We have been experiencing an unrelenting period of grey skies and rain this summer. One of the girls at the coffee shop optimistically told me that August will be better. I hope so because it’s all we have left. We’ve been trying not to let it get to us and so far, in spite of the rainy summer, the kids and I have come up with a few activities to pass the days. Try one of these activities or let us know how you keep spirits high when the rain comes.
1. Plan a Treasure hunt
This requires a little advance prep, but it’s always a big hit with kids. Stash clues around the house (adjust difficulty based on kids’ ages; use picture cues for little ones, tricky puns for older children), directing kids to hunt for a hidden prize.
2. Put on a Show
Help the kids stage a play or talent show. Give them a theme or opening lines to get them started or pull out costumes to get everyone started.
3. Go to Video
Film the kids’ Play or talent show and put it on youtube. The kids will love it and it may go viral!
4. Bring the Outdoor Games inside
Play basketball with a soft foam or sponge ball, or just wad up some newspaper; the hoop can be any basket or receptacle (either hung on the wall or resting on the floor). Have kids shoot from different parts of the room or in different ways, in an indoor version of HORSE.
5. Play Balloon Ball
Blow up some balloons and play keep-away or “volleyball.” Or use paper fans to play table tennis: Use the fan to create gusts of air to blow your balloon across the table towards an opponent—get it past her to score a point.
6. Have a Snowball fight
Have an indoor “snowball” fight. Divide the kids into groups; give each one a stack of newspapers yell go and they have to wad up the sheets of newspaper into “snowballs” and throw them. Great fun! Last part is seeing who can gather the most balls into a trash bag!
7. Make an indoor gym
We put up a chin up bar in one of the boy’s rooms. Instead of the swearing jar, they give us ten pushups. The boys are getting stronger and they are doing pushups less frequently.
8. Build an Indoor Fort
Break out the couch cushions, blankets, hula hoops, and cardboard boxes and have the kids build a fort or an obstacle course. Provide plenty of quilts and pillows so the kids can have hours of fun.
9. Build a Bigger Indoor Fort
Go to the local appliance store and get large refrigerator and appliance boxes to make big connecting forts. The kids can have hours of fun running through them turning off the lights and using flashlights getting dad to play monster and even sleeping in them. You can also decorate them with paint or turn them into cars etc. Check your local library for “The Great Big Box Book” by Flo Ann Hedley Norvell.
10. Create a huge mural
Spread out a big sheet of paper (in the garage or basement if you can!) and try different ways to paint, from spattering to footprints to rolling old balls in paint and then on paper.
11. Lay out a Puzzle
Puzzles are contagious. Just start one on the table and they won’t be able to keep away from it!
12. Encourage Good works
Make a treat or meal for someone going through a hard time. Bake cookies and invite a neighbor over to help eat them. Make & send a card to someone who needs encouragement. Bake some goodies to take to your community’s firemen or policemen & attach a card thanking them for keeping us safe
13. Take a field trip
Hit an indoor pool, ice skating or roller rink, climbing wall, bowling alley, or inflatibles play space to blow off steam.
14. If all else fails, get wet anyway!
Suit up with boots, raincoats, and warm socks and get outside—you won’t melt. Splash in the puddles. Belt out “Singin’ in the Rain” while you twirl your umbrella.