So, what to do on a rainy February day that has turned into 4 rainy February days and the usual crayons, water colors and trains just aren't cutting it? (btw, Sean has school T-W-Th, when Jamesie has speech....and it has happened to rain Friday-Monday when we have very little "built-in" activities except for an hour at church Sunday morning). This morning, faced with the daunting reality of yet another day inside with my three little loves I founds myself literally googling "what to do with kids on a rainy day" just to inject some new ideas into our home. Here is a list of some of things we've been doing, thanks in part to more creative mom-blogs than mine, Pinterest, and good reading skills:
1. Read. We checked out Little House in the Big Woods from the Library on Friday. Started it Saturday morning, and finished it before naps today (Monday). Sean is a reading machine. At one point today he looked up from the book and said "We are dominating this book!" I LOVE that chapter books don't intimidate him, as they did me for so long...I love that he loves to read. I love when we come to the end of a long chapter he lights up and says "can we read another chapter!?" While his reading skills are certainly blossoming, Cody and I read this one to him, with him reading some words and sentences here and there. And by here and there I mean all over the house. We read 229 pages in just over 48 hours with a four-year-old. We have snuggled down and read everywhere.
I love Little House, and always imagined reading the books with my daughters. I never noticed how interesting they are to boys. One entire chapter was about nothing but meat and guns. After reading it Sean told Cody, I really love meat and guns.
I've also be re-inspired by Laura's stories. Ma works hard and doesn't complain. I have it easy with a washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. The least I can do is use them regularly.
Even Cody has enjoyed reading Laura Ingalls Wilder. At least the parts about meat and guns.
2. Do science experiments: We used a little book my sister gave us for Christmas called "Solids, Liquid and Gases" and did things such as fishing for ice, racing raisins in club soda, holding a glass of water upside down with nothing but cardboard (and air pressure) holding the contents in, etc etc.
3. Go for a haircut. Yes, this involves leaving the house. But at least we didn't waste any nice-weather days sitting inside getting a haircut. Plus, we got lollipops.
4. Paint....without brushes. This little gem I found during my desperate google search this morning. It goes something like this (enjoy "after" pics of haircuts below):
Make dots oall over your work space (we used an old shirt box cut out)
With whatever paint you have around the house.
Hold it up. (make sure to have a plastic tablecloth)
Shake it around. Repeat dots, holding, shaking....about a million times. Take off your shirt somewhere in the middle of the million times so not to ruin it.
(and it was only 9:40 a.m. at the end of this....a looooong monday to say the least.)
5. Make a self-size box costume. Or robot, or monster, or truck, or whatever one makes out of a box with head and arms cut-outs. Allow the kids to paint and color as much as they want on the box. The box is a changeling depending on what they need it to be at different times of day.
And some other gems I didn't get a picture of in the last few days:
6. Make a fort (duh). Our fort was awesome....complete with a lantern inside, a reading area and a playing area. I have a feeling it will be going up again this afternoon.
7. Have a manners-date with your kids. Toward the end of our long morning today even I was getting antsy. I told the kids if they ate a good lunch, quickly and without complaining, we could go to the new cafe down the street for a treat before naps (yes, i know, leaving the house again, but car-to-door distance was about 10 feet--worth it to get out). Each boy brought their money from their grandparents' Valentine's gift (what was left of Jamesie's after the Stuart Little fiasco). We talked about manners and they eached practiced 1. ordering, 2. napkins on laps, 3. elbows off the table, 4. looking at the waitress when saying "please" and "thank you." Sean did awesome--he loves rules. Jamesie did a decent job of saying thank you and sitting still...for a few minutes. He's also only 2, so he pretty much did a great job for a 2 year old. Sis killed it sitting still in her stroller and eating her sock. We only ordered dessert (I got a cup of soup and Diet Coke), so it was short enough they weren't going nutso, but exciting enough to keep them engaged, and fun enough that they will remember some of the manners practicing--hopefully!
8. Have a long bath. After the painting this morning we'll be utilizing our afternoon time with a long bath where the boys can play as long as they want to. Bedtime will be less stressful and we'll take up a good chunk of time getting warm and clean this afternoon!.
9. Play Mad Dog. Laura Ingalls taught us this one around page 34. Pa, or Cody, makes his hair look wild, drops to all fours and pretends to be a mad dog (or wolf, or panther), chasing little boys around the house. All boys and mad dogs are allowed to scream as loud as they want indoors without any motherly interference. Only to be done when the baby is awake.
10. Bake. Since its Lent I'm thinking of trying zucchini muffins this afternoon. Not thrilled about eating zucchini instead of some combination of cinnamon, flour, butter and sugar, but its a challenge to bake something new.
11. Let the kids watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad and decide not to be annoyed by it.
OK, I did have a picture of this one. Still working on not being annoyed by (a) too much iPad usage and (b) Mickey's voice. And I just heard Minnie say "mouska-music-maker." Really trying.
Anyone else have out-of-the-ordinary rainy day activities to keep us entertained? What do you do when you're stuck inside all day?