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When it’s raining, especially over multiple days, families quickly can run out of things to do. Here are some ideas to get you through the rainiest of days.
1) Go outside! My kids, now adults, will tell you that one of their favorite childhood memories is when it was raining hard and we went out anyway. We did our preparations with warm clothes, rain gear, rain boots, a place to dump the wet clothes when we returned, hot chocolate ingredients ready and off we went. We headed to a wooded area and they loved to follow the new streams that were caused by the run off. We would try to block or divert the water flow, and splash in puddles. There were also weird things that would be carried from who knows where by the flowing water. Most memorable were an old “Codd neck” glass bottle with a marble stopper and a broken home stereo unit which my son rescued and kept in his room for years. These were truly epic days. We did not have one time when anyone got sick or suffered any misfortune. It’s only rain. And getting home to a warm shower, dry clothes, and hot chocolate is the very definition of family bliss.
2) Household projects. I was shocked by how much my kids (around the age of 10 or 11) enjoyed the chance to do household projects. Full disclosure: we are not a family that do much in the way of do-it-yourself projects so maybe it was the novelty that worked. But, one rainy weekend (when mom was away) we completely emptied the bedroom the kids shared and painted the walls in a color the kids themselves chose! It is still turquoise, still my son’s room and there is still a small turquoise stain on the carpet. But it was raining outside so makes it to this list of activities. Check out our list of Kennolyn Camp activities which includes carpentry, a great basic skill builder for future household projects.
3) Board Games Tournament. There is no creativity in suggesting you play games with your kids on a rainy day. But we all know that games that don’t involve a games console and a TV screen can be a tough sell. Adding a competition format always makes things more exciting. Pick three games that all your kids know how to play (Uno should be part of any games tournament as a matter of United Nations edict so just pick two more.) Set up all 3 games at once. Start the first game and set a 15 minute timer. When the timer goes off, figure out the current order of winningness based on whatever criteria works for you. Now, move to game number 2 and play for another 15 minutes. Move to the third game after 15 minutes more. If you just need to fill 45 minutes you play one round. Or repeat as needed. It is amazing the difference in enthusiasm for games under a format like this. Probably good for 90-135 minutes max.
4) Don’t watch a movie, make a movie. With video such an accessible format, why not make your own family film? No special skills reqd. Make it mandatory that the first step is a script. After all, that’s what is going to take the time. 3-4 pages of storyline/dialogue is more than enough. Assign parts and roles and its lights, camera, action. If you or the kids have the savvy to edit the footage, great. But it’s not needed. Just play out the action and film it. Good for 60-120 minutes. Check out the Kennolyn Youtube page to see our camp movies.
5) Do something, almost anything, you don’t normally allow. No matter your family culture or rules, there is something that your kids want to do that you regularly deny permission for. That’s family life. But on a rainy day if you suddenly said why don’t we jump on the bed, take a shower in our clothes, make a fort in the living room, watch TV while we eat dinner, or literally any safe activity you normally don’t allow, your rainy day will fly by.
6) Mini Marshmallows and toothpicks. This is the best of the many, many activities you can find when you search online for family crafts or fun science activities. Building stuff out of these simple materials can absorb kids for hours. The options are limitless, the supplies are cheap and half the supplies are edible. It is important you define which half that is (hint: it’s not the toothpicks.) Buy mini, regular, and jumbo marshmallows to change up the options and also have toothpicks and kebab skewers foe some added variety. If this happens to be something that grabs your kids attention, it can last for hours.
So that’s our list. Make sure you have a backup plan in case any one of these fails to grab your kids’ attention. Bring on stormy weather!