Tag Archives: rainy days

Weekend of words

The rain held us captive most of the weekend, much to both our delight and dismay. To be forced to have a weekend where we really couldn’t go much of anywhere was a gift in disguise, handed to us on a silver-lined cloud that we happily accepted. But it also meant that several things were going to be missed that weekend. For one, my daughter’s last soccer game was now unfortunately put off until a sunnier weekend (though it did save me from cheering her on through chattering teeth, wondering how I was going to do the obligatory photo capturing thing when all I wanted to do was bury myself under a sea of blankets). It also meant that our planned trip to the Pumpkin Maze was postponed yet again. Every weekend, something has come up to force us to abandon our plans, promising that next weekend we would go. And being that we are so close to Halloween, I am wondering if I’m going to be explaining the broken promise of traveling the maze to my kids as I tell them there’s always next year. But still, the negative was trumped by the positive of staying in PJs all weekend long, snuggling up by a fire in what was finally a true autumn weekend.

Of course, rainy day weekends mean that there has to be some creativity on a parent’s part. I don’t care if you are a parent of a toddler or a teen, your kid is still going to be bored on days when they are forced to stay inside, claiming there is nothing to do. And it was by accident that we figured out a way to occupy the weekend. I can’t really take any credit, it was actually my son’s idea. We had taken out the game of Risk, the boardgame of world domination by driving the players totally insane through rules that seem to change with every single turn. We hadn’t even gotten past the first round of turns when I flipped the board over in a tantrum after it wasn’t going my way and who cares about this stupid game anyway (just kidding, but I was totally tempted). And that’s when my son suggested a Spelling Bee.

Oh sure, that sound like a load of fun. Let’s find words on our days off of school and spell them out. That is almost as much fun as cleaning the oven or vacuuming the couch cushions. Still reeling from the brain twisting game of Risk, I was not much help in the “things to do” department. Luckily, Mr. W wasn’t nearly as affected by complex board games, and he grabbed the dictionary and flipped it to a random word.

“Spell ‘quandary’,” he said. And the Taz started, getting the word right on the first try. DQ’s interest was piqued, and she joined in on the next word. “Voluptuous.” “Can you use that in a…sentence,” she giggled, citing a Family Guy reference that is a little too un-PC for a family blog.  We flipped from page to page, trying to stump the kids over and over, and even stumping ourselves from time to time as we took a stab at it. If one person got it wrong, the word was retried by everyone until someone spelled it correctly. We began to keep track of the score, each kid earning a point for a correctly spelled word.

The game ended in a tie after the final word, ‘Iraqi’, had both kids scratching their heads, not convinced that some words with the letter ‘Q’ could be spelled without a ‘U’ following it. It was bedtime, forcing an end to a game that didn’t cost us any more than the dictionary that already existed on our bookshelf.

Much of the rest of the weekend was dedicated to TV (yeah Giants!!!), the temptation of couch lounging too great to resist. But the weekend wrapped up with the kids and I dedicated to various wordsy projects – me plummeting unapologetically into a book I’d been meaning to open, my daughter in her latest novel writing idea, and my son determined to create the best rap a 9 year old could create (“Can I use bad words if I bleep them out, mom?” “No.” “What if I start to say them, but use a different word instead?” “No.” “How about if I-” “NO!”). And it was the perfect end to a rain-filled weekend that managed to avoid the “I’m bored” blues.

For more ideas on what to do on a rainy day, be sure to check out the article on Rainy Day Boredom Busters.

What did you do for fun this rainy weekend? 

Boredom busters on a rainy day

It’s hard to believe that the rain is coming with all these warm days we’ve been having. But by the end of next week, the clouds are rolling in and opening up.  Basically, that means you are about to be cooped up with a house full of kids with nothing to do.

Mom, it’s going to take some planning to bust those boredom blues that will have your kids whining and you pulling out your hair. Here are a few fun ideas to make every family look forward to a rainy day!

