Rainy Day Fun

December 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Posted in homeschool, totally random | 2 Comments
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I wrote this article this past summer as part of an application, and then I never posted it.  It is geared towards rainy summer days, but kids get just as restless when they are stuck inside due to cold weather.  Here are five simple ideas for occupying young kids on those days when you are stuck inside:

1. Visit Your Local Library – its free, and air conditioned!

a. Call ahead to see what resources your local library offers.  Many libraries offer reading programs and clubs during the summer months, complete with guided learning activities.

b. Most libraries have special areas with computers, games and/or toys specifically for young children.  Your child(ren) will enjoy the educational activities, and may even get to make some new friends.

c. Check out some books and movies.  Allow your child(ren) to help choose their own books – and be sure to bring a tote bag or two to carry your selections.  Reading those books at home is another great way to occupy your restless child(ren) on a rainy day.

2. Pack a Picnic – Can you really picnic in the rain? Absolutely!

a. Pack a lunch as if you were going on a real picnic outside.  You can make the meal with special picnic foods, although you don’t have to.  Let your child(ren) help with the preparation – it’s part of the fun.

b. Spread a blanket or cloth out on your floor or covered porch/patio and eat your picnic there.  Even if food is the same thing you eat every day for lunch, it will seem quite special when served on the floor.

3. Visit an Indoor “Zoo” – If your day at the zoo has been cancelled, there are some indoor alternatives that are almost as much fun:

a. Sporting goods stores, like Cabella’s and Bass, have indoor displays of stuffed animals and live fish.  If you can find a store like this in your area you should consider planning a visit.  Your child(ren) will enjoy the displays, and will be able to get much closer to the animals since they aren’t live.

b. The pet shop is full of varieties of fish, and small animals.  Some pet shops have adoption days on weekends where they will also bring in larger dogs and cats to be adopted out.  While not a zoo, your child(ren) will still enjoy seeing animals, and getting out of the house.

4. DIY Living Room Theatre – keep a few simple supplies on hand for a rainy day movie:

a. Most grocery stores carry microwave popcorn tubs just like they sell at the theater, as well as small boxes of candy.  You can also pop your own popcorn and slice some fruit for a healthier “theatre snack” option.

b. Choose a movie that hasn’t been viewed over and over by your child(ren) – you can rent one from a video store, the library, or download one from an online service like Netflix or amazon.com on demand.

c. Set up pillows or chairs in front of the TV, and dim the lights.  You could also make a simple tent over the TV using a large sheet and some chairs or a table.

5. Play in the Rain (this one only works in the summer)

a. Put on your swimsuits, and play in the rain!  As long as there is no dangerous lighting, the rain can be just as much fun as an afternoon in the sprinkler.

b. Play on that slip in slide – you won’t even need to turn on the hose.

c. Wash the car – grab some sponges and soap and give your vehicle a good scrubbing down in the rain.  It hardly seems like a chore when you get to dance around in the rain and play with the soap suds.

d. Play in the mud puddles.  As long as there is nothing dangerous in the dirt, your child(ren) will probably enjoy running through and splashing in mud puddles.  There is nothing else quite like it, and mud can easily be hosed off when you are done.

e. Grab a bug jar and catch frogs, worms, and other creepy crawlies that come out in the rain.  Release them when you are ready to go back inside.

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