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How to create a rainy day activity box

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Box up some fun

When bad weather has bored kids housebound, pull out an activity box to turn on some smiles! Find out how to make a rainy day activity box full of fun, and turn those frowns upside down.
Easy solutions to rainy day blues
Bored girl looking out the window on a rainy day

Kids and rainy days are not always a good combination! They want to play outside, may complain that they're bored and need something fun to occupy them indoors. Moms don't want to just park cranky kids in front of the television, so being prepared with a rainy day activity box is a great solution!

All it takes is a few simple toys, games and activities to turn a day around. Preparing a box with a special collection that comes out only on "stuck indoors" days will keep your kids excited and occupied when bad weather has them housebound.

Affordable fun

Dollar stores, discount outlets and drug stores are good places to find inexpensive items for an activity box. A fresh set of crayons, simple and age-appropriate puzzles, activity books, card games even small children can master such as "Go Fish" and building blocks are good choices. You might look for small action figures, silly putty, a slinky, a set of jacks or animal dominoes. Little girls love to play dress up, so include some special items for their make-believe play — costume jewelry, a tiara, a feather boa and a pair of high heels you no longer wear. Little boys will like a cape, a tool belt or anything with a military or super hero theme. Board games are fun for kids too, so add a new one — Shoots and Ladders, Candy Land or one they haven't already tackled. It's extra special if these soon-to-be-favorite items are stored away and come out only on stuck-inside days!

You don't have to spend a lot to pack away special fun. When you're out shopping, be alert for items to pick up and tuck away in the activity box. Over time you'll be able to spot and assemble a good selection of things to please the kids.

Arts and crafts supplies

If your kids are crafty, include a selection of colored paper, glue and sparkles so they can create their own works of art. A dreary day will brighten up immediately when they get busy making paper chains, collages and dozens of other projects with colored construction paper and their own imaginations! You can get them started with some basic supplies and get ideas from online sites that list craft projects suitable for kids.

You can also look around your home to find other items to use for crafts that can be added to the activity box. Empty and rinsed small cans transform into pencil holders — glue on some small macaroni or extra buttons and spray paint them.

Quick tip

String spools or dry pasta into a necklace, or use empty thread spools as blocks — kids like the unique shape!

Contain

Box it all up and store it away for a rainy day. A regular cardboard box will do, or buy a large plastic bin to hold it all together so you can grab it when the clouds roll in and offer up some new activities that will keep kids occupied when the weather isn't cooperating.

More fun and games for kids

The birds and bees: Springtime animal crafts
How to make a paper lei
Wet and wild games to play at home

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