Gracen to explore months and months ago, but only got to it today.  Perhaps today just felt like a face painting sort of day?  I don’t know…

IMG 6372Either way, I set out her step stool turned toddler bench in front of our closet mirror (of course a table top mirror would work just as well), laid out a couple of damp cloths and a jar of face painting crayons, and waited for her to discover her new station.

IMG 6376And when she did, was she ever excited!  She didn’t quite know what it was all about, but she was excited none the less.  I stood back and watched her take off her tights.  Then she turned to me and asked, “Mama helps Grae Grae paint her toes?” Hah!

IMG 6378Once I explained that they were face painting crayons, she was even more pleased. And off she went, decorating her face.

IMG 6383She went through several changes during the process…  First, she announced that she was a raccoon, and after adding a few more lines here and there, she decided that she was a kitty cat.

IMG 6395Here she is with her first finished look. ☺

IMG 6402When it was time to remove it, she tried using the damp cloth I’d provided, but it was quite tricky.  Face paint is stubborn, but I knew just what would do the trick…. One of our very favourite body/household/cooking products – organic coconut oil!  She dipped her fingers into it, started rubbing it on her face, and the paint literally melted off.  Afterwards she was able to use her cloth and wipe her face clean – easily!

IMG 6406Miss G decorated herself for a while longer, then let me have the final turn…  The natural choice?  Papa eyebrows, of course!  ☺  I don’t know who found it more hysterical – her or me.

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Rough Days & Indoor Picnics

Oy.  The last couple of weeks have been tough.  Until recently, Miss G has been a pretty happy-go-lucky, easy-to-please, easy to reason with little lady.  Even in moments of real frustration, getting down on her level and calmly talking out the problem was a sure fix.  Even when she was very little.  And don’t get me wrong.  That sweet, loving little girl is still here and melts my heart on a daily basis.  But goodness gracious, have we ever been on an emotional roller coaster lately.  Little things, like turning off a light, filling a pink cup with water, or putting away a book can set off a wave of disappointment, whining, and tears.  She wanted to do it.  She wanted the blue one.  She was going to read it again.  We’ve had our first temper tantrums, she’s marched to her room and closed the door loudly behind her, and today she pulled out the big guns and shouted “I NO LOVE YOU, MAMA!” (ugh).  We’re doing our best, figuring things out as we go (thank goodness for Janet Lansbury), and focusing all of the good times, but it can sure be exhausting some days.  Especially given my recent run in with a tee ball bat and a set of stairs which has left me hobbling around with highly unattractive purple and blue swollen foot.

Today was just one of those mornings.  It started well, Gracen asked to go to one of our local play gyms, and we began getting ready.  All was good until she wasn’t able to put her tights on on her own and I was in the shower instead of helping her immediately.  And it just went downhill from there.  By the time we were ready and had all of our issues sorted out, play gym was half over and would have been three quarters over by the time we drove there.  So what do you do when you’ve spent the last two hours preparing to leave the house, but it’s now almost lunchtime and you know that an early lunch and early nap is the best thing for everyone involved?  

IMG 6322An indoor picnic! It was special enough that Miss G wasn’t completely crushed about not making it out the door to play gym, but kept our daily routine moving along and neared us to nap time, which was desperately needed. We laid a blanket out in the living room, gathered a few cushions, and turned on some happy music in hopes of a reset.

IMG 6325Miss G requested a “special picnic lunch” and chose a random assortment of foods cut into small pieces, in true toddler fashion.  Her lunch included orange pepper slices, baby carrots, grilled chicken cubes, chunks of aged cheddar, a multigrain mini bun with hummus, kiwi slices and some fruit water.

IMG 6325This mama, on the other hand, needed something more meal-ish, especially after the morning we’d had.  For me, baby kale and baby spinach topped with fresh veggies, feta, cilantro dressing, and a few mini chickpea patties (yum). 

IMG 6328Grae thought the entire set up was very special and went back to being my happy little sidekick almost as soon as we began putting it together.

IMG 6329And thank goodness for that.  


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Letting Loose, Play Palace Style

After waking up to yet another {very} rainy day, I decided it was time for some dry, indoor fun this time around…  So off to the Kerrisdale Play Palace we went!  I don’t know what it was about today (perhaps it was her nearly 13 hour sleep last night or it being her second visit – she’s a veteran now), but Gracen was absolute WILD woman!  Walking into the rink was like letting a bucking bronco loose after keeping him in the gates for an abnormally long time. The moment she stepped foot onto the concrete, she was running and jumping and squealing and flinging her little body around like it was the last day she’d ever get to play  in her life. Just a guess, but apparently she thinks the Play Palace is pretty awesome.

She didn’t waste any time getting down to business.  First she hit up some old favourites…

IMG 3933IMG 3947IMG 3934IMG 3937And then it was off to try some new things…  See that little monkey climbing up that inflatable ladder?  Last time she got half way up, panicked, and we had to retrieve her.  Not this time though.  Apparently she’s a big girl now because she climbed up and zoomed down on repeat.

IMG 3941Weeeeee

 And then there was this.  Never in her life has she ever gone down a slide on anything but her bottom, but today she was all about belly-down, face-first. 

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Oh, and going down with her little ‘yeehaw arm’ in full effect.Yay

Later on, she saw a big girl climb up for a ride on the shark’s back, and she was desperate to do the same.  After letting her try and try again to get on, I finally broke all the rules, climbed up onto the inflatable while the supervisor wasn’t looking, and helped her up. (Shhhhh… Don’t tell.)IMG 3960
Strangely enough though, today’s absolute favourite was the foosball tables.  She kept going back to them again and again and when I told her we only had time to do one more thing, she picked going back for some more table football.  IMG 3963

It was the perfect way to spend our rainy morning.  I left with a dishevelled, tired little monkey who was more than ready for her nap when we got home.

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Kerrisdale Play Palace

This morning, as we stepped foot into a little old arena on the westside, I was transported back in time.  A time in the late 80’s / early 90’s where I spent hours and hours in little old arenas, freezing my tush off while watching my brother’s countless hockey games.  Only this was Kerrisdale.  And it’s quite obviously 2012.

But despite the dingy smell, yellow lights, and chilly temperature, the Kerrisdale arena, which is transformed into the Kerrisdale Play Place each spring, is truly a hidden gem for those of us who live in a city that gets as much rain as we do.  It’s filled with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and bouncy castles, gym equipment, musical instruments, and ride-on cars and toys, making it much more than just your usual play gym drop in session.  And let me tell you, Gracen LOVED it.  I don’t think she stopped squealing for more than 5 seconds during our entire visit.  Here our some photos from our visit…

On the pirate-themed ocean inflatable in the preschooler area:
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Playing with floor toys and equipment in the preschooler area:
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In the preschooler bouncy castle:IMG 1621IMG 1617

Riding plasma cars in the main area:

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Shooting some hoops in the main area:IMG 1643IMG 1648

A couple of hours of squealing-good fun for a few bucks? You really can’t go wrong.  My only advice if you plan to visit..  Firstly, dress warm (it’s chilly in there!)  Second, wear or bring socks (they’re mandatory in all areas for children and in the preschool play area for adults).  And lastly, don’t be fooled by the jumping jack/push up/karate choppin’ sit up-doing attendant…  He’s surprisingly on his game and will catch and scold you if you sneak up the giant inflatable slide with your munchkin.   ☺

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