Monday, April 25, 2011

10 Rainy Day Activities

It's raining - again. What can I say, I live in Seattle. It's always raining here this time of year, and thus far we are having the coldest April on record. So, what do you do the keep the kids - and yourself for that matter - busy when you can't get out?

Here are my top 10 favorite ideas.

1. Make a fort. The kids and I used to do this all of the time when they were little. All it takes is chairs, tables, couches, pillows and LOTS of blankets. Free and Fun - my favorite combination. The kids can stay busy for hours doing this: making and playing in their personally designed fort.

2. Movie day. Make it an event. Stay in your pj's if that is fun for you. Pick one or two movies that everyone would like to watch. Pop some popcorn, get some lunch snacks and camp out in front of the TV for a couple of hours. I don't usually condone watching that much TV, so when we would do it occasionally, it really was a special treat. There have been a few times where we have had movie banaza's. "Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter" or "X-Men" days where we will spend the day watching all of the movies in order.

3. Picnic in the living room. Been a while since you could go on a picnic? Have one in the living room. Prepare all of your favorite picnic foods - ours are hoagie sandwiches, 7 layer bean dip, corn chips, strawberries and chocolate chip cookies. Lay a blanket out in the middle of the living room floor and have a picnic inside.

4. Balloon sports. Balloon volleyball and soccer are our favorites. Clear the living room or rec room (whichever one is bigger) and have a sports tournament indoors. Use a big balloon instead of a ball and all of your possessions will be safe. Just watch out for flying bodies ;o)

5. Roast marshmallows or hot dogs. Over the fireplace that is. It brings the best part of camping into the house.

6. Game day. I love games! Card games, board games, even a few video games. Let each person pick their favorite game and rotate through them all.

7. Paper airplane competition. When I was about 5 my dad taught me how to make a paper airplane. It's a pretty good contraption that has won it's fair share of competitions. I do love to come up with new designs though, and there are a lot of ideas online. Grab a stack of paper, scissors, tape, markers or crayons, stickers and Google and have at it. Make a few paper airplanes each and then let the competition begin. You can judge on:

The plane that flies the furthest
The coolest looking design
The funnest decorated
The one that flies the shortest and duds out... get the idea

8. Decorate a cake. I'm not talking about getting the Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting out: get out the cookbook, break into the flour and sugar, and bake a cake from scratch. Have a baking lesson with the kids and make a cake, make frosting and frost the cake and then get creative and decorate it. There are some really fun and cleaver things you can do with cakes and cupcakes.

9. Color. Okay, this is my inner child coming out. I love to color, always have. Start a fire in the fireplace, gather up crayons and color books (or print out some great stuff online to color) and camp out coloring and chatting. It really is a fun and relaxing way to spend an hour or so, and we almost always have a great conversation.

10. Read a book together. My kids have always loved me reading to them. Even as they got older, and the last Harry Potter book came out, they wanted me to read it to them. "It's tradition mom! You have read all of them to us up to this point, it wouldn't be the same if you didn't read it to us". So, there I sat, with my 18 and 15 year old reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Pick a good book, one that is not too long and overwhelming, and read it together. Mom/dad can either do all of the reading, or you can take turns with each chapter. However you want to do it, it's an awesome way to pass a couple of hours.

Just because it's raining outside doesn't mean you can't have a great time. As a matter of fact, sometimes the rain makes it better because it forces you to be stuck in the same little space together. Be creative and have a great day.

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