Create a living room fort
I don’t know any kid who doesn’t find this one of the most fun and exciting things to do on a rainy day. Of course it’s going to take some looking away on your part. Your living room is about to be trashed with blankets, pillows, and everything else your munchkin needs to make his fort even cooler. But there’s some sort of magic involved when blankets are secured by the entertainment center and the couch, and there’s just enough space for a small child to nestle into and hide away from everyone else. So I say, encourage it. Bring out more blankets. Offer to help him bring down his whole collection of action figures to secure the entrance. And watch as your child creates a whole kingdom out of a space covered in cotton.

Bring on the games!
Rainy days are perfect for some family time of acting silly and having fun together. And one of the best ways to do this is through games. Create a list of things around the house that are both easy and hard to find, and let your kids go on a scavenger hunt. Play a game of hide & seek and giggle at your kids’ excitement of finding you, or being found by you. Hide an object in the house and give them clues on how to find it. Play a game of charades, and see just how silly your toddler can be as they act out their clue. Play a game of “How many things can you remember to do?” by naming 5 things for them to do and seeing what they remember – then repeat. Teach them a new card game. Set the timer and pick up as many things before the buzzer rings in a quick clean-up game. You can even bring out the board games from the back of the closet and rediscover the fun in Chutes & Ladders or Memory.

Make it a craft day
A great way to keep the little ones from being bored is to keep them busy. One lifesaver I’ve come up with is keeping a cabinet dedicated to art supplies. On days when the kids are cooped up, the cabinet is opened and all sort of projects are started.
Rain stick: Let your kids decorate an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll. Poke holes in the roll and let them stick toothpicks in at different angels. You will need to cut off ends so that their not protruding, and then glue the ends so that they stay put. When it’s dry, cover one end with wax paper, secured by a rubberband. Fill the roll with rice, and then secure the other end. Your child will love the sound to the “rain” coming down inside the house as the rain falls outside!
Homemade playdough: Sure, you can buy playdough at the store. But why, when it’s so easy to make? Your older kids will love helping you to cook the playdough, and kids of all ages (adults too!) will totally enjoy making numerous creations with the extremely pliable, colorful dough. I’ve shared a favorite recipe of mine over at SantaRosaMom.com that uses Kool-Aid as the coloring agent, and that creates a yummy smell for your kids while they are playing with it.
Macaroni art: You know that elbow pasta that you’ve been keeping in the back of your pantry, promising yourself that you will use it one of these days instead of making another blue and yellow box of the storebought dinner? It’s perfect for gluing all over paper plates or construction paper. It’s also a great way to teach your young’n about keeping in the lines. With white glue, create a picture on the surface they will be decorating (paper plate, paper, etc). Then instruct them to place macaroni on those lines so that the glue is completely covered by macaroni. The result is a picture they created “all by themselves”!
Create a mural: Bring out the inner artist in your child by having them create a mural for your wall. No, I’m not asking you to sacrifice your wall in the name of busting rainy day boredom. Murals can be created on butcher paper, like the kind at local art stores (for example, Riley Street Art Supplies at 103 Maxwell Ct in Santa Rosa sells 36-inch wide butcher paper for 25 cents a foot in length). Tape the paper to the floor, and let each child take over a part of the mural area. They can either create a project that tells one big story, or create multiple stories on one piece of paper. Don’t have butcher paper on hand? Cut a slit in a paper grocery bag and unfold it to create one large piece of paper.

Learn to do something new
Teach your child to knit. See how long they can stand on their head. Find out how to say “Thank you” in as many different languages as possible. Learn origami, how to fold a paper airplane, or have them teach your dog or cat a new trick. Teach them to tie their shoes or how to blow a bubble. Let them help you bake, filling your house with extremely yummy smells. Have them make up a game and all of its rules.

More rainy day ideas
Have a dance party. Watch a movie. Read a book. Put together a puzzle. Create a family “newspaper”. Float boats in a shallow soapy bathtub (with supervision!). Have a tea party. Play dress-up. Create early Christmas presents.

Any more ideas?