July 13, 2009
Imagine if you will, a couple days of rainy weather. Or worse yet, a whole week. Or the unthinkable - an entire month of rainy, wet summer days.
That was our June. Ok, it didn't rain the whole month there were those 2 days of sunshine. And we made the best of those days but the rest of the month was a literal wash out.
I've learned a few tips from last month that I thought I'd pass on. Although they're about spending wet days with children I think they apply to any life situation, so even if you're childless please do read on.
1. Go out anyway
Unless you're a witch you won't melt, promise, and it's usually (last month's experience notwithstanding) warmer during the summer so you don't need to worry about the cold.
Put on a rain-proof layer, rubber boots (barefoot is fun in mud), go out, explore and get wet. Come back home and make soup for lunch. Teach your kids and yourself to enjoy life in spite of the circumstances.
2. Tackle an indoor project
The kids might not be as gung-ho about this idea but maybe motivate them with a special treat. We recently ordered some new books from Amazon and upon their arrival I went through all our existing books (we try not to accumulate so there wasn't that many) and cleaned up the bookshelves, kid's books included.
We spent a morning on the floor asking "keep, give, swap or sell?" And when we were done everyone felt better about the easy to find books.
3. Make something, anything
My kids have been really into making little houses this past month. They've spent days raiding the fabric stash, craft closet and recycle bins; designing, cutting and gluing. Those colorful blue, red, gray, green and golden colored balls on the middle left in the below photo - those are miniature food platters made with baked polymer clay.
These ideas are all their own, I don't usually direct my children's creative play too much. If you need some inspiration check out FIMBY's Sewing & Craft page. A favorite of ours is Silly Putty. Also check out The Crafty Crow.
4. Watch a movie (or two, three, four...)
I love SnagFilms for finding free, quality documentaries on-line. We have the bonus of a very large monitor so the picture quality is good.
Not everything on this site is kid friendly but I've stuck to the PBS & National Geographic offerings. There is a lot of good films on this site that I want to watch too, but who has the time?
I have found that an hour long documentary will spark days worth of creative play - whether it's pirates, Japanese ninja's, African animals, WWI sunken ships - whatever they watch will fire their imagination and inspire their creativity.
(I wrote this in the days before online Netflix streaming and other internet programming.)
what can I say it's all ninja around here these days
5. Books, books and more books
We visit the library once a week and during those rainy weeks the kids spent a lot of time in books. My 8 & 6 year old don't even officially read yet but they still love books.
Audio books are a great alternative to regular reading time and can free mom up to do other stuff, although I get into the stories as much as the kids. Our library has a selection in the children's reading room.
I'd love to hear your rainy day summer ideas. Please share in the comments.
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