Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rainy Day Activities for the Kids

Or in California right now, "It's dark at 5pm and we need 3-4 hours of nightly entertainment."

I wish it would rain.  Like really bad.

Until then, it does get dark early and my active boys need something to do once they have to come in so they are not sitting around playing video games and fighting with each other the rest of the night.  Here are some great ideas for keeping the kiddos entertained when they cannot go outside and play.

1.  Lego Building Contest.

Set a theme: robots, an upcoming holiday, animals, food, etc. and set them to work trying to create something different.

The boys built a Lego Robot with moving arms

2.  Indoor Mini Golf

Grab some cardboard boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, construction paper, markers, and other items to create an indoor course like Lori at Reading Confetti created.

3.  Indoor Forts and movie night

Movies are easy, but kids love building forts!  I remember building massive forts with my sister when we were younger and now my boys enjoy this activity.  They cuddle up inside and watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn nearby.

4.  Baking

We always have cake or brownie mix in the cupboard and the kids love helping.  Actually, the boys are getting big enough to do most of the work themselves.  Just make sure to monitor any activity around the stove or oven.

5.  Indoor Obstacle Course

Create a maze for your kids:
 - "Balance Beam" walk across a jump rope, 2x4 (if you have one laying around the garage), or a folded up        blanket
- 2 somersaults
-weave around pillows or stuffed animals
- crawl under some chairs
- ring toss
- crawl over several stools or ottoman's
- toss a beanbag into a pot
- eat a bowl of pudding
- ten jumping jacks

6. Science Project

Do a simple project with your kids.  Make a volcano or ice crystals.  I really like the idea of making the sugar crystal candies.

7. Have you kids teach YOU something

That's right.  You know those Rainbow Looms that every kids has now?  I'm guessing your kid is already an expert.  Have them teach you how to make a bracelet.  If you need ideas, there are tons of tutorials on YouTube.  If there is something else you kid knows how to do, but you don't - ask them to show you how to do it.  My son is a whiz with duct tape and knows how to play chess; two skills I do not possess.

8.  Pamper Party

If you have girls, give each other mani-pedi's.  If you have boys, you can still do face masks.  Here is a recipe with ingredients you probably have on hand.  Even boys would get a kick out of how silly you all look.  

9.  Dance Party:

YouTube has plenty of tutorials to learn the latest dance moves.  Put one on and everyone can learn and laugh while doing it.  Just avoid the twerking...

10.  Play a game

Whether you break out the board games or create your own, this will surely keep your kids busy.  One I love, but is a little messy while it is happening is "Clean up your yard."  Grab an old newspaper and make a bunch of paper balls by crumpling up the pages.  Use masking tape to divide a room in half and split the paper balls between the two sides.  Set a timer and each team tries to clean up their side by tossing the paper on to the other side as fast as they can.  Whichever team has the least amount of trash on their side at the buzzer, wins!  

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