Don't let the rainy weather get you down! There are lots of things to do when it's too nasty to play outside! And you don't even need the TV to chase away the blues! Try some of these!
- Have a parade! Get "dressed up" and grab some pots and pans and wooden spoons or other musical instruments and march around your living room for a while! You children will be delighted and it might even tire them down enough to take a nap!
- Dance! Put on your favorite CD or radio station and dance to the music! Grab some scarves or bandannas to wave around and use as props!
- Bake some cookies or brownies! There's nothing better than being by a warm stove on a cold rainy day - except maybe the smell of those cookies! For healthy snack recipes that even sneak some protein and veggies into your delicious treats, try the brownie recipe in
The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (nobody will ever guess there is Spinach in them!) or the chocolate chip cookies (made with Garbanzo Beans!) in Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.
- Try some Origami! All you need are some scrap squares of paper and you're ready to go. Check out the free videos and downloadable pdf files for easy how-to instructions on a variety of Origami models (scroll to the bottom of the page for an index) at Activity Village.
- Have a puppet show! Grab some old socks and/or some paper bags. Add eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc. with markers, buttons, or scraps of material and some glue. Drape a tablecloth or sheet over a couple of chairs and make an instant theatre for your show!
- Make some homemade modeling clay and see who can make the silliest animal. Try this recipe: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons cooking oil - mix all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat over medium until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat. Knead the slightly cooled dough for a few minutes until it's nice and smooth. You can add food coloring or natural dye to the water to make different colors and a few drops of essential oil after the dough is removed from heat will make it smell good, too! Be sure to keep it in an air tight container to keep it fresh and soft.
- Read! Sit down with a few of your child's favorite books and read stories together. Without the pressure of bedtime, you may find this more enjoyable than usual! As you read, see if your child can name characters or objects pictured on the pages. Practice colors, letters, and numbers as you go through the book. Make up your own stories about what is happening in the pictures.
- Write! Brainstorm with your child and write your own story! Maybe a fairy tale or science fiction story. Make up several characters, add a setting (place and time) and then the adventure begins! Write it down as you go so you can continue to work on it. Have your child draw pictures of the characters and scenes to go along with the story. You can even have it printed - take digital photos of the pages and upload them at Snapfish.com to create a photo book of your original story!
- Pull out the photo albums and look through pictures of family and friends. Reminisce about a vacation, camping trip, or your college days and tell the stories to your kids (you know which parts to leave out!!). Look at old photos of family members from before your kids were born and talk to your kids about your family history.
- Take a look at the calendar and see what birthdays, holidays, and other special events are coming up. Have your children create homemade cards with drawings, writing, stickers, and such to be sent on those special occasions. When they are done, put them in envelopes and show your child where the address goes and how to apply the stamp. When the special day approaches, help your child mail their one-of-a-kind greeting!
And you thought you would be bored! What did you do the last time it was too 'yucky' to play outside? Do you have any other ideas for things to do on a rainy day? Please leave them in comments for everyone to share!