As children, we have all heard that April showers bring May flowers. It’s such a lovely concept to thing about after a long, cold winter – we welcome the rain and flowers of spring! However, now that we’re adults with children, we must keep them busy indoors during these rainy days. It can be exhausting trying to think of new ideas to keep our children entertained when we cannot send them outdoors to play. Let’s look at 5 simple, fun indoor activities to help both you and your children pass the time while we wait for the rain to bring us our flowers.
1) A super easy & fun activity for children of all ages is building sculptures with toothpicks and marshmallows. You can also use cheese, grapes, or other food if you don’t have marshmallows. Play dough, soap, or Styrofoam would also work as building material. There are many things you can do with this activity including printing out shapes (2D or 3D) for your children to copy. They could create letters to build their name. You could also encourage them to create a town, becoming little engineers figuring out how to create a building that won’t topple over. They could participate in a contest to see how large of bridge or pyramid they can make. Of course, the major prize here would be eating your creation!
2) This activity is something I have been wanting to do with my son for awhile! Building a masking tape town on a hardwood or tile floor would keep your children busy for hours! First, they would need to design their town. This may take a little grownup help getting started, depending on the age of your children. Then, they can decorate their town with construction paper buildings, ponds, parks, houses, trees, and more! Finally, it’s time to pull out the toy cars, Legos, trains, blocks, and small stuffed animals. Two recommendations: 1) Use an area of your home where the kids won’t disturb the usual flow of traffic and can enjoy uninterrupted play time, and 2) Use painter’s tape instead of masking tape, since masking tape tends to leave more residue when you remove it later.
3) One of my own favorite hobbies is knitting. When I came across this great idea to teach your children how to do finger knitting, I thought it would make a great rainy day activity! I recently attended a class by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and she was explaining that you can teach your child to knit when they are old enough to show interest in learning to read and can write their own name. That is quite impressive! If you are a knitter and your children are old enough, then skip the finger knitting and start teaching them how to knit their very own scarf, washcloth, or even a purse. There are may resources online to help you teach your child to knit, but remember to be patient and take breaks. You want them to love it as much as you do, so be sure to encourage them and praise their work!
4) How better to celebrate the rain than with a rain cloud activity? The rain cloud activity may take a little preparation on your part, but your children will love to create their own cloud and raindrops. You can help them find just the right window to hang it in. Contact paper is a great indoor craft for kids – you can stick just about anything to it so your kids can make all kinds of beautiful crafts they will be proud to share.
5) This last indoor game is extremely flexible! Create a treasure hunt where your children must look for clues to find a prize! They can pretend they are pirates searching for gold on a deserted island and dress up to play the part! You can make this as simple or tricky as you like – use post it notes or print out special treasure map paper. Take the time to make your clues rhyme! Enjoy helping them and watching them be delighted when they solve the clues. Celebrate with a favorite treat: whether it is food or toys, your children will be excited to find “X marks the spot!”