By guest blogger Jenna Gaskill
Summer is just around the corner, which means warmer weather and more time to spend outdoors with the kids! There are, however, those days when we're not able to play outside due to weather. On days like this, it's easy for kids to get bored. That's why I have found that having clever activities planned as a back-up is a must! Coming up with savvy approaches to handling a rainy day is easy with a little creativity. When kids are unable to be outside, the next best thing is bringing the outdoors inside. The following are some fun and creative ideas of how you can bring the joy of being outside in with you.
1. Sensory activities are a fun way to encourage learning. When you can't be outside playing in the sandbox or pool, create your own sensory activity indoors. With a tub, raw rice/sand toys or water and bubbles/different items to create bubbles like whisks, etc...your child can have fun discovering new concepts.
2. Build a fort or set up a 'campsite' inside. Get creative and bring out blankets and pillows. Pretend you're roasting marshmallows and sleeping under the stars. It may be raining outside, but that doesn't mean you can't pretend you're camping out and having fun.
3. One of the best parts about outdoor play is being able to be active. When you're stuck inside, try putting in children's movement CD's that encourage children to follow along with different actions. Whether they're doing different hand motions or are acting like a different animal as part of the song...it's a great way to keep your kids active and having fun!
Outside of the Home:
1. Go to the library and read/check out books (fiction or non fiction) about things dealing with the outdoors. Whether it be the things we do outside (going to the beach, camping) or things we find outdoors (insects, animals)...the options are endless. It's a fun way to learn more about the world around us.
2. When you're unable to enjoy a day at the pool, or time outside playing with balls, bikes etc...take the kids to the nearest YMCA or Rec Center. There are so many ways to bring the activities you would normally do outside in. You can go swimming, play with balls, climb the rock wall, tumble on mats, and more!
3. Take the kids to the grocery store and have them pick out a new fruit or vegetable they've never had before. You can talk about where they might find it outdoors (on a tree or in a garden for example) as well as the color, texture, taste, etc. It's a great way for them to learn more about their senses, colors, and where different foods come from.
Whether in the house or away from home, having a backup plan when you're unable to be outside always helps. Finding clever ways to bring the fun of the outdoors in with us is our savvy approach to handling rainy days.