Clean up is fun...especially with this...

Rainy Day Activities

by: Diane Flynn Keith

What to do with the little ones when you're stuck inside? Here are some ideas...

Go On A Scavenger Hunt!
Hide some stuff around the house and challenge your kids to find the items. Reinforce color, number, and shape sorting skills by asking them to find:

  1. square blue toy
  2. red socks
  3. yellow bananas
  4. round silver quarters
  5. white pieces of paper


Another variation? Invite the kids to go on a "Number Hunt." You will need a deck of number flash cards or regular playing cards -- or you can make your own number cards with markers or stickers and index cards.

Review the cards with your child and make sure they can identify the number on each card. If they only know their numbers from 1-5, then just play with the cards that have those numbers on them. Now, ask them to leave the room, and hide the cards around the room -- don't make them too hard to find. Challenge your child to find 3, 5, 2, etc.

Make An Indoor Sandbox! Take a cardboard box, or deep roasting pan, or a plastic storage container and fill it with inexpensive cereal like oatmeal or puffed wheat. You can also use cornmeal or rice. Let the kids use measuring cups, spoons, and small toys to play in the "sand." Throw the cereal away when the children are through playing.

Cook! Children love to cook. Remember those nutritious snack ideas that were posted to this list previously? Search the archives and make some of those treats with your kids when the weather keeps you indoors.

Declare a Blue Sky Day! The skies are cloudy and gray? Declare a Blue Sky Day and challenge your little ones to find pictures of blue sky and sunshine in books and magazines. How many can they find? Keep track by tallying what they find on a piece of paper or a chalk board.

Go to the Bathtub Beach! Put on your swimsuits, sunglasses, and a little sunscreen and head to your bathroom. Imagine the bathtub is a swimming pool, lake or ocean. Bring some water toys to play with in the bathtub. Set a beach towel or two on the bathroom floor and let the kids dry off under the bathroom lights. (Constant adult supervision required.)

Go Indoor Camping! Use sheets or blankets draped over furniture to make a tent. Put your sleeping bag inside the tent. Get flashlights and use them in the tent to read books or tell stories. Make S'mores for a treat -- here's a recipe for making them in the oven:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler and melt over hot, not boiling water and stir until smooth and blended. Remove from heat.

Spread chocolate mixture evenly over half of the graham cracker halves. Place the remaining graham cracker halves on an ungreased baking sheet and top each with a marshmallow. Bake for 5-7 minutes until marshmallows begin to soften and melt. Remove from the oven and press the chocolate-frosted side of the other graham cracker halves on top.

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Have a Teddy Bear's Picnic! Spread a blanket on the floor, pack a picnic basket lunch, and invite your stuffed animal bears to enjoy the picnic with you. Learn The Teddy Bear's Picnic song. You can print out the lyrics and listen to the tune.

Go For A Rainy Day Walk! Put on your rain coat, hat, and boots, get your umbrella, and go for a walk. Stomp in puddles (my kids adored doing this!) and search for wet weather critters like worms, slugs, salamanders, and snails. When you get home the kids will need a change of clothes. Put their clean clothes in the dryer for a couple of minutes. Remove them from the drier and have the kids put their warm, toasty clothes on.

Have fun on Rainy Days with your little ones!