Getting the kids active on a rainy day
Do you get a sinking feeling when a Saturday-morning forecast calls for rain? If rain has you singing the parental blues, try getting active and having some fun with these family activities for dreary days.
Weekends are made for frolicking, but a dreary forecast can put a serious damper on typical Saturday-morning fare like playgrounds, parks and soccer games. Rather than putting on The Emperor's New Groove for the umpteenth time, try out one of these activities that are made for a rainy forecast.
Make mud pies
Do you remember the delight of sinking your hands into a giant puddle of mud when you were a kid? Since it's already raining, half of your work is done. Bundle your kids into warm raincoats and galoshes and send them into the yard for fun with mud architecture. Just make sure it's not too cold outside.
Build an indoor obstacle course
Channel your child's pent-up energy by building an obstacle course together. This way, your kid can bounce off the walls in a way that's fun and interactive rather than highly dangerous. If you want to avoid an argument, use a timer to help each child track his or her personal-best time rather than letting them compete against one another.
Visit a children's museum
Most metropolitan areas have quality museums, aquariums and science centers, but it's easy to forget about your town's resources when you're busy with other activities. Make the most of your rainy day by trekking to a children's museum for an afternoon of indoor enlightenment.
Build a fort
Pull old quilts, sheets and pillows off your shelves and allow your children to build a living-room fort. You'll enjoy the fact that a simple canopy of sheets and blankets can make reading and crafting more fun for all.
Create magazine collages
Not sure what to do with all your old magazines from 2007? Make a collage-crafting station! Provide your kids with scissors, construction paper, glue, glitter and old magazines so they can make their own artwork collages.
Compete in an egg drop
This might sound messy, but it's certainly no messier than mud pies. First, give your children one egg each and instruct them that the goal is to prevent the egg from cracking. Then, spread a tarp or an old drop cloth across your floor. Have your children build a protective casing, parachute or any other creative contraption they can think of to prevent the egg from cracking. After an agreed-upon amount of time passes, have each child launch his or her egg from a balcony or staircase onto the drop cloth below. Even if the eggs don't make it, we promise that this activity will keep your kids occupied for at least an hour!
Turn off the TV program and turn on a movie
One of the downsides of a rainy day is the incessant noise coming from a television program that no one is watching. Turn off the mindless drivel and turn on a beloved movie instead. Make it special by popping popcorn and brewing hot chocolate so the movie will be more of an event than a time filler.
Have fun with bath time
After all the mud pies and cracked eggs, you'll need to give your children a bath. You can make bath time special by pouring in bubble bath and giving your kids snorkeling equipment so they can go "scuba diving."