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Family Fun: Rainy Day Activities For Kids

Apr 18, 2008
Most of us are in the rainy season now. This may mean lots of time indoors, stir crazy kids and frustrated moms. While some of this is inevitable, and the only thing to really do is to accept it without blaming ourselves or our kids, we can still find some fun things to do. With a little bit of creativity and not very much effort, clever moms can use gray and wet days as an opportunity for some memorable moments of family fun and out of the ordinary fun activities for their kids.

BEFORE THE RAIN BEGINS

*If you are expecting a storm, have your children help you plan and prepare for a power outage. This is fun activity for kids of pre-school and school age. Of course, keep it simple. Have a discussion about the things we rely on that require electricity and come up with alternatives.

-Light: Round up flashlights and batteries.
-Heat: Get out extra blankets.
-Cooking: Plan an EASY power outage menu.
-Entertainment such as TV, movies, computer: Get out board games, books, crafts, etc.

*Before the rain starts, put out a container such as a bucket and have each child make predictions about how full it will get. Mark their guesses with a permanent marker.

*Go outside to see if you can see the rain coming. Also, check to see what direction the clouds are moving. Make predictions for when the rain will arrive.

DURING THE RAIN

*Snuggle up and watch the rain or the storm from a window. Your children will love this special time with mom. Count the time that elapses between a flash of lightening and the sound of thunder. Discuss that thunder and lightening is the same thing as the static on the clothes that just came out of the dryer. The lightening is the spark and the thunder is the snap you hear. Try this website for ideas: http://weathereye.kgan.com/cadet/lightning/thunder.html

*Just watching the rain fall is something that can be a fun rainy day activity for kids. Talk about the rain, where it comes from, where it goes. Talk about the water cycle. Discuss where the animals might go during the rain. Discuss why the rain is so important.

*This is also a good time to do water cycle science experiments. Try this website for ideas. http://www.mcwa.com/kids.htm#cycle

*Create a "Family Fun band" to copy the sounds of the rain or storm. Use household items or musical instruments that you have around. For example items put in a jar or tub with a lid make rain or thunder sounds when shaken. In general, the larger the tub and items the deeper the sound will be.

*Make paper bag or sock puppets and put on a puppet show.

*Prepare for sunnier days by starting your summer garden right now. This is a great family fun activity for kids. All you need are peat pots, a bag of potting soil and seed packets. Your kids, with a little supervision, can do most of this project (filling pots with soil, adding the seeds and water). Let the plants sprout and get a good start indoors, then in several weeks you can plant them in your garden. The peat pots are planted right in the ground with the plants. This makes it so easy! It's a valuable experience when our fun activities for kids turn into productive work that contributes to the family.

*If it is not too cold, your and your children are in good health and there is no chance of lightening, consider taking a walk in the rain. Use raincoats, boots, umbrellas, have clean towels waiting for you and a plan for the wet clothes. It is also helpful to have some hot chocolate mix waiting too. This way, when mom has had enough and is ready to go inside, the kids have some incentive.

*Even if you do not loose your power, it is great family fun to pretend that you did anyway. Put a blanket on the floor and eat the "power outage" dinner that you prepared. This simple thing is an amazingly fun activity for kids of all ages and it saves you from cooking for a day.

AFTER THE RAIN

*Go check on your bucket to see whose guess was the closest.

*Try taking a walk. You can point out all sorts of interesting sights. What animals or bugs emerge after a rain? Notice how the drops form on the leaves. Watch how the water flows down a storm drain. Watch the clouds separate and clear. These are things that we, as moms, may take for granted, but our children, who are full of wonder, delight in making such observations.

*If you are up for it, this is also great time to stomp in puddles. Moms, if you join your children and stomp in puddles too, you will create an amazing memory for them.

*Search for a rainbow. The sun needs to be somewhat low in the sky to create a rainbow, so if the rain clears in the afternoon, go outside and try to find one. Just as the sun comes out and the air is still wet look in the part of the sky that is opposite the sun. If there is a rainbow, it will be there. This is not only a fun activity for kids but is also a chance for learning. To find out more about rainbows visit our website, AMothersMinute.com and check out our RAINBOWS page.

Moms are very skilled at making the best of most circumstances, so use your imagination and your own unique talents to make the most of this very special time. Family fun and interesting activities for kids can created from any situation. All you need is togetherness and a tiny bit of ingenuity.
About the Author
Linda Rolufs is the mother of five children and a practicing Marriage and Family Therapist. Visit her website - AMothersMinute.com - a place that celebrates the experience of motherhood and affirms each mother's own unique wisdom. You will find great parenting ideas for moms, year round family fun and a page all about RAINBOWS.
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