I don’t know how the weather is where all you lovely readers are but it certainly has been wacky where I live! Even though it's January, we’ve had some unseasonably warm days, thunderstorms, snowfall - even a tornado watch! With the weather being so unpredictable, that means we are spending a lot of time inside - and consequently, I sometimes end up having to think outside the box to keep my kids entertained or to help them run off some of that excess energy. Here are some ideas of things you can do with your kids when the weather isn’t cooperating:
- Field trips are a great way to spend rainy, snowy or otherwise dreary days – assuming the weather isn’t too bad to drive. The field trips don’t necessarily have to be over the top expensive, either! Check out websites and blogs in your local area to find coupons or see what deals some of the local attractions offer. Zoos, children’s museums, and more will often offer special rates at off-season or less busy times - and since they're less busy, you and your children can enjoy them more!
- There’s another type of trip you can plan, but it has a slightly different purpose – to let the kids blow off steam! It’s not easy being cooped up when the weather is bad and kids always seem to have boundless amounts of energy. Bouncing barns, open gyms, tumbling classes or taking a dip at a local (indoor!) pool might be options to look into for your family.
- Bust out the crafts and prepare to get messy! Although we as moms aren’t always fond of messes, kids sure love them and they can be pretty entertaining. There are some awesome ideas floating around on Pinterest that will amuse and delight any child - and never fear, they're not *all* messy. Here are just a few that I have found:
~ Cloud Dough from Flights of Whimsy
~ Bathtub Paint from Having Fun at Home
~ Homemade Finger Paint from Easie Peasie
~ Sensory Bin/Tub Ideas from Our Worldwide Classroom
- Use your imagination. Although movies and TV shows definitely have their place, instead of just turning something on, encourage your kids to explore, create, and discover:
~ Build a castle (or fort, house, mansion, whatever you prefer): In the living room stack up pillows, blankets, small tables, couch cushions and/or furniture to create the ultimate hideout. Have the kids make signs and/or decorations with construction paper and other items you have on hand.
~ Have a party: Have the kids think up a theme and run with it. If they can't think of anything, here are a few suggestions to get started: Living Room Picnic, Dance Party, Snow Day, Tea Party, Backwards Day or Costume Party.
~ Let the kids pretend they're running a store or office: This is one of my children's all-time favorite things to do. The coffee table becomes the display table for their goods, a calculator becomes their register and you, of course are the customer!
~ Create your family's own restaurant: Something I loved doing as a child was creating a "restaurant" within our home. My parents and I would plan out a "fancy" meal - something we didn't have very often and I would always get to help cook. We would set the table nicely, light candles and turn on dinner music. I would create a menu with paper and crayons, drawing pictures of the food and even thinking up a name for our little establishment.
~ Go to the theatre: Help your child create some simple sock puppets or encourage them to become stars of their own play by creating a stage area in your living room, searching the house for props and costumes and acting out something of their choosing for you, the audience!
What are your favorite indoor bad weather activities? Feel free to share in the comments!