Rainy Day Activity For Kid

Fun and safe activities for parents to do with their kids on rainy days.

One of the things many parents dread, myself included, are those days when inclement weather confines us to indoor activities. When the inevitable occurs we make "stuff" - lots of "stuff". At any given time someone could walk into my home to see a sticky family covered in paper-mache, a kitchen converted into a pre-school modern art museum, or newspaper windsocks hanging "gracefully" from the eves of the house.

As any parent knows kids toys cost a small fortune. Now, don't get me wrong, my kids rooms are so cluttered with the latest "must-haves" that you can hardly see the floor. However, it is the additional "stuff" that resides with these toys on the floor that has the most meaning.

Everyone, even the youngest child has a certain degree of creativity within as well as a yearning to unleash that creativity. Included here are a few of those projects that any parent and child can accomplish together, projects that my children have asked to do again and again, projects that can turn even the most dreary, rainy day into a delight.

HOME MADE CLAY

Clay can be a wonderfully creative medium. There is a safe and inexpensive way to never run out of it. Mix 1 cup flour with 1/3 cup water and 1/2 cup salt until smooth. Test the consistency with your hands. If it is too dry add more water 1 tbsp. at a time. If it is too wet do the same by adding 1 tbsp. flour until the desired consistency is achieved and it is no longer sticky, nor does it fall apart. Add a few drops of food coloring to the clay and work in with your hands. Let your kids "build", create, re-create. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and objects. It's non-toxic and FUN!

PAPER MACHE HANGING BOXES

For this activity you will need the following:

One recipe paper mache paste as follows:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. In a bowl combine 2/3 cup flour with 2 cups cold water. Add the cold mixture to the boiling water in the pot. Return to boiling stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbsp. sugar. Mixture will thicken as it cools. When it is cool it is ready.

Cardboard boxes - any size/shape

Newspaper torn into strips (comics are bright and colorful)

Dip newspaper strips into paste, wiping off excess and apply to box. Press the paper down and smooth out. Repeat the process until the entire box is covered. Let dry. As it dries it will harden making the box sturdy.



Another great rainy day project is a Newspaper Windsock. These are fun to make while it's raining outside and can then be hung when the rain stops and the wind starts to blow.

NEWSPAPER WINDSOCK

For this project you will need the following:

5 sheets newspaper

tape

3 yards yarn

Lay four sheets of the newspaper out on the floor, one on top of the other. Roll into a hollow cylinder approximately four inches in diameter. Tape it in place so that if forms a tube. Tear remaining sheet of newspaper into strips. Tape to the end of the tube for a streamer effect. Attach yarn to one end and hang. If desired let your kids decorate their wind sock. The more personal they make it the more they will enjoy it.

Newspaper is a wonderful thing - don't throw it out! Make paper airplanes, hats, kites, anything that the imagination allows. Let your kids color in the faces and pictures and keep in mind that you are also exposing them to a world of reading at the same time.

NEWPAPER HATS/CLOTHES

One day my boys and I were outside making things out of newspaper and it started to rain. We (I) quickly gathered up all of those things that we did not want to get wet and went in the house. The newspaper was left behind - I wasn't too worried about it - there was plenty more where that came from. The next day as we ventured out into the yard there was our newspaper lying over the deck railing. It had dried. Better yet, it had dried in the shape of the deck railing. We discovered that if you wet newspaper and place it over something it will retain that shape after it dries. We decided to use this newfound knowledge to make things. Make hats by placing wet newspaper over a bowl. Make a cape by hanging wet newspaper on a hanger. Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.

HANDPRINTS

Children are natural artists. They love to create things. Paint seems to be one of the preferred mediums of many young children. Fortunately, there are some excellent paint supplies geared toward younger children (washable) available almost anywhere. Supermarkets, drug stores and department stores usually carry a good selection of inexpensive young artist supplies. When painting with your children do not limit them to an ordinary paper "canvas". By working together even preschoolers can help you decorate your home. Paint cheery designs on the walls of their rooms. Allow them to dip their hands in paint and "hand stamp" their walls. This is especially meaningful as children don't stay little very long and before you know it they will put their hands up to those handprints and you will both be surprised at how quickly they've grown.

The more personal an activity is the more fun and meaningful it becomes. My kids and I make personal collages and they have become some of our most successful and cherished paint creations.

PERSONAL COLLAGE

For this activity you will need:

1 piece construction paper

paint

scissors

magazine cutouts

glue stick

Let children paint the construction paper. Their painting does not have to resemble anything as they are creating the backdrop for their collage. Allow their painting to dry. Look through magazines and newspapers for anything that is relevant to your child, for anything your child likes - pictures of bananas, balloons and kitty cats for example. Cut these items out and with a glue stick paste them to the painted construction paper here and there. Decorate the edges of the artwork by cutting a scalloped edge or by cutting the entire work in fun shapes if desired. Hang on their walls. My children refer to theirs quite often and anyone that comes to our home has to admire their masterpieces.

Save everything for a rainy day. As long as it's not harmful and has no sharp edges it could have another life as a child's plaything. Let your creative juices flow. Plastic soda bottles and milk jugs transformed into fun and interesting "creatures", plastic cups and string into telephones, cardboard gift boxes into treasure chests, coffee can lids into flying discs, baby wipe containers into parking garages, Popsicle sticks into buildings, airplanes and boats, and on and on and on"¦ Above all - HAVE FUN!

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