First off, we are a TV watching family. It’s not something I’m very proud of but I’ve more or less made my peace with it. I grew up on a lot of TV and I try to do my best to not sit my kids in front of it but sometimes things just have to get done around here and that’s really one of the only ways it can happen. I know a lot of judgy moms will get worked up reading that but I don’t care (you know life being short and all)! I make sure my kids don’t watch “inappropriate” things and try my best to (sometimes) make it educational. Also I try to engage with them about what they’re watching whenever possible so it’s not just this static, brainless thing they are doing (even though I love me some brainless entertainment!). Rainy days when we’re stuck in the house are the extra hard days to keep the kids busy. Usually on rainy days I pretty much forgo any chores that we can go without for the day so that I can whip out the more messy activities and focus on just being with the kids. Being that I was a preschool teacher in another life I usually have a good handful of ideas at the ready. Here are just 10 to get you going!
Repurposing Puff Containers for Bowling
I keep almost everything -it’s actually a bit of a problem, but anyways…starting back when my 4 yr. old was younger and obsessed with puffs, I would save the containers and turn them into games for her. You just have to line them up and grab a nice soft ball to use as the bowling bowl and knock them down! You can keep them empty for the younger kids and for the older ones you can put some sand or rice in them so they are a little harder to knock down. Also, you can cut pictures from magazines or draw your own and tape them on to the containers to tie into a theme or even for a party you can put in small prizes and reward them for whichever they knock down. There are endless possibilities with these.
Crepe Paper Maze
Especially good if you have a hallway or some narrow space. You just get some crepe paper streamers from the dollar store and just tape them in a hallway at various heights and have your kids try to crawl through/over the streamers without breaking or ripping through.
Good for fine motor skills (strengthening hands) and fun by rolling up the putty and using as a rubber ball or great when making newspaper prints.
All you need for this “goop” is cornstarch and water. You can start with some water in whichever container or bowl you have and add the cornstarch until you get a gooey consistency. It should feel like a solid when trying to pick it up and a liquid when it is in your hands-very cool and you can add food coloring and add some color mixing fun to it. Also, science! And if it takes you long to clean up (like me) or the ooblek ends up getting on the floor, couch, and carpet then just wait till it dries and just vacuum or sweep it up!
Adding household items to this can make this activity feel special-using real spoons, bowls cookie cutters for example.
Paper Plate Skating
All you need are a few paper plates and the kids just have to step on them and push their feet and “skate” around.
Playing with Packing Peanuts
Make snow angels or have a snow fight and when you’re done you can “melt” them in water-mega points for being eco-friendly!
Make your own books
Using a piece of construction paper for the cover and pieces of loose-leaf or white construction paper for the inside where they will draw/write-can staple or tape together-your kids will treasure these homemade books!
Also found at the dollar store, you can find character cards and just play a good old fashion matching game or Go Fish.
Depending on the age of your kids will determine what kind of games you may play. Two of our favorites are Candyland and Trouble- really any that can help teach taking turns and good sportsmanship are awesome.
I hope some of these can help you when you’re panicked and trapped in the house all day! Even with all these suggestions it’s still pretty rough going at my house so good luck!
About the Blogger: The Hit or Miss Homemaker
“Hello! I’m a 30 something stay at home wife and mother of two amazing (most of the time) kids! We recently made the move to North Carolina and are slowly exploring what this state has to offer. I’m an aspiring DIYer, organic/green enthusiast, and lover of all things mason jars.”
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