A rainy day provides that perfect excuse to stay in, get cozy and hang out with the family. But sometimes after a few days of the wet stuff, your kids – and you – may start going a bit stir crazy. So have some fun rainy day activities on hand to prepare for rainy days; days that can provide opportunities for our kids to get creative and energized and most of all, have a fun time.
Sometimes I need to get out of my I-need-tidiness comfort zone and let my daughters take over a room to make a fort. With some large sheets, several clothespins and some furniture, a bedroom or family room can transform into a secret haven. Your kids can set up a couple of lamps or string up holiday lights for lighting inside the fort. Of course, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows are necessary, not to mention a few snacks. In addition, materials such as books, paper, pens, crayons and journals provide plenty of entertainment as your children relax in their special new digs.
A few at-home science experiments can be performed by your children and with your supervision, providing wonderful curiosity, interest and fun. You don’t need a pricey commercial science kit – just a few household materials are needed to amaze young scientists. Here are a few sites for ideas you and your child can pick from:
This is a simple one – you and your kids can don rain gear and engage in some competitive leaf races. Each participant picks their perfect leaf. Next, you find a sidewalk gutter with rainwater that is making its way to a drain. Pick a starting point and then everyone holds their leaves over the running water. You say “ready, set, go” and the race begins. Whoever’s leaf makes it to the designated finish line first, wins. Sounds pretty basic, I know, but believe me, it provides tons of outdoor entertainment on a rainy day. You can also bring tools like a rake and gloves during your walk to help unclog the tops of storm drains smothered by leaves.
Have your child get their creative juices flowing and write their very own article, story or poem, or compile a family recipe book. It can be as simple or elaborate as they’d like – using drawings, photos, clipart and more. When it’s completed, they may even want to consider, with your help, submitting their writing to a magazine or website for publishing consideration.
Like many kids their age, my girls enjoy doing “opposites”— for example, having breakfast foods for dinner, or even having cold and icy foods in chilly weather. You can pull out the ice cream maker and create and enjoy a new flavor together. Or easier yet, make popsicles from juices and fruits. You can use a popsicle mold if you have one, or just fill up an ice cube tray with your concoction, and cover it with plastic wrap. Use toothpicks as popsicle sticks by poking them through the wrap. Stick the tray in the freezer, and voila, a delicious and icy wintertime treat!
Just a Walk in the Rain
Even a simple walk in the rain can be a great chance for kids to explore and learn. My kids love rescuing lost earthworms by placing them back on the grass or soil. There’s also something fun, freeing and “rebellious” about taking a walk in the rain. You can go to a park or safe nearby area to walk in the rain. Have your kids take a look at how different the trees, leaves, spider webs, and rocks can look when covered in the wet stuff. And if you’re lucky, a sunny break in the weather can mean a beautiful rainbow to admire.
Take advantage of that rainy day with your family. It can be the perfect time and excuse to relax but also can serve as the ideal moment for kids to let their imaginations and energy run wild!