Rainy Day – Any Day Fun
Arts, crafts, movies never watched but promised…. More than that it is time spent with mom and dad!!! Being stuck indoors can be pretty boring. As kids get older they will find activities to amuse themselves but when they are little they look to mom and dad to show them the way. Below are some of our most favorite indoor activities that make any day fun!
Ok I have to admit this post has been in the works for some time. Ever since my nephews entered our lives we have had more sick days in one flu season then the previous ten years. Even when our family is healthy we seem to have some horrible timing issues. Any healthy days during the flu season seem to coincide with bad weather from snow and ice to rainy day after rainy day come spring.
When the weather is nice and everyone is healthy we seem to be over booked with activities from doctor appointments to conventions. So outdoor time tends to be a “grab it when you can” type of event. Recently wildfires in our area have tested our list of fun indoor activities. Even with the wildfires we have been able to have some any day fun!
Admittedly a few of the activities I mention below are carry-overs from memories of a wonderful childhood. I am one of eight grandchildren on my mother’s side of the family. There were a lot of family gatherings when I was a small child. Not all gatherings took place on perfectly sunny and warm days. Then there were the times when only a few of us would be visiting my grandmother and still needed to be “entertained”. As a child my favorite any day fun activities were #1 and #4. As an adult I kind of like all five.
Here are our Top Five Favorite Activities for a Rainy (Indoor) Day:
- Indoor Hide and Seek
Unless you treat your house like a museum indoor hide and seek is a great way to burn off some energy. You do not have to have a large house to enjoy this activity. Our home is a one story ranch style with an open floor plan. Even with an open floor plan there are plenty of closets and blind spots to create great hiding areas.
With our nieces and nephews being toddlers we do not play the traditional game of hide and seek. Generally the game starts with a “run by tickling” to get the kids pumped up to follow as one of us adults begins “running” around the house. Because we are still a little bit faster than them we can quickly dodge behind an open bedroom door, dart into a darkened bathroom or hide behind a dresser in the closet. When the kids catch up to us we let them look around for a moment before we “jump” out and they begin to chase us all over again.
This game generally can last five to twenty minutes depending on how much energy needs to be burned off. This game makes a good quick diversion and the kids love that we play along. When the game is over the kids are ready for a snack and potentially nap time.
- Sticker Mayhem
There are several ways to play sticker mayhem.
One way is like an indoor scavenger hunt. Generally I stuff stickers in fun shaped Easter eggs (you know the ones that aren’t actually shaped like Easter eggs but rather Darth Vader’s head or some other silly shape) and then hide those eggs around the house. Since I never use these “eggs” for Easter the kids don’t expect anything like candy to be found. By now they know that these shaped “eggs” will contain stickers of their favorite characters. Following the scavenger hunt the kids will sit down and look at their stickers. Each kid has their own fun shaped inexpensive notebook where they can then place their scavenger hunt finds within.
In recent months I have created a chore chart for my nephews. On busy chore days, I have gotten my nephews involved with the promise of specialty stickers for each completed chore. I keep extra special stickers just for these days. If my nephews do an amazing job their chore chart gets so loaded with stickers they start to layer them.
- Music Video Dance Off
Okay, this activity has actually evolved out of a guilty pleasure for us adults: Lip Sync Battle.
One evening while watching Lip Sync Battle, we noticed that our foster daughter would run into the room every time she heard LL Cool J talk. The following week she came into the room and began to dance when the music was on. Soon our youngest nephew was joining her. Then they started getting us involved in their dancing. Now we save up all of our Lip Sync Battle episodes for rainy/indoor days as they make great 30 minute breaks in an otherwise hum drum day.
When we run out of Lip Sync Battle episodes, Rent-a-Dad streams videos from Youtube. This way we get to be selective with the music content and the kids still have a blast dancing. They are so used to this activity now that they have their favorite music videos. “Let It Go” is one favorite, of course, but another happens to be “Hall of Fame” by the Script.
- Indoor Obstacle Course/Box Fort Bonanza
When life is boring and you can’t do activities outside it is fun for kids to bring the outside inside. A good way to do this is by turning an area of your house into a temporary obstacle course or a place to build a fort.
With a little imagination every day items can be used as part of an obstacle course. The most recent obstacle course I built with my nephews involved cat beds, kitchen chairs and a sheet. Building a fort is much the same. While my family built forts with old cardboard boxes, I have just as much fun building forts with blankets and chairs or even the dining room table and an old extra large sheet.
As a child, building forts in my grandmother’s basement was the best way to pass the time. It was also a great activity to make “teams” with when all eight of us cousins got together. Once forts were built we could have the adults do a judge them. Often we would have “fort wars” which involved capture the flag or even fake snowball fights with pillows or balled up pieces of paper.
- The Most Magical Place on the Internet… Youtube
A couple of Christmas’s back Rent-a-Dad asked for a Chromecast. At the time I didn’t really understand how useful that gift would be. For the first year I never paid much attention. Last year I asked if the kids could watch a Youtube video on his computer. Rent-a-Dad’s reply was “why not watch it on tv?” So he showed me how to stream videos from my cell phone. Since then Youtube videos have become a great way to add a little magic to an otherwise boring day.
The first few times I used the Chromecast to stream songs from Frozen. This way the kids could watch and sing along without having to watch the whole DVD over and over again. When the kids began to ask questions about our last Disney vacation, I wondered if there was a way to share the experience of a Disney vacation without having to leave our house.
Youtube had the answer. We started pulling up all kinds of parade and ride videos. The kids loved it! While watching a ride video we would “play along” by throwing our hands into the air and moving side to side. All of the parade videos fascinate the kids. They love telling us what their favorite character or float is. Event videos like the Frozen Musical at the Hyperion Theatre mean the kids can enjoy a show that I would be concerned to take them to at their age.
Over a year later and the kids still love watching Youtube videos of Disney attractions. Since we don’t watch these videos every day they still feel like an escape from everyday activities like a vacation is supposed to feel. The bonus is that kids know what rides they want to ride again when we are able to go back. We have even branched out to include videos of rides and parades from Universal Studios. One of my nephews can’t wait until he can go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I guess it is time to start saving our pennies!