When those rainy days approach you can almost smell the sense of panic in the air of moms everywhere as they ask themselves: “What on earth am I going to do to keep the kids occupied ALL day long?” The day quickly becomes a combination of fending off snack requests every 3 milliseconds and resisting the urge to just let them blankly stare at the technology trifecta: the TV, IPad and computer. Below are a few ideas that will help you get through those days when the clouds (and rain, and thunder, and hail) roll in.
Shaving Cream Fun
For as little as $1.00 (I’m looking at you Dollar store), this will keep you kids occupied for quite some time with a super sensory experience. Not only is it extremely easy to clean up, it has the added bonus of the flashback of smelling like your dad when he got done shaving. Take out a placemat, give each kid a bottle of their own shaving cream and in the words of the 90’s group Bel Biv Devoe, let the kids smack it up, flip it, rub it down!
Kids, young and older, love balloons. Cut one room in half. Some people want to get all fancy schmancy and construct an actual indoor net, but I’m more of a minimalist. And if truth be told, I’m lazy. I will just turn the coffee table sideways in the opposite direction to serve as the “net.” Give each kid a paper plate to use as their “racquet.” Help the kids keep score as they release that pent up energy on that little ball of air. One benefit of balloon tennis is that big sibling can accidentally hit little sibling in the head with the “ball” and it’s no big deal. Game on!
Recycling Bin Sculptures
One of the awesome thing about kids is their ability to see possibility. The recycling bin is filled with good materials for imaginative construction. Let the kids go “dumpster diving” for a few of the cleaner recycled materials. Give them tape, scissors and some space and tell them to come up with a new tool or invention. This will eat up some time as they think about, plan and perfect their little invention. I had no idea how resourceful the recycling bin could be until my son jumped into ours, took out an old box and created Diesel 10’s claw. The downside is that it now takes up space and is on the verge of becoming a future hoarder, but there’s plenty of time to address that in therapy. Right now I’m just trying to survive a rainy day.
When all else fails, give the kids their bathing suit, an umbrella and let them go out and play in it! Kids are way too cool to worry about their hair frizzing up and are able to enjoy those moments that we’ve lost our affection for. Let them show you what it means to smile in the stormy weather.