It’s raining, it’s pouring…but it doesn’t have to be really boring! No parent wants to hear their child complaining because they can’t go out and play on a rainy day or weekend.
Get your community involved! Other parents in your neighborhood are in the same position and there is power in numbers. Use your community newsletter or Facebook group to get other families in on the action and plan activities that can be done as a group in your high-rise movie room, community clubhouse or other common (dry) space. Your community association board may be willing to help plan via an event committee.
Take a big sip of coffee and breathe. With a little inspiration, you can keep your sanity and keep them entertained without resorting to the numbing hum of video games.
A rainy day is an awesome opportunity to help your kids construct a fort out of blankets and furniture. But instead of just constructing the fort, add a healthy dose of pretend. Here’s how: After they build their fort, put flashlights, paper, and pencils or crayons inside. Next, tell them to imagine themselves as mountain climbers who have been snowed in after making a long, hard trek up a daunting peak. To pass the time, they record their made-up adventures, either in words or pictures, or both. After they’re finished writing or drawing, ask them to read the stories to you or explain what they drew. Later, they can sit in the fort and read books, play games or watch a movie on a laptop. You supply the popcorn, of course.
Dancing feet are happy feet, so get some tunes together and gather the kids. They can choreograph their own dance numbers to their favorite songs and take the “stage”—a.k.a. the living room floor. You can even break out costumes or dress-up clothes to put on an all-out recital. For the finale, have everyone gather on the “dance floor” for a group dance to a classic party song.
Before you protest, let us clarify: You won’t be making the toys. Your kids will. They do the work and get two activities in one—making the toys and playing with them. How’s that for sucking up a whole day with fun? They can build a cardboard box puppet theater and act out their favorite stories. Or you can all whip up an endless supply of fun with a simple homemade play dough recipe with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. There are also easy clean-up DIY crafts and ready-made toy kits, available online and in stores, which are guaranteed to bring out the engineer in any kid.
You know that stack of old magazines you’ve been meaning to recycle? Well, here’s why you’ve been saving them. Grab the stack—or stacks—of magazines, any other materials you want to use (fabric, tissue paper, colored paper), some safety scissors, cardboard or poster board, and some glue. If you choose decoupage, you’ll also need an old bowl, table or other item to cover. Then turn on some tunes and let your kids cut out pictures and choose the materials they’d like to use. The bonus? They get to express who they are and create a keepsake from your day together.
Kids around the world have grown up reading about the magical world of Harry Potter and part of that magic comes from the bountiful, British feasts! GoodtoKnow, an online UK food magazine, has a fun article on 13 “Harry Potter”-inspired treats that kids of all ages will have a blast making. From an absolutely delicious-looking “butterbeer” mug cake to whimsical “mandrake pot” cupcakes and more, kids can enjoy the flavors of the Harry Potter world at home. Adults can get in on the fun with “Polyjuice potion” jelly shots, spiked with vodka! Continue the Harry Potter theme with a movie marathon. If your community association has a clubhouse with AV capabilities or high-rise movie room, even better! Just gather your group and make sure to schedule ahead of time – keep an eye on those rainy season weather reports.
In today’s world, you can’t get very far without technology and basic computer skills, and more and more, coding is making its way into the fray. Not only will it teach anyone how to build a simple website, but it helps kids shape their logic, design and problem-solving skills. Get the neighbors together and have a competition- who can code the fastest! Mommy Poppins contains a list of websites that teach coding to kids and adults. So get cracking and start coding!
Be Open to Suggestions
With the right line-up of activities, a rainy day is no big deal. For even more rainy day activities, get kids in your community together and brainstorm ideas based on their interests. You may have to tweak them a bit for practicality, but you may also be surprised what a little imagination—and some free time—will bring. Boredom, after all, sparks creativity. So embrace it and have fun with it. They’re only young once!