If You’re Happy And It’s Raining Clap Your Hands
Rainy days, the bug bear of family life and a nightmare for the long summer break. Long school holidays, such as summer or Christmas, can wreak havoc for parents and often end up with your kids driving each other crazy as well.
As a mom of three, I find that my children end up fighting more when they are together for longer periods of time. Time off from school can become difficult for all of us unless you find ways to keep these kids busy.
The outdoors is great, fresh air does everyone a lot of good and seems to dissipate the pent up emotion that comes from being cooped up indoors for a long period of time. Outdoors, in the great open air, kids can run around and get exercise too. I’ll sit by with a book and leave them to it, always keeping a watchful eye on them of course.
But what do you do when it’s raining outside without any hope of letting up?
My youngest, who is now 4, could easily be distracted by bringing out toys he hadn’t played with in quite a while. I routinely cycled my kids’ toys so that they never had all their toys out in one go. As well as less clutter, it meant that by putting away some toys for a month or so, my kids would play with whatever was in their toy basket. After a few months, I would put those toys away and bring out some others that they hadn’t seen in a while.
And what do you know? My kids would play with renewed fervor with these toys that they hadn’t seen in some time. My son would play with his toy trains for hours! It kept him suitably busy and out of the way of his older siblings.
The oldest two, now 7 and 10 years old could be kept busy with their Melissa and Doug activity table. This was great for keeping the kids contained in one room and in one area. They could do their art and craft work on here, play with trains, and do puzzles and anything else that required a sturdy table.
It meant my kitchen table remained clean and they could make as much mess as they wanted. I would be happy and they would be happy. With the rain outside, who cared?
I think they are getting a bit too old for the activity table and are past the age of wanting to do puzzles, unless we’re talking the 500 to 1000 piece puzzles. Nowadays the sorts of activities that keep them busy are where you can create or build things that look spectacular.
Their newest project is putting together the pieces of the Lego space shuttle. With over 1000 pieces to join up, this play set keeps them entertained and though it is aimed at teenagers aged 16 and above, I find that by getting my two older children to work together and with a bit of my input, they can pretty much build a great replica from Nasa in a few hours.
I have to make sure that my youngest stays well away since his contribution to whatever they have built will be to smash it down again if only to provoke a reaction.
Keeping kids entertained at home during rainy weather is not always easy but there are ways around it.
Shelley Kim is the mother of three amazing children who keep her very busy nearly all of the time. She is also the founder of 1stToysOnline.com.
Image source: whattoexpect.com