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7 DIY Rainy Day Adventures

May 22, 2014

Article and Photograph by Nikki Cecala

The author's one-year-old son and her 11-year-old step son play in a DIY fort.

Most people look at rainy days as sad, gloomy days, but for families, they can be an enjoyable bonding experience. Rainy days are a great opportunity to shut off phones, cancel plans, and just stay inside and catch up on family engagements. There are wonderful low-cost adventures that are great for children of any age. Here are some examples and the benefits these simple games have that you may not have recognized.

Build a fort or an indoor obstacle course
If you don’t have boxes lying around, grab a bed sheet and throw it over the kitchen table. You can also put blankets and pillows under the table and tell stories or read a book together. If you have furniture you can easily move around, create obstacles using pillows, blankets, and sheets.

Play hide and seek
You are never too old for this game and it gets better as you get older! Be creative with your hiding spots but also accessible if you are playing with younger children. Hide and seek is a great game to get children wildly excited and physically active while indoors.

Imaginary playtime
Children love playtime and it assistances with brain development. You are giving the child an opportunity to be imaginative and artistic all by themselves. By letting them play “grown up,” they are unconsciously making life decisions and choices based on pure observation. Warning: this can be extremely adorable to witness.

Make some noise
Have a dance party! Kids are full of energy, so what better way for them to release it than through music and dance? If you aren’t the dancing kind, make instruments out of household objects like macaroni in a plastic soda bottle or use wooden spoons as a drum set. Either way, turn up the music and get silly!

Indoor scavenger hunt
Make a list of 30 or 40 harmless, nontoxic objects and hide them throughout the house for your child to find. You can time the scavenger hunt or attach points to it to make it more challenging and exciting, depending on the child’s age and skill level.

Play board games or cards
Board games play a crucial role in recognizing numbers, shapes, grouping, letter recognition, and reading. It also enhances visual perception, color recognition, and hand-eye coordination. Depending on the game, you could also be teaching your child life skills such as decision-making and showing the cause and effect of one’s choices.

Puzzles
Puzzles teach your child critical thinking and concentration skills. A younger child will learn shape recognition, from more basic shapes such as triangles and circles to more complex shapes used in jigsaw puzzles. Puzzles also enhance a child’s memory as he or she tries to remember the shape of pieces that don’t fit or will fit somewhere else later on.

Invent a family rainy day adventure yourself!
Take this opportunity to invent a tradition with your family that you all can do when it’s gloomy outside. The list is never-ending! It also gives you and your child something to look forward to on rainy days instead of moping around the house trying to find something to do.

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