Surviving rainy days with the kids
A mama's gotta be prepared. So, if you're looking to add to your rainy-day repertoire, check out a few of our favorite activities. Extra bonus? They don't cost a dime because you'll probably already have all of the "supplies" at home:
- Bake -- Most kids love to cook, but baking has a special allure. Help the kids make bread, muffins, cookies, or even a special Rainy Day Cake, which they can decorate.
If you have a dog, why not make homemade dog biscuits? (Luna Lovegood recommends these Pumpkin Dog Biscuits.
Tip: If you're looking for some solid children's cookbooks to have on hand, Salad People and Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen.
- Daytime bath...with a twist -- Break out the goggles and snorkel gear and let the kids splash around in the tub in their bathing suits.
- Make "potions" -- Let the kids pretend to be scientists while they make potions by mixing random ingredients in the kitchen (e.g., water, salt, pepper, cinnamon, sugar, lemons, food coloring, soap. Kitchen staples that you have on hand -- old jam jars, spice containers, strainers, a small funnel -- are perfect tools for this impromptu "lab session."
- Get crafty -- You knew this was coming, right? Listen, I know not everyone is crafty, nor does everyone want to be crafty. But kids love glue. They love tape. And glitter, crayons, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. Just have a little box on hand with these supplies and break it out on rainy days.
Save a few packaging triangles, paper towel rolls and tea boxes. (Seven loves to make "tea towns.") Trust me: at least an hour of entertainment. Tip: Let the kids make art and hold a pretend "show" by making your house an "art gallery." Tape the art around the house. Let them present the art to you...ask lots of questions.
- Tap dance -- Tape a quarter to the tips of your kids' shoes and let them pretend to tap dance inside.
Tip: use painter's tape, it won't leave any sticky goo on their shoes.
- Build a blanket fort -- Bust out the extra blankets and pillows and let the kids make a fort. Give them a few flashlights and books, and maybe they'll cozy up in that fort and have some quiet time.
- Make a movie -- Let the kids use the video camera to make a home movie. (FlipCams are so simple that even preschoolers can master them.) Whether it's their reenactment of a book or song, or an original screenplay, they'll loving gathering props, filming their flick and watching it later.
Charlene Prince Birkeland is a parenting writer and the editor and publisher of the blog, CrazedParent.
On CrazedParent, she talks about raising boys, baseball, cooking, and her crazy dog. Charlene lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, two sons and, of course, that crazy dog.
For more information about rainy day tips, visit: www.crazedparent.org