Rainy Day Family Fun Activties
Things to keep us happy when the sun doesn't shine
Today is a rainy August Sunday and I have enjoyed it thoroughly. My daughter, husband and I have enjoyed each other throughout the day in a variety of ways: a family snuggle in bed this morning, mealtime conversations, reading books, playing with puppets, creating original cards to send to friends, building with blocks, and cooking a cozy dessert. Rainy days can be so refreshing!
Rain washes away loneliness ~
Strengthening family bonds keeps loved ones well because it lowers stress levels and increases feelings of happiness in the form of increased levels of endorphins racing through the brain. Such activities keep feelings of loneliness away, and the time spent together increases children's self-confidence because they know they are cared for. You may already have some favorite things that you look forward to doing on rainy days.
The following is a list of suggestions for activities to try if you haven't yet done so:
1.) Read or tell stories to one another.
This is a good way to learn more about family history. The stories can be about ancestors, elderly relatives, or something you were part of that you enjoy remembering. You can take turns adding to a story that you all make up together.
You can make up a story together by taking turns adding sentences that move the action forward in unpredictable ways.
2.) Build a house or city with blocks or Legos. This can be approached in different ways.
Take turns adding one block at a time.
Each family member creates a building, then connects it in some way to all the others.
Mix up blocks and Lego constructions for greater fun.
3.) Listen to lively music and dance together, or enjoy as background music for another activity.
One of our favorite CD's to listen to is Blue Moo, A book of lyrics illustrated by Sandra Boynton accompanies this collection of songs in the style of the 1950s with fun lyrics.
Dance, accompany the music with percussion instruments, or make up funny movements.
Play "Musical Chairs" using a favorite song album. The computer may be the best medium for this to use because it is simper to press the "pause" button without harming the CD.
Photos of Our Rainy Day Play
4.) Play a board game such as Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland or even Twister.
Trivial Pursuit, or a derivation such as Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit , is a great family game.
Setting up an all-day tournament with simple healthy snacks may be fun, especially if you are playing Checkers or Chess.
5.) Make pizzas with everyone's favorite toppings.
The Pizza Deck recommended below contains logs of fabulous recipes. Each person can choose which portion of the process that is his or her favorite and choose a favorite recipe/ set of ingredients for that element, such as the dough, sauce, cheese, or seasoning.
Each family member can place their own topping on the portion of the pizza s/he will be eating.
Wearing aprons will make you feel more like chefs, if available. We have one for each of us. Chef hats are optional.
When you are at the table eating your creations together, hold contests of how many chews each person takes to swallow each bite, and the highest number wins. Chewing each bite of food makes it last longer and increases the level of satiation derived from it.
6.) Take a walk through puddles wearing jackets, boots, and umbrellas for cover ~
Then return home to sip hot mulled cider.
Race through puddles to make as big a splash a possible.
Have a contest around how far over a puddle each family member can jump.
7.) Bake a homemade treat together.
Agree on a treat that everyone likes and can eat.
Like the pizza, each family member can contribute to a phase in the process. The children will most likely want to spoon batter on a cookie tray or roll apple filling into pastry dough if you are making turnovers.
8.) Engage in a family art project: collage, scrapbook, finger paint, tissue paper art, etc.
Cutting out pictures from magazines for a collage is half the fun of the collage, and you can all share stories or jokes during that part of the process. Then place a picture chosen by each family member on the paper, taking turns gluing them on until the space is filled with images.
For the tissue paper art project, you may all want to create your own design, then paste it onto a larger paper to make a collage that includes everyone's art.
Using recycled items found around the house saves the environment while providing more material for creative expression.
9.) Make shadow puppets and put on a show with them.
When the puppets are ready, pull down all the shades or blinds, bring out the flashlights, and create an original story around the puppets you have made....or act out a familiar story.
Puppets can also be created from socks, paper bags, or construction paper.
10.) Set up a picnic blanket on the living room floor and eat lunch or dinner that way.
You can make it a "potluck" to allow each family member to "surprise" everyone with their choice. It may be wise to plan for all the elements that are needed, such as the salad, entrée, beverage, and dessert.
Each person can also contribute to creating an item for a "centerpiece."
11.) Play Charades.
If you have forgotten how to play, the directions can be found on Wikipedia.
There are lots of variations on this game that can be played, so have fun choosing the form you love best: plays, movies, fairy tales, types of actions...any category that will elicit plenty of laughter.
12.) Set up a treasure hunt with small treats as prizes.
Each person can create a list and the family works through each list created.
13.) Play "hide and seek."
My daughter loves to play "hide and seek" with each of us, and when the 3 of us are in on it, squeals of delight are guaranteed.
14.) Stand in a circle and sing songs with hand and body gestures. Examples:
"Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"
Make up your own.
15.) Talk like a pirate, Shakespeare or another type of character for part of the day, and wear an article of clothing that such a character would wear.
There could be three "characters" in one day - breakfast, lunch, and supper.
After supper, you could watch a movie with one of the characters in it with some popcorn.
16.) Dress in a way that is distinctive of each family member for an hour, then change.
Borrowing clothes from each other is half the fun!
17.) Hold silly relay races, such as pushing ice cubes across the floor with noses.
Running with marbles on spoons
"Walking" on your bums
18.) Pose for a family picture to use on a holiday card to send to the rest of the family.
Wear clothing and/or include props that present a unifying theme.
19.) Put together a jigsaw puzzle; and even better if it's a 3D puzzle!
Listen to your favorite relaxing music while working together.
Start conversations about the theme or subject of the puzzle you are putting together.
This gives extra experience with cooperative problem-solving, especially when the puzzle is 3D.
20.) Spend at least an hour having conversations made up of "nonsense" syllables.
The most important thing to do together is to laugh and have fun, and perhaps take pictures to remind you of the great time you are having. Fall is a rainy season for many regions, so you will have plenty of chances to try them all.
Combine Science and Art to make unique creations:
As you bundle up in rain gear and head out for a breath of fresh air between the raindrops, grab some natural objects to take home with you. Then follow the directions in this book for fun ways to mix science with art on a rainy day.
© 2010 Karen Szklany Gault
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