Friday, August 25, 2006

Rainy Day Activities

By Brandi M. Seals

It is often hard to keep your child entertain when he or she is stuck indoors all day long due to bad weather. However, if you have a few standby activates that can be done indoors you are ahead of the game.

Games like hide and seek can easily be played indoors. Just remind your child not to run inside. Another great alternative is a game called hide the penny. This is a Christmas time favorite in my family that always kept the kids entertained. Some must hide a penny in a designated room, and then everyone else must try to find it. With hints of hot and cold, the penny is eventually found and now it is someone else’s turn to hide it.

Or, let your son or daughter put on a concert. Let her pick out a song and then work out a dance routine for it. Don’t forget to encourage the use of costumes. This whimsical activity will distract anyone from the bad weather outside.

If you prefer something a little more calm, why not do an art project? Kids can finger paint a masterpiece or use glue, glitter and macaroni to create a one of a kind macaroni collage.

Bake cookies together or have your children help make their own meal. Let them pick what they want to eat and then tell them how to make it. Not only will it give them something to do, they will also learn kitchen safety and maybe some cooking skills. Just be sure to give a helping hand.

Want to stick to sandwiches instead? That is fine. You can teach your kids how to make play dough. It is easy to make and uses common ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.

Play Dough Recipe

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup salt
Food coloring of your choice

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan, except the food coloring. Once the dough comes together, mix in the food coloring. Remove the dough from the pan and knead it several times until it has a smooth texture. Let the dough cool before the kids play with it. Store it in a plastic bag or air tight container.

Play dough isn't the only kid friendly item you can make. Cook up a batch of clay. Once done, the kids can mold shapes in the clay. Allow it to air dry overnight until it is rock hard. Later they can paint their clay creation any way they like.

Cornstarch Clay

1 cup cornstarch
2 cups salt
1 1/3 cups water

Combine the cornstarch and2/3 cup of water. Set aside the mix. Combine 2/3 cup of water and the salt. Heat salt-water mix in a saucepan until it reaches a boil. Then add in the cornstarch mix. Once mixed, remove from heat and knead lightly.

This recipe makes about 3 cups of clay. Any clay you want to save for later use can be sealed up in a plastic bag or stored in an air tight container.

There are several other activities that you and your child could do. Read her a story. Let her pick the book and then read it to her. Look at the pictures together and talk about the story. What did she like? What didn’t she like? If your child is old enough, why not have him read you story. He can have fun working on his reading skills. Help with any words that are tough to read.

Watch a movie together. Make it a whole event. Snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn, some juice and a blanket and pop in a movie you will both enjoy. I suggest Ice Age or Shrek. Both these appeal to adults as well as children.

If all else fails, you can always bust out the board games. The game of Memory is always a hit as are Hungry Hungry Hippos and checkers. Keep a stock pile of board games on hand as they will give you an automatic chance to bond with your kid. Just remember, they are just kids. Why not let them win and get a boast of confidence.

No comments: