Rain, Rain Go Away

Well, it hasn’t exactly been unseasonably warm lately. If fact, it feels like the opposite with cold temperatures, wind, rain and cloudy skies. If your children are staring out the window feeling restless and wondering what to do, here are some great indoor ideas to do as a family.

GLOW BALLOONS! Insert a glow bracelets (that have been activated) into a balloon, and blow up the balloon. Play hide and seek or throw an epic dance party!

CREATE WORKS OF ART using acrylic paint and sliced vegetables or fruit. Use the time to discuss colors, shapes and patterns. Suitable for framing.

POLYMER CLAY. This may require some preplanning, but your child can mold and paint a clay pot using polymer clay. Once the clay pot is ready, consider planting an herb, flower, or plant and watch it grow.

LEGO JARS. If you are like me, you have a few thousand Legos that can be found around the house. Have your child paint recycled baby food jars to create Lego storage containers. This can teach your child about sorting and the importance of having toys picked up.

MILK IT! Create wall art using milk, dish soap, food coloring and watercolor paper. For full instructions visit: http://sayyes.com/2014/09/after-school-kids-crafts-how-to-make-milk-art.html

DRESS UP! Help your children relive your youth by playing dress up. Bring the old prom or wedding gowns and tuxes and let your children host a fashion show. Kids can also use past Halloween costumes.

INDOOR TREASURE HUNT: Create clues that lead to a nice surprise or create a list of hard to find items in your house. Prizes could include a small toy or IOU for a movie date or sweet treat.

SPLISH and SPLASH in homemade bubble bath. Here is the recipe: In a clean container, mix together 1/2 cup mild liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 egg white. Pour the entire mixture under the running water as you draw a bath. Let kids host an indoor scuba party.

PAJAMA PARTY. If you are staying in, have your family put on those comfy clothes, gather on the couch for a family movie or read a book together for some great bonding time.

BAKE some cookies or brownies using your most favorite recipe. Be sure to teach kids about the importance of measuring (and math) and following instructions. Consider making a large batch of treats that you can share with local nursing homes, police departments or services agencies.

MAP OUT A CITY on Paper Roll a long piece of butcher paper down a hallway, use painter’s tape (or heavy books) to secure the corners and edges, and let your kids draw a metropolis. Make roads, bridges, cul de sacs, and neighborhoods. Include lakes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, shops, and restaurants. Or use Legos and blocks to construct buildings along the way. Kids can drive toy cars along the roads and make believe a day in the life of imaginary characters. Let their imaginations run wild! www.realsimple.com

SINK OR FLOAT? Fill up a sink or bathtub with water. Add a little food coloring just for fun. Then locate items around the home (toys, gadgets, and more) and have children guess if it will sink or float.

Rainy days don’t have to be filled with boredom. Take time to have fun, giggle, snuggle and enjoy the simple things along the way. You will be amazed at what these activities can do for your children.

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Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.