The weather forecast shows nothing but that little rain emoji. Your umbrella becomes your best (and most necessary) accessory, and the fear kicks in as you remember those energetic two year olds that you’re going to have to entertain ALL DAY!
You think about going to an indoor child friendly café. Brilliant idea! Unfortunately, it seems everyone else in the city has the same idea.
How about staying in bed, curled up with some hot tea and a movie? Not sure the children will like that idea!
With a little imagination, a positive outlook and plenty of coffee there are many activities that will keep you and your little ones entertained during this rainy season.
Here is a list of my top 15 things to do on a rainy day both at home, and out and about!
Grocery shopping treasure hunt!
Most children I know hate grocery shopping. Even though they have just finished a snack in the car on the way to the store, they hit the bakery section and are simply STARVING! This game seems to keep them busy and excited so that you can be sure you are able to grab everything on the shopping list.
*Make a list of the items you need from the store before you leave home
*Divide the list up, so that each child gets a grocery list of their own (pictures work wonders for this)
*Repeat the list the entire way around the store so that the children remember what they are looking ford)
*Walk the aisles until they find their items
Visit a real life superhero!
Every little boy and girl seems to idolize the fireman, policeman or paramedic. Occasionally on rainy days, we have made an impromptu visit to our local, quiet and safe police station. The children LOVED meeting with the police officers and were even given balloons to take home!
Sometimes you just need to embrace the rain! Dress the children up in their toque and sweater, pull on their rain boots and head outside. Find a wonderfully muddy puddle and simply jump! The smiles on everyone’s faces will be priceless
Send family or friends a letter
Everyone loves receiving mail!
Spend the morning writing letters or drawing pictures to post to family and friends. You’ll be encouraging writing skills in your children, teaching them about sending letters via post and you’ll brighten someone’s day when they receive a lovely letter in the mail.
To add to the experience, take the children to the post office with you to purchase a stamp and have them put the letter in the mailbox.
Take the stairs
This is an activity for the mom/nanny who needs a break.
Find a safe and quiet stairwell. Great if you have one in your building, otherwise search the area for lighthouses, old bell towers, historical structures or public sets of stairs. Start the stop-watch and GO!
Obviously, a degree of caution is needed for this. Ensure your children can confidently use stairs and assess the dangers of potential falls etc
Children love crafts! Sometimes, we spend hours searching and preparing Pinterest worthy crafts. Don’t stress over this!
Put some pencils, markers and paper on the table and let the children draw. They’ll love it!
Chocolate Chip Cookies??? Yes please!
Spend the afternoon baking delicious treats! If you don’t fancy a trip to the store to stock up on baking ingredients, check out http://www.4ingredients.com.au/recipes
Spend the morning at the library… simple! Most libraries have a designated space for children and there may even be a coloring stencil for the kids!
As an added bonus, let the children pick a book that they can borrow and take home!
Build a fort or tent
A classic! We all remember the days of the fort in the living room. A simple bed sheet thrown over the furniture provides a parent free oasis for children. Their imaginations will run wild as they pretend to camp in the forest or look out over the castle.
Children love to move! They also love to listen to stories. Check out http://www.cosmickids.com/ a free website that will take your children on an adventure whilst incorporating some Yoga moves.
Hide and Seek
Another classic! Children will continue to develop their counting skills, and you will keep them entertained as they hide under beds and in closets.
This is an absolute favorite in our household! It’s probably more exciting that we move the furniture in the living room and get to throw things in the house. Either way, everyone is happy when we play balloon badminton!
You can either just hit the balloon using your hands, or incorporate a craft activity and make a racquet using a paper plate and popsicle stick.
*Find a space big enough to play (it’s up to you how big a space you have)
*Divide the room into two. We separate the room using a skipping rope.
*Blow up a balloon
*Hit the balloon from one side to the other.
Indoor treasure hunt
This can keep the children entertained for quite some time. We always have a little prize for the person who finds their items first (it’s usually that the winner gets to pick the snack).
*Make a list of items for the children to find. Pictures work perfectly for younger children.
*Give the children the list, and send them off on a treasure hunt.
*Of course, you can start a stop-watch if you wish.
Sorting the laundry
Sometimes, housework needs to be done. Get the kids involved in this activity by having them match odd socks, fold towels or even ironing handkerchiefs for the older children.
The trick is making it FUN! Start the timer and see how many socks they can match in 5mins. Or, tell the children a story whilst you fold the laundry.
And finally, when all else fails a classic movie is always a winner! Curl up in the fort you have just built, with the cookies you have baked and watch a movie with the children. If you’re lucky, they might even take a nap!
Happy Rainy Days!!!