by Teresa Sayles, Children’s Curriculum Specialist
Woodland Hills Church
It’s summer, and everyone’s excited to be outside. However, summer also brings with it those rainy days when playing outside just isn’t an option. With school out and energy high, how do you keep your kids (and yourself) from going completely bonkers? Here are a few ideas that may help to stem the chaos.
• Have a Plan: Know you’re going to hit a day when the weather’s just not going to cooperate and have supplies you’ll want set aside. That way, you’re not scrambling to find that elusive set of construction paper while little Billy’s chasing Susie around the house with his pet hamster. It’s also good to keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly. If you’re going to have a few rainy days in a row, you’ll want to save a few of your best activities for the later days when kids are getting antsy to run around.
• Use the Energy: Being cooped up on a rainy day (or days) can be really hard for kids, especially those who love to move and run. Rather than trying to contain their energy, use it creatively. Put on some fun, upbeat music and throw a dance party in your living room. Hold Family Indoor Olympics and come up with your own sports such as Plastic Cup Speed Stacking or a Balancing a Book on Your Head Race. Let them get those pesky wiggles out!
• Encourage the Creative: Rainy days are a great opportunity for your kids to get creative and use those amazing imaginations. Pull out the art supplies and let them go wild. If you have older kids, have them reenact a favorite story or movie or come up with their own play and then, using clothes and items you’ve already got on hand, perform it for family and friends. For a quieter activity, staple a few sheets of paper together and have them create their own book or, taping several sheets together, ask them to draw or paint a mural. A quick search on Google or Pinterest reveals an endless supply of crafty ideas for kids.
• Journey Down Memory Lane: Even young children like to look back and remember the past. Pull out the family photo albums (whether printed or digital) and walk through some of your family’s favorite moments together. Be sure to note how kids have grown and changed over the years and let them talk through how they’re different now than they were then.
• Make Learning Fun: School may be out, but that doesn’t mean learning has to be. Use a rainy day as a chance to keep them absorbing information by making learning fun. Jump online to Google Earth and help your kids realize how big, beautiful, and diverse the world is thanks to our creative God. Take a trip to a museum and let your kids linger at the exhibits that most interest them. Head to the library and have your kids pick out nonfiction books on topics that interest them. You could even take the rainy day as a chance to do some “weather research” with your kids and find out what makes it rain, thunder, etc.
Rainy days may be wet, but they don’t have to slow down your family’s fun. With a little prep and creativity, even the rainiest day can still be a great day for your family.