For those of us who live in “sunny” Southern California, dealing with winter weather is somewhat foreign. It doesn’t have to necessarily be warm outside, but if the weather is overcast or rainy I get depressed! I honestly think that I NEED sunshine. My kids feel the same way about being stuck inside. I think most kids do. Trapped. Suffocated. Bored. I totally get it!
To help my family overcome the impending doom of being stuck indoors, I recently complied a list of rainy day activities that will give me inspiration and my kids an outlet for all that pent up energy.
So, all you want to do is breathe fresh air, right?! So do your kids! Let your kids put on their rain coats and rain boots, whip out some umbrellas and go for a rain walk! Let your kids jump in every puddle they find and see who can make the biggest splash. This is a great way to get energy out of those little bodies and get some fresh air in your lungs. Escaping the house is the only way to get rid of that “cabin fever!”
If you are so inspired, you can turn your rain walk into a “teachable moment.” Find a little container and let your kids predict how much of the cup will be filled up with rain by the end of the day. Make small marks on the cup to record their guesses. You can teach them about measurement and have them measure how many cm/mm of rain they estimated will fall. Then let the rain fill up with water and see who made the closest guess! If the rain goes on for multiple days, make a graph showing how many inches of rain feel each day. For younger kids, draw raindrops to indicate how many inches of rain fell each day. This is called a pictograph. With older children, challenge them to create a line graph or a bar graph with the data you gathered!
It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s TIME TO BUST OUT THOSE CRAFTS!!! Let your kids paint, glue, cut, and color to their hearts content! Allow them to use stickers, glue, clay, Play Doh, buttons, sequins, rhinestones and other materials you find around the house to create a masterpiece!
Once your art is finished, hang their art on the walls and have a “gallery walk.” Visit each painting and let them tell the other “museum visitors” all about their artwork.
Invite neighbors, friends and/or family over to participate in the “gallery walk,” or better yet, let them make their own art and then travel to visit each other’s galleries!
Let your children write or draw letters to their family and friends! Help them address envelopes and put them in the mail! Letting them watch or even help you address the envelope can be a teachable moment! They can learn the parts of an address, help write the address, place the stamp in the correct location, etc!
Make a Fort
Use pillow cushions, blankets and other materials to create your own fort or tent! Once built, you can use the tent to have an indoor camp out! Sing songs! Make a pretend campfire and have a picnic! Make your little one cozy in a sleeping bag or with blankets surrounded by all their favorite stuffed animals and dolls. Tell “campfire” stories and read books!
To help get rid of some of those wiggles, have a dance party! Turn the music up and dance around your living room! Play freeze dance! If you are really inspired, help your little ones dress up in costumes and take turn putting on performances!
This is another idea for burning off some extra energy! Use pillows, cushions and other objects around your house to make an obstacle course for your kids to jump over, duck under and run around!
To make this an educational activity as well as a physical one, allow your kids to time each other. Learning to use a stop watch or second hand on a watch can be an exciting new skill! Then let them try to improve their times. This reinforces the concept of number order and “greater than” and “less than.
Incorporate art with this activity by allowing them to make medals and award the winners with prizes! Use yarn or string, construction paper and tape to make a simple, yet lovely medal!
Rainy days make me lazy and after all that running around it may be time to take a break and just chill. Make your house into a movie theater! Turn off all the lights, pop some delicious popcorn, snuggle on the couch and watch one of your favorite films with your child.
If you feel inspired, combine movie watching with arts and crafts and pretend play! Help your child make movie tickets with pens and paper. Then take turns “buying” and “collecting” the tickets before entering your home theater!
Guest Writer – Kimberly Rosenfeld
Three savvy women share their thoughts, opinions & family adventures with their beach city peers on Pier to Peer! They offer recipes, local hot spot recommendations, beauty tips, décor ideas, and tidbits from their family life.