While we're fortunate to live in a city that gets at least 325 sunny or partially sunny days a year, this is not the norm in most parts of the country. This winter has been surprisingly wet, and trying to keep a 3 year old entertained for the day has put my creativity to the test. While movies are a feasible option, many children will only sit for so long, particularly if they're used to running, jumping, and playing.
Here are some of my tried and true activities for keeping a young child entertained on a rainy day.
Rediscover your library: From time to time, we'll get into a pattern of reading the same books over and over, leaving an entire library undiscovered. Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to pull out those books that have been gathering dust on your shelves. Rather than simply reading those books, why not act them out or retell them with new endings you've created?
Pull out those puzzles and games: Invite neighborhood friends over and make it a playdate. For a unique twist, make up new rules. Don't forget to use this opportunity to help your child learn through play. Many games teach colors, numbers, social skills and more.
Dress up!: Whether it's donning those fall Halloween costumes, dressing up in pre-made costumes, or creating your own with clothes you already have, dressing up is a fun, imaginative way to spend the day. Once you've gotten into character, play a game or tell a story in costume.
Explore the baker within you: Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to try out that new recipe you've been wanting to experiment with. If you'd rather not bake from scratch, cookie kits and store-bought cake mixes work well, particularly for smaller tots who may not have the attention span for an all-out baking project.
Get the wiggles out: Just because it's raining doesn't mean you have to stay home. Head to your local museum (many have free days) or play space to learn, discover and play.
Get crafting: I try to have a supply of crafting materials on hand for those days when we're stuck indoors. Think outside the box...beyond coloring and painting. Perhaps you can work on a simple woodworking project or paper mache.
Be smart about video games: Gone are the days of mindlessly zoning out on video games. Today's gaming technology gets kids off the couch and moving with fun fitness games. You can also play family games and educational games.
Rainy days don't have to dampen your mood. You're only limited by your imagination. Spending some time indoors allows your family to regroup, reconnect, and catch up on some much needed down time. And when all else fails, don those rain boots and a brolly and stomp in a few puddles.
By guest blogger, Caryn Baily, Rockinmama