Rainy days don’t necessarily mean you have to be miserable or give up your plans of having a productive, fun-filled day. In fact, they might mean the exact opposite! They present the opportunity for parents to harness children’s excitement over the changing weather and steer this towards a day filled with learning and playing and family time.
With relatively little fuss, any home can be transformed into a hive of activity and camaraderie – on even the rainiest of days. Here are 10 ways parents can help children overcome rainy day blues.
10 Pretend You're At The Movies
Children love the excitement of a good movie, dim lights and a big bowl of freshly-made popcorn. This works especially well when the weather outside is grey and the wind is blowing fiercely.
Sitting indoors, wrapped in their favorite blankets and kitted out with a selection of snacks will allow for a makeshift cinema experience. Parents can also pretend to be the cinema staff and bring the child a bowl of popcorn in exchange for some paper money.
9 Build An Indoor House
Some blankets, some chairs, and a handful of clothing pegs make for the perfect materials for building an indoor house or tent. Chairs can be positions as ‘main rooms’ or passageways, and blankets placed over these, and pegged in place. Children can then take their duvet cover or blanket and pillow inside, and one or two of their favorite toys and pretend this is their special playhouse, or castle, or tent, or secret hide-out. Their imagination is the limit.
8 Story Time With Mom
Most children love a good story time, so why not take advantage of the rainy weather and let them sit on your knee, old-fashioned storytelling style, while you open your prized children’s book and read from it for them. Put on the right ‘character’ voices and get a little dramatic. If you have more than one child, let them sit on a rug, with a blanket around them, while you read the story, to the best of your ability. Good for mom and good for the kids.
7 Get Out The Paints
Children love to get messy and creative, and parents should encourage this expression of their creativity. Get out some old newspapers and put them over the kitchen table as a covering. Then squeeze some paint into empty yogurt tubs and get out fresh sheets of paper. To add to the creativity, you can cut potatoes in half and carve designs into them, and use them as potato stamps. Or maybe get some old toothbrushes and use them to ‘spray’ flecks of paint onto paper surfaces.
6 Get Baking
The weather is miserable, which means little tummies more than likely are feeling just that much hungrier than usual. Why not let your children bake some biscuits to have for an afternoon snack.
There are many simple recipes on the internet. Alternatively, buy some already baked biscuits and make a simple icing sugar using milk or water, with icing sugar and a dash of food coloring. You can then let them put this on the biscuits before coating the finished product with chocolate sprinkles or silver balls.
5 Make A Magazine Collage
Most households have a pile of old magazines which have been read – and reread – and are no longer of use. Get these out and give your child a pair of scissors, suggesting they cut out pictures according to a theme and then arrange these in a special way on a piece of paper, before gluing them down. To give an example, suggest they cut out pictures which represent their dreams, and let them make a ‘dream chart’ highlighting their hopes and aspirations.
4 Board Games
There is always a place for board games, such as Monopoly and Twister, but these seem to take on a whole new meaning when the weather is a little grey. Snacks can be placed in bowls and board games set up, while children get their favorite blankets and sit together around the table with mom and dad for an afternoon of fun. Games are not only fun but they teach valuable rules, like taking turns and playing with honesty and sportsmanship.
3 Put On A Puppet Show
Putting on a puppet show on a rainy day is a good idea for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows the child to actively make a puppet for the show. This is easy to do using a sock and some stick on items, like eyes, or wool, or beads. Then, children can come up with their own story, or use a popular story, like Little Red Riding Hood, and using their puppets, put on a show for the rest of the family. Why not even set up a puppet theater and make some popcorn for the whole theater experience?
2 Hold A Treasure Hunt
Children love to hide things – and to find them. This is even more exciting when the hidden items are considered as treasure. Mom and dad can draw a treasure map, or children can draw one themselves. Items can then be hidden in the home based on the map and children let loose in the house to find these. Kids can even be encouraged to dress up, for example, as pirates or storybook characters. Sweets provide a special incentive for searching. Why not hide sweets in the house and draw a map helping the kids to find them?
1 Run An Extra Bubbly Bubble Bath
The weather is cold outside making a bubble bath with warm water and extra bubbles the perfect treat for little ones. Run a scented bath with lots of bubbles and put lots of toys around the edges. Then get the kids in the water and let the fun begin. You can even keep a mirror alongside the water for kids to make ‘snow beards’ and ‘snow moustaches’, and then see their own reflections. The best part about this is that they come out clean!