Thursday, March 1, 2012

Indoor ideas for rainy days

Our Atlanta winter has been pretty amazing so far. Generally warm with frequent blue skies. We have enjoyed more outdoor time this winter than we probably did all summer (because then, of course, it is way too hot!). But every now and then, we get a stretch of rainy days. Or in the case of my household, several unwelcome sick days as well.

I am not a stay-at-home kind of person. I get bored. I prefer to be doing something, going somewhere, or completing a task. Five consecutive days in the house last week due to all three of us being sick? Nearly drove me insane. However, it did make me a lot more creative with indoor activities.

Here are some of my favorite Rainy Day Activities for Kids
(can apply to sick days too!):

Gloomy outside? Close up all the windows and do some indoor camping! We like to play this in the evening when the room can be really dark. Get a play tent and a camping lantern. Eat marshmallows off long skewer sticks (you can pretend to roast them over an invisible camp fire). Have the kid(s) "fall asleep" in the tent while you make nighttime sounds. Play with shadows on the wall.

Need to burn off extra energy? Couch cushion building - and jumping. We take all the couch cushions and pillows we can find to build a tall tower. Or a fort. Or we simply lay them in a long track along the floor and bounce, bounce, bounce our way across. If the pillows are somewhat small, they can be unstable. So be sure to build your track far away from anything that may cause injury in case of excitement "over-bouncing."

Want to teach some cooking skills? Make simple homemade playdough. There are various recipes for homemade playdough, some cooked and some uncooked. The uncooked version only requires salt (about 1/2 cup), flour (about 2 cups), and water (about 1/2 cup). While it will not last more than a couple days, kids enjoy this recipe because it requires no cooling time. Let them experiment with food coloring or glitter to make extra special dough.

Finally, why be afraid of a little rain? Grab umbrellas and go outside for a walk. My daughter loves our rainy day walks. Kids are so sheltered from rain most of the time that choosing to walk, dance, or even run in it seems exciting - a little bit like breaking the rules. Of course, always check for thunder & lightning - don't go outside in a storm!

What do you like to do when stuck at home?
I could always use new ideas. The next preschool virus is surely lurking around the corner... these kids share way too many germs!
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