As a parent, you know how much it matters to take good care of your child and create fun memories. When your child wants to play, you can take him or her outside to the park or playground to satisfy his or her itch for adventure.
But what about those rainy, gloomy days? Living in Northwest Washington can pose a challenge to parents, as many days of the year are too wet and cold to take kids outside. You can easily get discouraged when you can’t think of creative ways to spend time with your child indoors.
When those days come, show your child just how much fun he or she can have inside the house. Here are seven helpful ideas to convert rainy day blues into magnificent home-centered fun. These tips can also help your young one feel comfortable and even inspired rather than anxious if a storm occurs during daycare.
1. Build a Fort
Children love to create. One exciting way to help them channel their creativity is to build a fort inside your home. Remember the times you built forts when you were a child? The construction process has largely remained the same—find blankets, quilts, or other fabrics to place over chairs, tables, or boxes.
Partition the fort into multiple rooms or create one giant room. Add light, decorations, and toys to make it a complete experience. If your child grows tired of one set-up, take it all down and create a different fort model.
2. Craft a Rain Stick
Does your child love the sound of the raindrops bouncing around on your rooftop? Bring that sound into your home by making a rain stick. Simply take a cardboard paper towel tube, cover the edges, throw in dry beans or rice, and decorate the exterior with all kinds of colors, textures, and designs.
Your child will love the crafting process and will have fun shaking the rain stick around to mimic the sound of rain. If you’d like, keep the arts and crafts items out to work on other fun projects afterwards.
3. Play Card Games
Introduce your child to some logical thinking and decision-making with a game of cards. Most young children love playing games like Go Fish, Old Maid, War, and memory-matching games. In addition to having a blast, you’ll teach your child skills like counting, strategy, memory, and playing fairly.
Once you’ve finished playing, feel free to try stacking the cards to build a card tower. The process may prove difficult, but the laughs should come freely.
4. Discover New Books
If you’ve read through all your child’s books with him or her, don’t hesitate to go out and find more. Take a drive down to the bookstore or library to discover all kinds of stories that will ignite your child’s imagination.
Gather a handful and bring them back home to cozy up by the fireplace and start your new literary adventure together. The possibilities are nearly endless—read about dinosaurs, castles, wildlife, planets, historical figures, monsters, princesses, and so much more.
5. Become Chefs in the Kitchen
Cooking food may be an activity that you reserve for dinner time. But why not team up with your child to create edible masterpieces? Teach your young one how to bake cookies or brownies, split up the workload, and then watch his or her eyes beam with delight as you take a fresh batch out of the oven.
You can also let your creativity flow by designing edible rainbows with brightly colored fruits or vegetables. When you finish, compare your rainbows with any the rainstorm created, and eat yours up.
6. Go on a Treasure Hunt
Don’t limit the treasure hunting to Easter. Take turns hiding toys or other pieces of treasure from each other and then finding them. Bring the pirate adventures you’ve read about to life—dress up and pretend you’re real pirates hunting for real treasure. Your child will love the sense of adventure. Add a time limit or play music to make the hunt even more interesting.
7. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Don’t think that a day indoors should limit yours and your child’s physical activity. Implement a mini regimen to keep your bodies healthy and happy. Find a comfy mat or blanket to exercise on and try simple maneuvers like jumping jacks, squats, or leg stretches.
Feel free to take a break between your work-out sessions to chomp on some healthy snacks like pretzels or orange slices. Remember that regular exercise with your child can establish healthy patterns for him or her later on in life.
In the end, rainy days actually open doors to exciting and cozy opportunities—they don’t just shut down all the fun. Implement the ideas above the next time you and your child face a rainy day at home and want to keep the excitement alive.