Keeping Your Active Kids Happy on Rainy Days
Keeping Your Active Kids Happy on Rainy Days
There are some children who are completely satisfied to be inside on a rainy day just reading or playing quietly. Then there are the children whose energy seems to make the entire house pulsate and groan with the words “rain, rain, go away, come again on another day”! I have one of these children and it has been challenging to say the least keeping them entertained on days when going out of doors was impossible.
When I say impossible, I mean stormy days. Because if it is just nicely raining we have all the rain gear ready and I do let them play in the rain and have even joined them on occasion. I think playing in the rain is great fun as long as it is not torrential. On torrential days we have to get creative. We have done all kinds of things to keep our children happy, one child in particular. It seems that this particular child gets bored with conventional toys when they get forced into inside play so we have had to come up with alternatives.
We found out early on that one of our children liked the boxes that came with the toys more than the toys themselves. We then started picking up boxes when we would happen upon them in the stores and the bigger the box the better. This would keep my active child busy longer than any toy. We could create many different scenarios depending on the size and shape of the box. Playhouses, spaceships, cars, trains, and when we had multiple boxes we made tunnels. There is something so wonderful about watching a child and encouraging their imagination using a plain everyday box!
My children derived great pleasure out of playing with the canned goods. I know this is not good for the wee little fingers but when they get a little older letting them into the pantry can be great fun. We would build castles and walls with the canned goods and bring out the toy soldiers and have great battles. We created towns and the canned goods sometimes turned into steam rollers and mowed the towns down. Even just rolling the cans back and forth was fun for my children.
We had marbles and we loved collecting the ones we deemed the prettiest. We would use wrapping paper tubes and roll our marbles down the tubes and make different shoots off to one side or the other with another tube. You can make them very long or you can cut the tubes in half lengthwise and make different trails for them to follow. Setting up soldiers at the end or any small toy to see who can knock the most down adds a little competition. This is another great way to encourage imagination in play.
Tents are another rainy day activity in our house. We have made tents out of a couple of chairs and sheets or even gone as far as to put up a dome tent we had for camping trips in the living room. All of my kids loved tents and having their own castle or fort was great fun for them. We would have reading time in the tents, have picnics for lunch, and tell stories in our tents. We have even taken our naps in the tent which believe it or not encourages nappingand that makes momma very happy.
Crafts are fun to do on rainy days as well. My children loved building things out of craft sticks and sugar cubes. We have built many a house out of both. The craft sticks and glue or the sugar cubes with icing have both produced wonderful results. When the kids got a little older they loved using the hot glue gun with the craft sticks. We also loved using the pipe cleaners, twisting up a few people or animals to make the scene complete when we have our houses built.
Play dough is another creative outlet that my children loved. They loved using plastic utensils and pretending to cut rolls of play dough into cookies. They liked rolling out the dough and creating baked goods or creating different animals. One of our favorite things to make was snakes because it was so much fun rolling the dough out on the table or between our hands.
Puppet shows were another of my children’s favorite things to do in the house. We had a few hand puppets that one of my children loved but the other child did not like for some reason. I kept getting accused of being the one that was talking. However, I could pick up a stuffed animal and use a funny voice as if they were talking and it did not bother that child at all. Go figure. So that is what we would do. I would start out a story with the stuffed animal or animals talking and the kids would chime in with suggestions on where the story should go. They really got into it and I enjoyed it myself since I am just a bit animated in my personality it was a great outlet for all of us. You can set up a puppet show with that cardboard box you bring home and that really adds to the fun. Children’s imaginations really go wild when you are making up stories and using visual stimuli as well.
Blocks are always a winner in my house; we have always had more fun with the larger plastic waffle type blocks. We like the wooden ones also but we have one very rambunctious child who loves to build them and then build a bomb and blow them up so we kind of gravitated towards the softer plastic ones. And besides that they were connectable and broke apart without hurting anyone in the blast!
We also played hide and seek in the house which the kids loved. It kind of depends on your house I suppose but we live in a ranch style house which is spread out pretty good and it was also an older house which had a lot of nooks and crannies to hide in. The children would hide and I would find them and then I would hide and they would find me.
We loved to play a charades type game we came up with since real charades was a little too hard for the little ones. Each person would come up with a movie that they knew we had all seen or an animal and act it out until someone guessed what it was. They had to declare a category, like say if it was a movie or animal or even a person we all knew if they wanted. It was a wonderful way to get them to use their imaginations and act things out. They were allowed to make sounds with it but no words. This got really funny and we would all end up laughing and sometimes rolling on the floor in tears. I loved being with my little ones and playing these games. Just writing about it makes me smile.
Rainy days can be some of the best memories you have or they can turn into nightmares. Sometimes, as a parent, you may have things you need to get accomplished in your day but sometimes you just need to stop what you are doing and play with the kiddos. Your house may not be neat as a pin, your dinner may not be perfect, but your children will have these memories for the rest of their lives. Not to mention that your home will be full of love, peace, and happiness. That is way better than the alternative of having an unhappy, active child who is bored and whining all day. At least it is in my book. And as you can see, even though my children are much older now, these times will stay in your heart and your children’s hearts forever. There is nothing better than one on one time with mom and dad.
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