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Pretend play ideas for rainy days

10 pretend play ideas for rainy days

FAM, kids By March 12, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

Recently, we have been feeling so much pressure to register, to organize play dates, to structure.  What about spontaneity?  Learning through play?  We have been soliciting ideas for fun, learning-enhancing activities that can be done with little or no cost.  Allison McDonald, of No Time For Flash Cards, says: “Pretend play offers young children a chance to practice skills within their own frame work and rules , so let them set the boundaries, make suggestions if they need it but follow them, not the other way around.”

Pretend play ideas for rainy days:

1. Grocery store.  Empty your recycling box, and set up a grocery store with the kids.  A cardboard box or stroller could become a grocery cart, and pennies in a ‘cash register’ and ‘wallet’ are a nice touch.  You could even get more complicated with receipts and price stickers to do some math work.  At many ages you can use this as a tool to learn counting, money management, and creativity.  If we want to bake a cake, what do we need?
2. Hide the toys.  Make a scavenger hunt with favourite toys. (like an Easter egg hunt anytime of the year!)
3. Allison from Stylekid makes playdoh (see our great recipes) from scratch and puts it into glass jars with recipe tags for birthday party giveaways.
4. Sue from Raspberry Kids plays Clues.  She draws up paper “clues” of objects around her house and then turns off the lights.  The kids have their flashlights (ecotronic ones from Raspberry Kids of course!) and she gives them their first clue.  They figure out what the image is and then they go to it to find their next clue.  At the end the kids get a ‘You Win’ drawing with a happy face and we will give them a small treat.
5. Coffee grind Sensory Table, from www.notimeforflashcards.com Gather your materials. Allison saved up 3 days worth of used coffee grinds. You will also need a tub, some coffee scoops (anything will do) and some mugs. Explore! There is no wrong way to do this. Her son did a lot of filling and dumping to start with.  After the sensory exploration you can feed your garden with the coffee grinds.
6. Use alphabet flash cards, and pick a different one every day.  You must do something that starts with the letter.  ‘P’ could be highlighted for an activity like Picking blackberries, or Playing the Piano.
7. Play coffee shop.  Kitchen mugs, pretend sugar, cappuccino foam, and flavours, an apron and a menu.
8. Grab a Nature Bag and get outside.
9. Plant a salad garden.  Lettuce is fast and easy to grow, then invite some other kids over to pick it and do a big salad bar.
10.  Movie theatre.  Have you played soccer all day and just need to sit down?  Why not turn family movie night into a game.  Have the usher seat you (with a flashlight of course), have a server bring popcorn, or go to the snack bar during an intermission.

There are lots of cool ways to spend your time at home.  For free.  No registration required.

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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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rainy day games

Kids activities and games for rainy days

LIVE, play By October 12, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Have you noticed muddy foot prints tracking across your clean kitchen floor? Have your children started running in circles and whining incessantly? There is no denying that it is time to turn on your furnace and dig into your arsenal of Rainy Day Games to get through the next 6 months. Luckily, we have taken the liberty of compiling some games to help you and your kids combat the rainy day blues. Grab your hot chocolate and check them out below.

  • Create your own Memory Cards. Get 24 duplicates printed of your favorite friends and family members. Mount them on that scrapbook paper that has been accumulating dust in your closet. Presto! Instant game. Try out the traditional memory game or maybe introduce you child to the concept of their family tree. Write the names on the cards to encourage word recognition. Your child will delight in seeing all of the familiar faces and might just forget that they aren’t allowed to play outside on the swing set.
  • Try battling it out with classic board games such as Battleship or Checkers. Just for fun games like Hungry Hippos and Ker-PLunk are sure to entertain. Or dive into the silly world of more current favorites, Cranium or Apples to Apples. Your kids won’t even realize they are learning valuable concepts like cause and effect. Check out Discovery Toys for more age appropriate educational and fun games.
  • Make your own bean bags with old towels sewn into pockets and filled with beans or rice. Tape out a grid on your floor with painters tape and Voila! you have yourself a interactive game of Tic Tac Toe. Take those same beanbags and creating a tossing game that will kill at least 15 minutes and build hand eye co-ordination at the same time.
  • Push that antique coffee table to the side to play a game of Simon Says, Follow the Leader or Leap Frog. Give your children space and permission to be rambunctious and loud indoors. It will allow them to burn off some energy and sleep soundly at night. So put your breakables aside, turn up the music and thank me at bedtime.
  • Grab your leopard rain boots and get some fresh air. A little rain never hurt anyone. Arm yourselves with some umbrellas and splash pants to have a puddle jumping contest or make some mud pies. Your kids will enjoy getting dirty and it is nothing the washing machine can’t handle.

Being held captive by a rainstorm doesn’t have to be a negative. Build a blanket fort or choose to play some games. Get Creative, have some fun and build memories with your children one downpour at a time.

– Stephanie Raposo likes to sing and dance in the rain.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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