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. Pretend play offers young children a chance to practice skills within their own frame work and rules, letting them set the boundaries. You can always make suggestions if they need it but follow them, not the other way around.
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.