Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Those Rainy Rainy Days

This time of year it's bound to happen, you get teased with spring sunshine then BAM you're hit with a long string of rainy days. The garden is planned, but you can't start planting. The kids want to go to the park, but the swings are soaking wet. Baseball and BBQs beckon, but the cloudbursts won't quite cooperate. So what's a housebound homeschooling family to do???

Here's some of our favorite ways to while away a rainy day:

1) Get creative in the kitchen: Time to pull out a recipe book or two and cook something new and different.My kids have both enjoyed cooking from the Dorling Kindersley Children's Cookbook. I swear they've checked this thing out of the library about a half dozen times, I think I probably should just purchase a copy. From a mom's point of view, I love kids' cookbooks that are straightforward enough that the kids don't need your help to complete a recipe from start to finish. This time around, Mackenzie made sushi from their recipe, and it turned out yummy. Last time we were at the library, Asa went berserk checking out cookbooks, so we've got a big assortment right now to encourage experimentation in the kitchen. A rainy day is the perfect time to tie on aprons and try something new.

2. Board Games. Our family is all about the board games. If I showed you a photo of all of the closets and spaces that we have board games stashed away you'd laugh. I scour the thrift store shelves for old favorites, plus Mackenzie has been going to a weekly gaming group lately and coming home with new recommendations. Our favorites lately in the old standbys category:  ClueScrabbleMastermind, the Memory game (which we have with wooden tiles, though it can be played with cards), Mancala, and a card game called Spite and Malice that my family played when I was growing up. It has been released as Uno Skip-Bo , but you can play it with three decks of regular playing cards if you read up on the rules online.

Other games that we've come to love are: Small World (a kind of crazy civilization game where everyone is a unique combination of races and you have to succeed in the "small world" that you inhabit), Cranium Whoonu which is really fun to get to know friends or neighbors better, Munchkin (and all of the many variations thereof), Fluxx (we have the Monty Python version, as well as the original), and The Ungame (we have the version for kids). I was very surprised that the kids really took to The Ungame, and I love how whenever you play it, you really learn new things about the people around you.

3. Pajama days, pillow fights, setting up obstacle courses in the house with pillows and various household objects, jumping on the bed, getting a tent out in the middle of the floor, sometimes restless rainy day energy is best if channeled into fun indoor activities.When I was little, my mom kept a "rainy day fort" that was just a square bit of material painted like a house that she would put over our card table to make a special place to go on these kinds of days. I still can remember exactly what it looked like, so I know it made a good impression on me.

4. Crafts - Now I'm the most craft-impaired mother on the planet but even I can scare up some glue sticks, cut up magazines or construction paper, make paper bag puppets or collages, sort buttons or sew little pillows out of felt. These kinds of days are made for kid-crafts (as long as you don't mind cleaning up the mess afterwards!)

5.. Curling up on the couch with a good read-aloud book. I have to admit that we're in between read-alouds right now, so if you've got a good one that would be exciting for a 10 year old girl who loves horses, dogs, and anything else animal-related and a 13 year old boy who likes adventures, orcs, trolls, wizards and the like, I'm all ears.

5. When all else fails, get out in the yucky weather anyways! A good pair of wellies (rubber boots) and a jacket are all it takes to brave most rainy days. Sometimes if you just get it all together and set out, you feel a lot better for having gotten yourself out of the house. A hike along a favorite trail can look different in the rain, and you can appreciate the misty views from the top of a local hill for their own unique rainy day atmosphere.

1 comment:

Valerie Willman said...

Great post, Robin! Thanks for the inspiration.