Growing up my favorite words from my mother were “go play outside.” I could spend an entire day by myself in the yard and not think twice about it. I was just glad that we were not picking up pine cones and raking the yard or cleaning house! I also love to watch my own kids as they create adventures for themselves in the yard. The creativity is amazing: A low tree limb becomes a horse, a stick becomes a sword and the yard becomes a whole new world. So on those days that it is raining, too hot, or too cold, how can we keep our kids busy and entertained? In this post, I hope to provide you with ideas for fun on those less than enticing weather days.
Indoor Picnic: Last week, my kids spotted a picnic basket in the garage and it was instantly a hit. On a day when kids have to be inside, why not turn snack time into an indoor picnic? Put a blanket on the floor and create a spread. You can even allow your kids to pack the picnic basket with their favorite items.
PJs and a Movie: Rent a movie from iTunes and make a pallet on the floor. Pop some popcorn and make it a “flop party”! Kids love a great movie!
Dance Party: You need exercise…they need exercise…what better way to accomplish both? Find one of those cable channels with nonstop music or create an iPod playlist in preparation. My kids love to dance, but they love it even more when I join in.
Sandbox: Bring the outdoors inside! As a therapist, I use a sandbox on a daily basis. I have a large Tupperware tub filled with sand and a collection of figurines and cars that are allowed in the sandbox. Kids love it (including my own kids when they visit me at work). Lay down a sheet or table cloth under the sandbox just in case they make a mess.
Magic Sticker Bag: This one takes some preparation. But it is a great idea. So often we find sticker sheets with one random sticker on it that no one chose to use. Save all of those go to the dollar store and find a variety of stickers and cut them up and place them in the bag. Have each child pull out ten stickers and tell a story. The stickers are randomly pulled out and the child has to create the story line based off of the stickers he chooses. (Compliments of Huffington Post)
Spa Day: If you have girls, turn a gloomy day into a spa by including manicures, pedicures, mud masks, tea, soothing music and yoga. As women, we love to be pampered. Your girls will love it too.
Arts and Crafts: I love to make crafts. My child has picked up on this and he loves them too. We have such a great time creating things together but it really takes preparation! Unfortunately, he will randomly say, “mom let’s make a craft” when I have nothing planned. Why not hit the clearance aisles at Target and stock up on some rainy day crafts that you can set aside until you need them.
Bath Time: Kids love the tub! Unfortunately for them at night, we are on a schedule and do not have the time for them to play for long periods. Why not allow them to have extra bath time? Treat the tub like a pool and let them wear their bathing suits. You could also buy or create your own bath tub paint for some creative time.
Bake: When you plan for your kids to participate in cooking, you do not get as frustrated by the mess they create! Make cookies or brownies and decorate them with icing based on the closest holiday. Kids love to do what adults do. Let them make a mess but also include them in the clean up!
Build a Fort: My kids love a good fort. But it is so frustrating when the fort falls over or my little one sits on it and causes the fort to break. My dog also has a tendency to enjoy the forts as well, which frequently causes it to collapse. That’s why this Christmas, I plan on making this Fort Kit! What a great way to create a sturdier fort!