These are so cool and fun! The perfect rainy day activity.
Weather wise, the past week has been pretty terrible where I live. It’s alternated between 100 degree heat/ 100% humidity and thunder storms. Needless to say, I haven’t been outside much, and neither have kids. That’s kind of a lame way to spend your summer vacation, but not to fear! Even if you are trapped inside due to rain or excessive heat, there are still plenty of awesome ideas out there for kids activities! Check out this post by Amber at My List of Lists for some fun rainy day crafts:
-Cotton ball cloud rain themed craft
-Elmer’s Glue fireworks
-Tissue paper pom poms
-Obstacle course activity with streamers
I love looking for craft ideas to try with my nephew on Pinterest. There are some really cool kid science experiments out there that I’m dying to try! Plus, most of them use ingredients you probably already have laying around the house, like water, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, etc. I also love activities that get him outside playing! Not that he needs much encouragement. He’s perfectly content to run around, kick his soccer ball, ride on his bike, and terrorize my dog, haha! But, I’m always looking for new ways to teach him about the world around him. That’s why I love this post of ~free~ summer activity ideas for toddlers, by Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom. Check it out:
I’m considered as a millenial. I grew up in that weird intersection of technological advancement; half of my childhood was spent outdoors, playing, swimming, and getting dirt all over me. The other half was spent watching TV, playing video games, texting on my phone, and exploring the internet. All in all, I did have a really great time growing up. And I do have some great memories that involved technology- playing Kingdom Hearts with my cousin until dawn, listening to music on my Ipod on the bus home sharing an earbud with a boy, making a Myspace with my best friend in high school, and meeting friends online that I still have today.
However, almost all my best childhood memories come from being outside: building outdoor forts, riding bikes, going camping, playing with my dog, catching fireflies, making smores, swimming in my best friend’s pool, heading to the playground, softball in the summer, running after the icecream truck, jumping off my cousin’s rope swing, making igloos and having snowball fights in the winter- I could go on. Now that smart phones and flat screens and high speed WIFI have taken over completely, lots of kids are not getting a lot of those same memories. If you are trying to limit your kids’ screen time and get them outside more, check out this awesome list of outdoor activities by Cerys at Rainy Day Mum:
-Roll down really big hills
-Go camping in the wild
-Make a mud pie
-Skip a stone in a lake
-Fly a kite
-Make a daisy/flower chain
-Visit a farm
-Go star gazing
-Plant a seed, grow a vegetable, and eat it
The “Quiet Mouse Game” is a complete lifesaver for any adult who is having to watch more than one (noisy) child. Whoever came up with it is a genius. I remember “playing” it at Girl Scout camp, on long car rides, or sometimes just with my sister and I. The adult says, “1, 2 ,3, quiet mouse!” and everyone has to be silent- whoever can keep quiet the longest wins the game. Kids have a blast playing it, and parents can get a few minutes of blessed silence. For more “quiet time” games that kids (and you) will love, read this post by Alison at Pint Sized Treasures:
-The Quiet Game- Starting this game is simple. An adult simply chooses which child is being quietest and makes him/her “It”. The child who is “It” then picks who they think is being the next quietest. Naturally, all children will want to be chosen, so everyone quiets down fast!
-Telephone- most people know how to play this, but don’t realize it can be used for quiet time! Since it takes whispering and concentration, kids are bound to simmer down for a few minutes.
-Download some educational apps for your kids to silently play with
-”Quiet Statues”- whoever is “It” whispers to the other players what kind of statue to make- ballerina, monkey, etc., then chooses the best silent statue to be the next “it”.
I am a huge proponent of letting kids get outside, play in the dirt, and make a mess. That’s what I did when I was a kid, and I had an awesome childhood. I’d make forts under trees, explored the woods around my grandparents’ house, and went to Girl Scout camp at least twice a year. One time when I was really young, my cousin and I had a contest to see who could get more dirt on them. I had a blast, plus playing in the dirt actually boosts your immune system! For more reasons why you should let your kids get messy, read this article by Rachel at A Mother Far From Home:
-Sensory satisfaction- Young kids need LOTS of sensory input. Playing with water, dirt, mud, and going swimming can entertain them for hours.
-It’s not permanent- throw them in the tub and wash their clothes- the stains are temporary, the memories are not.
-It’s better than screentime- always put outside time before screen time.