Take a Home Hike!
A rainy day doesn't have to mean a day without adventure—pack a snack or lunch for two and treat yourself and your child to an indoor hike!
You might want to begin in the living room. As you look through the windows, talk about “jungle” you imagine, and the wild and interesting animals you see moving about. Encourage your child to join in, supporting his/her ideas, including animals never seen before, but invented on the spot!
Next, hike through the kitchen. What kind of place have you come upon? It might be a secret garden, or a park, or a zoo. What do you see there? How do visitors move from place to place here? What kinds of special gear/glasses/supplies would you need here? Let your imagination, and your child's, take flight!
Continue this activity as you move through each room of the house. When you find a cozy place to park yourselves, enjoy your picnic snack/lunch. Talk about the places you've “seen”. A perfect adventure day without an actual get-away!
(You'll be supporting your child's creative thinking and language skills)
Create “Naturally Beautiful” Collages
The next time you take a walk with your child, bring along a paper bag. Talk about the leaves, sticks, stones, flowers, grasses, tree bark, etc, that you see along the way. Invite your child to collect some of these interesting objects and bring them home.
When you return home, give your child the opportunity to paste the objects onto the cardboard, creating a beautiful nature collage. Explore the different textures of the objects you've collected. Later, display the collage for the whole family to see. As you talk about this new piece of art, see if your child can recall where the different objects were found. Beauty is all around us!
(You'll be supporting your child's fine motor, sensory awareness, and language skills)
With all the toy building materials on the market today, it's fun to get back to basics and use everyday materials to help kids create all kinds of buildings and objects. Save empty egg cartons, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, empty fruit containers, etc. Share the supplies with your child and encourage him/her to use the materials to represent houses, apartment buildings, parking garages, animals, imaginary play spaces and more. As you create together, you can provide additional materials, such as toy people and animal figures, plastic road signs, and art materials (crayons/paint/construction paper/tissue paper) to enhance your constructions. You may be surprised to learn about some of your child's favorite people, places, and things, as you work!
(You'll be supporting your child's spatial awareness, as well as fine motor and language skills)
Happy Play Clay Day!
We know homemade can mean more than store bought—so how about mixing up some quick and easy “right out of the kitchen” play clay?!
Invite your child to help you mix 3 cups flour with 1 cup salt. Slowly add in one cup of water and ½ cup vegetable oil. (For added fun, try adding a few drops of food coloring to portions of play clay to add some red/green/yellow/blue to kids play clay objects)
Knead the dough, put a plastic placemat on the kitchen table, and play clay away!
(Another fun fine motor skill building experience!)
What's better than a cozy family movie on a rainy afternoon.............one that includes a home-made concession stand!
Here's one I made this winter--a hit during the holiday season, and, I suspect, anytime.
All you need is a large cardboard box like the one I used below. The box top serves as the backdrop and awning.
A little paint gives it that old world theatre look!
In my case, a few sweet treats made the concession stand extra sweet! However, you can provide any kind of snack you prefer, just dress them in nifty paper or plastic bowls.
I also provided tickets for 4-year-old Rory to pass out to sell to all the adult movie goers and play money that worked well during the exchange! (You can make your own tickets and play money. To save time, I bought a roll of tickets and a stack of play money at a party goods store.)
Just so you know, be prepared for the concession stand to outshine the featured movie every time!