Rainy days are the worst, and coming up with something fun to do with the kids on a rainy day can be difficult and frustrating. However, with a little creativity, rainy days can also turn out to be days your child will always remember because they were time spent with you!
Here are some ideas to help kick-start your own imagination:
1) Big Top Flea Market (9250 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33592) - Spend the afternoon wandering the flea market, combing over campy, cheap souvenirs. If you have older kids, you can give them each a couple dollars to spend and a time limit, and see what treasure they each come back with. (Saturdays & Sundays, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
2) Movie Time - Pop up some hot, buttery popcorn, pick out your favorite flick(s) — hey, it’s raining; why not watch a couple? — and snuggle up in blankets or sleeping bags. It’s the one day when Mom isn’t telling them to turn off the TV and go outside.
3) Singing in the Rain - Throw off your instinctual aversion to the kids walking through a puddle, pull on your waterproof shoes, and act like a kid with your kids! Walk around the neighborhood, and make a point of stomping in every puddle you find. Afterward, you can all dry off and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows together.
4) Get Cooking - Kids love to cook, and what better time than when it’s too icky to do just about anything else. Flip through the pages of a recipe book or surf through the Weelicious or Family Fun websites for easy, kid-friendly recipes. If you don’t have ingredients for a recipe on-hand, then scour your pantry for whatever you do have, and let the kids create their own unique food “sculpture.”
5) Box Cars - Build cars out of boxes, use colored paper and the markers and really deck it out, then imagine where you might go. You could also build a house out of a box, too. See how creative, and imaginative, the kids can be!
6) Puppet Show - Have the kids make puppets out of old socks, craft scraps, paper … whatever you have around the house. Let your imaginations go wild, and make some crazy puppets. Then they can create a show to entertain you with.
7) Board Games - put out snacks, pull out several board games, and enjoy some quality time talking and laughing with your kids. If you have crafty kids, you could cut open a box so it lays flat and create your own board game: how about a version of monopoly using your neighborhood or the places you and your family visit most often?
8 ) Trashy Treasures - Bring in the recycle bin, grab whatever craft scraps you have in the closet, put out some glue and markers, and let the kids come up with some crazy creations. You could even put a theme on it, like “useful things,” and after they are finished, the kids can each present their creation and show how it might be “useful.” You will be amazed at what they will come up with.
9) Obstacle Course - Even though you’re stuck inside, you can still be active. Set up an obstacle course using items you have around the house — jump onto pillows, carry balls on spoons, crawl through a tunnel made of chair legs, or slide down the stairs on a pillow. You can also have contests for who can get dressed up for the rain the fastest. Let your imagination go, and you’ll be able to come up with many races the kids could do inside.
10) Read! - Give in to your child’s request for you to read 10 books. Why not? It’s a great day to spend snuggled together on the couch. Or better yet, get out the crayons and construction paper, and make up your own story together.
So, what did you come up with? I’d love to hear about it!