By CYNTHIA PEARCE
I love sleeping when it’s raining. My children are all safe and happy, tucked into bed and then I crawl in, exhausted, and fall asleep to the sound of rain falling. It’s so relaxing.
But rain during the day? Total. Nightmare.
Children and rain don’t mix, whatsoever. It’s exactly like in the book The Cat In The Hat. Bored children get into mischief, so you’d better have some rainy day tricks up your sleeve or your kids will find a way to keep themselves busy, and it will involve a huge mess, lots of squabbling and a huge huge headache for you.
Just as you make sure you always have umbrellas handy for when the rain starts falling, so too should you have rainy day activities sorted for days when you are housebound.
These are our favourites:
Mummy Hack 1: Retro board games.
Kids are way too cool these days to play board games, right? Unless it’s raining and you’ve ‘lost’ their iPods and they are booooooored.
In my home, rain means board games but they are carefully sorted into two groups – those they can play on their own and those they need my assistance with.
When I have things to do at home I get out Connect Four, Guess Who?, Monopoly Junior and Mouse Trap.
When I’m happy to participate, out comes Junior Scrabble, proper Monopoly and Pictionary.
Retro board games are awesome for rainy days and they teach kids so much. They teach them how to take turns, how to be a good loser and patience. They teach me those things too.
We normally make a giant bowl of popcorn before sitting down to play and a rainy day becomes a little gift. Unless it rains all week in which case we alternate between board games and our deck of cards. And UNO.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Dairylea. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
Mummy Hack 2: Kids cooking assembly line.
Turn every snack and every meal into a kids cooking assembly line. It takes up time, it’s fun and it creates a bit of a mess, which children seem to enjoy.
Breakfast cereal assembly line can include cereals with a range of toppings or a toast or pancake station. I line up the cereal/toast/pancakes on the left, next to plates, next to toppings. The kids excitedly line up and construct their meals and then race off to the lounge room to eat it.
You don’t need to help because it’s all at child-height and they can get seconds if they like.
Great ideas for lunchtime assembly lines include tacos, sandwiches or individual pizzas.
Afternoon tea – cupcake station! Plain cupcakes on the left, next to icing options and some treats to stick on the top.
Mummy Hack 3: Mismatched sock puppet show.
No matter how hard I try, I always have a pile of mismatched socks at the end of each week. I don’t know where their partners go. Maybe they run away. Maybe the dog eats them.
It is a complete and total mystery.
But once the rain falls those same socks come in good use when we sit down to make sock puppets. Luckily this activity never gets old or tired because the kids always manage to ruin or lose them as soon as the sun comes out.
So we get to start all over again each time.
Head to your local discount store and stock up on buttons, glitter, wool for hair and anything else that can be glued or sewn onto a sock and then let the puppet show commence.
Mummy Hack 4: Cardboard boxes. Lots of cardboard boxes.
My husband bought some new exercise equipment recently and threw all the flattened boxes into a pile in our enclosed courtyard, to be added to the recycle bin before the next pick up. And here’s what happened…
How cool is this? My kids and my sister’s kids who are all aged 5-11 made this elaborate cubby house and as it had rained all week, they made all sorts of modifications each day. They even brought some of their snacks in there and sat inside playing their iPods.
I will never throw away a cardboard box again.
If you don’t have any large exercise or furniture equipment purchases planned, go to your local homemaker centre and near where you drive to pick up large items are lots of bins full of flattened, old cardboard boxes. Fill up your car boot and run.
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