Rain rain go away, come again another day. I don't know about you, but April and May are very rainy months. That's great though, because April showers bring May flowers. But just how much rain can a mom/ nanny/ child care giver take? Here are some great, easy to do, fun activities with children and not go so crazy when its too wet, and or too cold to go outside and play.
Spider's Web: quick set up, fun for all ages, great for a play room, or go all out and do the hallway, living room, and dinning room too. WARNING: this may create a messy house, but then the fun and pictures, and memories are worth everything. There are a few different ways to create this, but I've always used yarn. What You Need: Yarn, and imagination. (If you use paper streamers you'll need tape too) Make up rules as you go, and for different aged children. Don't touch the web, you can only go through or under or over. Try to save the animals tied to the web without getting tagged by the spider...
Plastic Finger Paint: let your kids finger paint without getting messy and wasting the paint. Hours of fun, simple and easy to set up, and quick to take down. TIP: this would also make a great home school or preschool lesson idea for learning to mix colors. What You Need: Gallon sized double zip freezer baggies, paint (finger, or acrylic paint), painters tape or masking tape (thick), white paper, scotch tape. Tape the white paper to the table where each child will sit. Put the paint into the bag, and use the (thick) tape to tape all four sides to the table. Let your kids paint!
Recycled Bowling: plan a head activity. Use your imagination to figure out what things would make bowling harder, especially if you have limited or small play spaces. Try stuffed animals, pillows, balloons, small balls etc. Lots of fun for the whole family or team play with the kids against adults. What You Need: 10 soda bottles or juice bottles (you choose the size, 20 oz, or 2 liter), water, food dye, item to bowl with, paper to set up score cards. Fill the bottles with colored water to make them harder to knock over, and easier to stand up. Bowl some strikes!
Building Blocks: Are your kids done playing with the wooden blocks, legos, Trio Blocks, Tinker toys, or Lincoln Logs. How about if you introduce special new building materials? How about keeping on hand rainy day tools? What You Need: any of the following: tooth picks (I love the colored ones), mini marshmellows, gum drops, plastic or paper cups, sugar cubes, bendy straws, pom poms, any dry pasta (except the shells, they're hard to work with). Let the kids go crazy, take pictures, heck get in on the fun yourself. Most of the stuff can be reused if properly put away.
Monster Bubbles: Do you have scientists in your family? Do you kids love reactions? Do they love to explore? Again, this will take a little bit of planning for fun exciting discoveries. What You Need: vinegar, baking soda, food dye, clear plastic cups, table, cookie sheets with edges (to hold in the over flow). Put the plastic cups on the cookie sheets (2-3 per sheet) pour 1-2 table spoons of baking soda into each cup on the cookie sheets. Pour vinegar into separate cups and add food dye (make them light colored to prevent unwanted staining). Gather children to table for demonstration. Help them pour the dyed vinegar into the baking soda cups and get ready for the magic bubbles take over the world.
Catch and Fly: Do your kids love bugs? Do your kids love air planes and helicopters? Do your kids love looking, exploring, and finding things? Do your kids love to catch things? What You Need: Butterfly nets for each child, paper, feathers, cotton balls, (pretty much anything that will flow in the air), an electric fan. One by one put the bits of paper, cotton balls and feathers in front of the fan while its on, and let the kids run around trying to catch them in their nets. TIP: let the kids draw bugs, butterflies, air planes on the paper before they try and catch it. Make paper air planes or helicopters to throw around while the boys try to catch them.
Just remember the next time you are bored and so are your children, try a few of these activities for the rainy, cold, sick days.
To see actual pictures of some of the activities here that I have done with my children follow this link.