No matter the season there will always be a few days where your children drive you stir crazy when they cannot get outside and play. Whether it is the snow, rain or intense heat, there will be days where the kids are forced to stay indoors and it will feel like their mission is to drive you crazy.
So what should you do? Be prepared for those foul weather days by planning ahead. Keep a few of these ideas handy the next time you’re at a local craft store or flea market.
A bucket of fun: The next time you are at a craft store see what fun items they have in the dollar bin or sale aisle. Look for things like clay, markers, paint, tie-dye, t-shirts, duct tape and paper. Store those in a large bin or bucket and don’t forget where you put these items. Pull them out on that crazy, rainy day and see the creativity jump out when they have free rein to create. Give them ideas like making a play, creating a fashion show, or design thank you cards that you can use all year long.
A box of dress-up items: Whenever I clean out my closet I always look for items that the kids can use for a rainy day. Scarves, skirts, shoes and jewelry are fun items that the kids can use to play dress up or to make costumes. We also save those unmatched socks to make pet toys or puppets.
Baking fun: For older children who are properly trained in the kitchen we always have flour, sugar, butter and eggs on hand so they can create cookies and cakes. Be prepared for a mess to clean up afterward, but it is so great to get your kids interested in cooking and baking. My 12-year-old daughter has taken a few free cooking classes at our local Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table stores, as well as a few hands-on lessons taught by a wonderful friend who is a great cook. Adult supervision required.
Puzzled: You can often find great puzzles at the flea market or party store. We always have a few on hand and my children particularly like the ones that have a mystery to solve (called the Alphabet Mystery Puzzles). We pull out our folding card table and set it up near our kitchen and the kids gravitate toward the table and work all day on solving the puzzle and mystery.
Clean up: At first it may not sound like a load of fun, but a couple of times a year when it’s gloomy outside, I get a few empty bags or boxes and ask my kids to go through their clothes and belongings and make three piles. One pile is items that are in good condition but no longer fit. A second pile are damaged, throw away items. The third pile are items they can still use but may have forgotten about (you’ll be surprised how a new items gets crammed in a pile and forgotten). My children always discover items they forgot about in the process of cleaning up and what started out as a chore becomes a fun project.
Photo Album: I always have a pile of photos in a drawer that I tell myself “I’ll make an album one day.” After purchasing a few scrapbooking supplies I now have the components necessary to make a great photo album for the next rainy day. I’m hoping it will rain soon!
What are your favorite tips and tricks for making the most of a rainy day?