Being stuck inside on a rainy day can be a challenge for everyone, kids and grown-ups alike. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that it will happen and, as Murphy’s Law would have a say in all things, it will probably happen on a day when you have something amazing planned that everyone was looking forward to doing. Well, not to worry. You can be ready to create your own fun indoors by putting together and storing some supplies that will make chase away those rainy day blues.
To make your own mini-golf course, gather together a variety of objects such as building blocks, plush animals, plastic and paper containers, books, food cans, just about anything that won’t get broken if a ball happens to hit it. You can either clear an area to create holes or include furniture as part of the challenge, and let your imagination go wild. Big plastic drink cups or lids turned upside-down from juice containers make great holes. You can either purchase light-weight plastic clubs or make your own securing an empty toilet paper roll to the end of empty wrapping paper tubes or taped together empty paper towel tubes. Add some plastic wiffle balls (or styrofoam) and you are ready for action.
If you have laundry, and who doesn’t, this activity can be loads of laundry fun and may even turn into a good habit on laundry day, itself! Pull out the laundry hamper or basket, dump out the dirty clothes, establish your shooting line, and you’re off! You can create all kinds of variations, too, by adding baskets for specific kinds of laundry (points taken off it the white undies land in the color basket), shooting H-O-R-S-E by challenging opponents to shooting from different locations, even adding obstacles, like a hula hoop, card table or around the corner. If you move your basket through the house, you can always make the last shot be one right into the washer. Kids shoot! Mom scores.
What can be more fun than creating your own paper airplanes? Racing your own paper airplanes. All you really need is 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper and those print-outs you did you no longer need are perfect! Colored paper works well and you may want to try magazine pages, too.Everyone can decorate their planes as they would like, too, the more the merrier. Next, set up your race course and give everyone the chance to try out their planes. You can make it long or short, create categories for different “events” like flying the highest or the coolest trick. If you make a variety of different kinds of folded or crafted planes, you can experiment to see what style of plane does what best.
Cooking with kids can be a lot of fun, but why not go the distance on a drizzly day? Get everyone into the act by starting things off with baking some cookies. There are lots of great kid-friendly recipes, so maybe even try a couple of new kinds or try to mimic some of your favorites from off-the-shelf. While the cookies are baking, pull out the picnic basket and ask everyone to gather some goodies like fruit, vegetable sticks and dip, and pretzels. Check the cookies, cool that batch, get another in the oven, and get those sandwiches ready, then let the gang cut them into funny shapes with cookie-cutters. Fill up the basket, top off with the cookies, beverages of choice, and don’t get the blanket. Now hunt around the house for your perfect picnic spot. Lay out the blanket, put on a family-favorite movie or music, and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables and cookies) of you labor.
Puzzle are a great way to get everyone playing and working together and there are a variety of ways to do this. For younger children, tracing household objects onto heavy paper and having them hunt to find them is a great activity. You can make ahead of time or as an activity for everyone, craft stick puzzles. These can be done as simply or complex as you would like. Using photos, magazine pictures, or drawings with and easy design over 5 to 6 crafts sticks is great for little ones. Add more sticks, work off-center, use more complicated imagery for older kids. You can even make your own photo puzzles. Ramp the fun up with any of these puzzles by hiding the pieces. You can offer clues to locations, let them know they are cold, warm or hot, or let them look on their own. Add a timer to it and it becomes a fun group or individual challenge.
There’s no need to have rainy day blues when you already have some good activities to everyone in your toolkit. You may find, too, that with this much fun happening indoors, when the rain stops, you may have to find some even better stuff to do outside!