Wednesday, September 5, 2012

8 Ways to Enjoy Rainy Days

We have had very rainy, stormy weather here for the past two days. Generally, we try to get outside even on rainy days to splash in puddles, dig in the mud, and check out animals after the storm. With thunder and lightning though, we've been forced to stay pretty much inside.

From our kitchen window, we watched the storm clouds roll in and counted the seconds between flashes of lightning and booms of thunder. We read the Electric Storm (Magic School Bus Chapter Books, No. 14)and watched the Kicks Up a Storm episode on YouTube. Then after the rain let up some, we spied out the window at a beautiful black and blue butterfly drinking water from the puddles on our glass patio table (the bugger was gone by the time I grabbed my camera though).

We did get out yesterday evening for my 8-year old's first flag football scrimmage of the season. Unfortunately, after just 30 minutes of play, the scrimmage was called for more awful weather. By the time we made it to our car, we were drenched and freezing. So once we got home, the boys jumped into a bath to warm up before bed. I brought out some water color paints for my littlest to explore hoping that he would get out some of his energies there after a day all cooped up inside.

He loved painting in the bathtub! Scrubbing the watercolors off the walls with a sponge was just as fun as painting there in the first place.

With more rain forecast through the end of the week, I'll need to be creative to keep these active boys entertained and hopefully get outside each day. We have a few favorite rainy day activities that I'm sure we'll pull out before the end of the week:
  1. Watch the weather: we enjoy watching the skies change from our garage or screened in porch. When heavy rain or dangerous storms prohibit sitting outside, we'll watch from our kitchen window.
  2. Animal scavenger hunt: certain animals seem to come out shortly after each rainfall. We love to collect earth worms and deposit them back in the garden. We've also enjoyed seeing frogs, birds, and butterflies enjoying a bath or a drink from the rain's puddles.
  3. Singing in the rain: with rain boots and umbrellas, it's fun to just get out, run around, and make some noise in a light rain.
  4. Play in the mud: whether it's digging or stomping in the mud, it's fun to get outside after the rain and make a bit of a mess.
  5. Make art: if we can get outside, the wet driveway makes a beautiful canvas for vibrant chalk drawings. When we're stuck inside, crafts are a great way to keep little hands occupied and energies contained.
  6. Movement games: inside the house or out in the garage, we can roll a ball, bat a balloon back and forth, or play organized games like Simon Says.
  7. Bake something: there's something about dreary weather and comfort food. Banana bread in the oven warms the house and the soul.
  8. Build blanket forts: a few spare sheets and lots of chairs will occupy my little guys for hours. Building forts is great for encouraging problem solving and team work. Once the fort is built, they can read, do puzzles, and play board games in there until the sun comes out.

What are your family's favorite rainy day activities?

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