Rather than letting rain put a damper on your plans, why not teach your kids to relish the bad weather as an opportunity for indoor fun and games? Too often, when plans fall apart, kids end up in front of the TV, computer or with a video game controller in their hand. Instead of moping, try these five rainy day activities to bring your family closer together. Soon, your kids may be watching the forecast hoping for a drizzle so they can try out these fun games again and again.
Board Game Buffet
Let each child choose their favorite board game and set them all up at once. If you have a long dining room table, pop the leaf in and make it a buffet. If you want to make it more physical, set one game up in each room so everyone takes a turn at one game, then run to the next room for a turn on the next game. This ensures that everyone gets to play their favorite game while getting your kids moving on what would otherwise be a lazy day. Leave a notepad by each game to remind whose turn it is next and what order the turns progress. Set a rule that winners cleanup to spread the task around. If you have an only child, you can be their opponent and try out two player games like Battleship and checkers.
This is a great game for little ones that don’t yet have an attention span for board games but definitely want to play. This game can be hosted by you or an older sibling. Have them step out of the room while you hide some of their favorite toys in a couple of different rooms of the house. Let them come back in and tell them the item they’re looking for such as “your teddy bear” then lead them by warmer or colder until they find it. Eventually let them hide some things for you and guide you to them through the same clues to teach them critical thinking skills. They’ll be thrilled they were able to trick you. Even if you immediately spot what they’ve hidden, play along for a couple of minutes before you spot it. Gradually make the game more difficult and soon you’ll have a master detective on your hands.
Take a Wet Walk
As long as it’s not chilly, there’s no thunder and lightning and none of your kids are sick, why not get out and play in the rain? Dig out some already stained clothes and shoes and go outside and puddle jump. Make some mud pies, go on a nature walk and get rained on. The only real health risk is lightning or slipping on something wet. It’s on old wives’ tale that getting your head wet or being out in the rain will make you sick. Take a walk around your neighborhood or go to the local park or just play in your yard. Dig out your beach stuff – including sand buckets and shovels – for making mud castles. Sure you’ll get muddy, but then you’ll have the fun of bubble baths and hot cocoa when you’re done!
Blanket Fort Film Festival
Movie marathons are great on rainy days and indoor camping is always a treat, so why not combine the two for an extra special rain day surprise? Either put a group of chairs together back to back and throw some blankets over them or just throw a couple of blankets over your dining room table to create a cool and good-sized fort. Toss in some sleeping bags and pillows and you’ve got a comfortable nest. Add a laptop or tablet with your Netflix or Amazon Prime streaming service for movies and you’ve got your own miniature cinema. Just add juice boxes and a bowl of popcorn. By creating this environment, your kids will enjoy movies the old-fashioned way without a multitude of distractions.
Make Your Own Movie
Watching movies on rainy days is great, but why not take it to the next level and let your kids make their own? Most smartphones and tablets record high quality video so you can just hand over a device, cut them loose and see what they can do on their own. Encourage your kids to recreate their favorite TV show or movie, bring their favorite book to life or even conjure up their own script. You could get involved and do costumes, hair and makeup or, if you’re brave, let them have free rein in your closet. You never know, you could be raising the next Spielberg. Once they’ve got their movie done, watch and be amazed.
There’s no reason to ever let a rainy day get you and your kids down. Keep these five rainy day ideas in mind, take them for a test run and see which works best for your family. You never know, you may start a whole new family tradition. We’d love to hear some of your out-of-the-ordinary rainy day play plans. Be sure to share in the comments below.