- Family and Parenting
10 Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids
Let's face it. As much as we adore the sun and fun of summer, not all days are bright and sunshiny. So what do you do with those wonderful children of yours on those not so fantastic days? If you don't have an organized activity or some sort of plan in mind, your children can wreck havoc on your home and your sanity! Here are ten great ways to keep them entertained.
1. Making Rainsticks
If you've never heard of a rain stick, they are actually a pretty cool object. A rain stick recreates the sound of the rain by turning the stick upside down. It is very easy to create one of your own and what better way to spend a rainy day than creating your own rain stick. Here's what you do.
- cardboard tube (length depends on personal choice)
- aluminum foil
- markers or paint to decorate
- newspaper or card stock
- beads or any other additional items to decorate
- Cut out two circles from either the newspaper or the cardstock to fit on the ends of the cardboard tube. Attach one circle to one end with tape.
- Twist a piece of aluminum foil into a snake like shape. Place it inside the tube.
- Add seeds (you can use rice or beans if seeds aren't available) to the inside. Place your hand over the tube and listen to the sound. Add or remove seeds until you like the sound of the movement of the seeds.
- Cover the other end of the tube with the other circle and tape.
- Decorate your rainstick with paint, markers, beads, and any other material that you have chosen. Let it dry before playing with your new rainstick.
2. Painting Pottery
Most cities have a local pottery place. It is great fun for children of all ages to create a piece of art. For a small charge, you can paint a piece of pottery. The pottery place will finish the piece so that it is glazed and beautiful for you to take home to display. Imagine your child's delight when he or she sees the artwork on a shelf or dresser at home.
3. Read Thundercake
If it is a stormy day, try reading the book Thundercake by Patricia Polacco. It is a fantastic story of the author's fear of thunder. Her grandmother calms her fears by telling her that they should bake some thundercake. As young Patricia gathers the ingredients on her grandmother's farm and helps her to bake the cake, the storm continues without her thinking again about the thunder. At the end, the two enjoy their cake and Patricia realizes that the storm has already ended. Polacco includes a recipe for Thundercake at the end of her story. It may sound a little strange, but it is very moist, tasty cake.
Fun in the Rain
4. Singing in the Rain
There is something freeing about singing and dancing in the rain. If it is safe (no thunder or lightening) and the temperature is warm, why not head out and sing and dance in the rain. Throw on those rain boots, put on a raincoat if you need to and head outside. Not only will your kids have a blast but you will feel like a kid again.
If there was a big storm with hail, let your kids go outside when it is safe and collect some of the hail in a cup. We had a big storm last summer and everyone had fun splashing in the flooded streets and playing with the hail.
5. Put on a Puppet Show
Why not have a puppet show. Drape a blanket or table cloth over a table to block the puppeteers and decorate for the setting of the play. Use what ever puppets you may have around the house. If you don't have any, you can create your own out of brown paper lunch bags or old socks. You can use yarn, buttons, beads, or markers to decorate them. Use your imagination!
6. Host a Karaoke Concert
Who doesn't love karaoke? I think that most children love to sing. Why not pop his or her favorite CD into the CD player and take turns belting out those tunes? If you don't have a microphone to use, you can easily make one. Just take an empty paper towel roll and color it black. This will be used as the handle. Then ball up some tin foil and attach it to the top of the paper towel roll, an instant microphone! You can also video tape this to create your own 'original' music videos.
7. Go Bowling
Bowling is a great way to add in some exercise. Children of all ages love to bowl. We recently participated in a bowling fundraiser and my two and four year old children enjoyed every minute of it. They needed a little bit of guidance but they got the hang of it quick and soon they wanted to do it all on their own. If you haven't been bowling with a child in a while, there are bumpers that most bowling alleys will put out to help your child have more success during his or her bowling experience. The ball with therefore always make it down the lane, even if it is quite slow at times!
8. Indoor Play Places
Most larger cities have many places that kids can go to play inside. In my area, our malls have some indoor play areas set up for children. Here they are able to burn off that energy that they would normally spend outside running around.
More recently, there has been an influx in our area of indoor play places that charge. These are places that have large indoor play structures. They are complete with ropes to climb, slides to slide down, and even a little cafeteria area in case anyone gets hungry.
9. Have a contest.
Holding a dance or singing contest is always great fun. It allows kids to be creative while also letting go of some of that energy. You could work in teams or individually. Simply set some ground rules, turn on some music and have some fun. You could even video tape it and watch all of the wonderful talent at another time.
10. Write a letter.
Letter writing seems to be such a lost art. I know that my children love to get mail from their grandmother who lives out of state. Why not have your child write a letter or draw a picture for someone who lives out of state? Depending on your child's age, you can have him or her address the envelope as well. The recipient will love to get a surprise in the mail from your child and who knows, there might even be a return letter!