Old Man Winter is a stubborn son of a gun this year. A week or so before the start of Spring and the predicts a foot of snow from Philadelphia, PA. to Portland, ME. Rain is expected in the Pacific Northwest for seven straight days and there have been exactly four days considered both “dry” and “mild” in since mid-November!
How many times can you park the kids in front of “Frozen?” How many times can you go to the McDonald’s Playplace knowing you’re committing Death by French Fry on everyone? It’s enough to drive a parent to the cooking sherry.
Relax, still young-looking veteran of the parenting wars. Gildshire Magazines, as we so often do, have your back. Here are some ideas for rainy day fun that everyone may enjoy.
An Indoor Treasure Hunt: Kids in the house? Make their day an active one via a treasure hunt. Form one set of clues for every player. (You may have tried this for a birthday or Christmas gift.) Each clue should lead to the next one and, finally, to the end of game treasure. Place the clues in sealed envelopes marked with the clue number (i.e., 2/7, or “two of seven”). Thishelps the treasure hunters keep track of their progress. Whoever finds the treasure first—an inexpensive toy, a movie IOU, maybe a cache of coins (chocolate or regular, it doesn’t matter)—is the winner. Alternatively, have the kids play as a team to solve the clues—and uncover the treasure—together. This is a good idea if there is an age range that means the older ones consistently win these kinds of games.
Make Homemade Bubble Bath: Even kids who don’t like to take baths will strip down if they helped made the soap bubbles themselves. First, beat an egg white and set it aside. Call the kids together to mix together a half cup mild liquid hand or body soap, and a tablespoon of sugar or honey. Add the egg white and gently mix the concoction together. Pour the entire mixture under warm running water. The egg white helps create stronger, longer-lasting bubbles. “Who wants in?” Keep some of the mixture for your own bath, especially if you used honey. It is a natural humectant, attracting and retaining moisture in your skin.
Create a Family Recipe Book: This is a good one if there are older children in the house. They will have favorite memories of the dishes, and a sense of family history. First, get an unlined journal book. Color-copy all of your recipe cards. Add photos of the family enjoying the dish if you have them. Compile the memorabilia by a theme that inspires you. That could be time period, holiday, birthday dinners, etc..Affix the items horizontally in the journal. Stick a title on the front of the journal with alphabet stickers (using a ruler helps), and finish off with a ribbon.
Indoor Camping: This one never goes old. A small pup or compact camping tent is best. If not, make do with sheets thrown over the couch cushions. Make finger snacks that won’t harm the carpet if they are spilled. Turn off the lights, close the curtains and tell them the story of the man with one hand who still walks this very place.
Try a New Cookie Recipe: Fill the kitchen with the smell of cookies and no one notices the drumming of the rain. You’ve made chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, and snickerdoodle cookies a million times. Try something you have never made before. Kitsilano cookies are healthy. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies taste like childhood. Bacon chocolate chip cookies combine a favorite from Betty Crocker’s day to the current bacon-lovers vibe. Or, make up your own from the annals of your imagination.
Plan a Real Vacation for Later: Who cares if you’re stuck at home. You can still dream about a warm resort or gorgeous mountain escape. You can make an educational game out of it. (The kids don’t need to know they’re learning something.) Look at a mapof the United States,and let each child pick a location they’d like to visit. Have them research how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. (Gildshire Magazines has excellent features under “Travel” to help with that.) They can create a budget based on plane tickets or gas-food-lodging costs.Have them plan what sites to hit or local foods to try, and then try and sell their ideas to the rest of the family. At the very least, everyone will learn a little bit about a new city or State. At best, here is your next adventure, and the winning child is the hero of the next family trip.
Whatever you do, don’t let the kids stand in front of a window, wistfully watching the rain run down the pane. And don’t allow yourself the same pity party! A rainy day isn’t a reason to be bored. It just requires a little planning from an ingenious person such as yourself. Now, get to it! if it isn’t raining now it soon will be.