Friday, July 9, 2010

What to do on rainy days

School holidays and once again it's raining! Not sure how it is that every year during the July school holidays it rains. Not just for a day or two, but it seems like for the full 14 days! Now if I was in Vancouver or Seattle, I'd get it. It probably wouldn't even phase me, being so used to the rain. But we're living in sunny Australia right now and I've forgotten how to be a duck. Especially a duck with ducklings.
However, as my move back to the rainy wet coast is nearing, I am desperately trying to remind myself that in fact rain is good and there's so much to do on rainy days!!

Here's my list:

1. Splish-Splash. Put on those rubber boots & rain jackets and go hopping in puddles. Some of the best walks Little Mr. Man and I have had have been in the rain!

2. Go the the museum or art gallery: Not an original idea, so try and choose one that isn't as popular as the others. Might not have all the bells and whistles as the regular haunts, but on the plus side it won't be as busy and it'll be something new!

3. Read. I used to love curling up on the couch with a good book and waste away the hours of rainy days. Not so easy to little ones under 3, but it's a great opportunity to instill in your love of books in your little ones.

4. Enjoy the theatre. Not the real theatre, but a puppet theatre at home. Depending on the age of the kids, rainy days are great to make puppets and then put on puppet shows. If kids are too little, then just the puppet shows are great fun!

5. Go to the library. Tired of your own books? Pop into your neighbourhood library. Some even have readings and most have great kids sections. A great place to spend an hour and not spend any money!

6. Speaking of spending money - I have to add the mall to my list. Depending on your willpower, you can even get away without spending any money. This outing is great with toddlers that are learning to walk. There's usually a quiet spot in the mall, you know, the floor with the really expensive shops or the gov't agencies, go there and let the little one free! We used to take Little Mr. Man to the zoo when he started walking, but his time around it's been much too wet to take Little Miss there, so the mall's been a saving grace. Bonus are the malls that have play centres/structures and stores with Thomas the Tank Engine tables! Pet stores are another great place to hang out around.

7. Bake. Baking is a great way to spend rainy days. It warms up the house and make it smell great! Plus you get to eat the results of your hard work. Win-win!

8. Let your children dictate activities. So often when the weather is good and all the regular activities are on, the schedule gets filled up very quickly and there's little time to just hang out at home letting the little ones do what THEY want to do. It's amazing what sorts of games they come up with and they can amuse themselves without your help. It's also amazing what they can teach you!

9. Go online. There's a world of really great things online...for your kids!! Sesame Street is a great place to start. Everything is searchable to character or theme and they have great games to teach your little one about using a computer. Here are some of my other favorite kid sites:
Story Cove - Stories from around the world
How the Body Works - Great little video clips about how different parts of the body work. Definitely for older kids, but my 3 year old loved it! Could be because he got to see where pee and poo comes from!!
Knee Bouncers - great for the little ones.
Fisher-Price - after all that money you spend on their toys, it's nice to get something for 'free' on their website!
Most brands like Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, etc have websites as well that usually have games for kids.

10. Pick up one of those 365 free things to do with your toddler/pre-schooler, etc. I have a few of these books kicking around the house and for most of the year I forget about them, but when the rains start, I live by them. A super quick resource for all kinds of things to do, from making goop & playdough to making forts with your kids. Your house will be a disaster after this, but isn't there a saying about a messy house, means a happy house?! And cleaning up should always be a part of the activity. Many hands make light work!!

Please dear reader, add to my list!

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