15 TV-free activities for a rainy day

Filed under: Activities: Family Time

Last Saturday, we woke up to a wet and gloomy day. We made a huge breakfast, hung around in our pajamas, and spent the day not going anywhere. After a busy fall and a busier Halloween, it truly was a gift.

It's really tempting on a lazy, rainy day like this one to just put in a movie and plug the kids into the TV. And while I'll admit that we did do that for a little while, after one movie we turned it off. Without cartoons blasting, my kids rediscovered their toys, invented their own games, and generally did what kids are supposed to do ... play.

Since November isn't known for it's beautiful weather, here are 15 TV-free activities for when you're stuck inside this fall:
  • Play board games. Sure, Hi-Ho Cheerio may put you to sleep faster than a double-dose of Ambien, but it's high suspense for your toddler.
  • Bake. Who has time to try new recipes during the week? Grab your kids and head for the kitchen. Make double batches of everything and freeze them for easy grabbing during the week.
  • Create. Who doesn't love a good craft? Little ones are easily pleased with glue and scissors, while older kids might to work on a larger project. Stock up on craft supplies during a big sale, then you'll have them on hand for rainy days.
  • Reminisce. Get out the photo albums and go through them together, sharing family stories. This might be a good time to introduce your child to the concept of a family tree.
  • Write letters. In today's high-tech world, kids don't use snail mail like they used to. Get out some paper and envelopes and have them write a good, old-fashioned letter to far-off friends or relatives. Did you know that people still have pen-pals?
  • Organize. Get your kids busy cleaning out their closets and toy boxes and donate anything they don't use.
  • Exercise! Try building an indoor obstacle course out of pillows, cushions, and other household items.
  • Be bookworms. I love to read, but rarely get the chance to sink into a good book for more than a few minutes at a time. Declare part of the day a read-a-thon. Pull out sleeping bags and pillows, then pile in together for some quiet reading time.
  • Build something. If you have little ones, chances are you have some sort of building blocks in your house. And if your kids are older, they'd be thrilled to be introduced to real hammers, nails, and wood.
  • Go outside. Yes, I know it's raining, but your kids don't care. Puddle-jumping is a rite of childhood.
  • Teach them something new. Your husband plays the guitar, you knit a mean sweater. Take some time to teach your kids about your favorite hobbies.
  • Plan your next vacation. And if you don't have one coming up, plan your family's dream vacation instead.
  • Hold a talent show. Send the kids of to plan their performance (giving you a little break), then set up a stage in your living room and give everyone a chance to perform.
  • Make a sand-free sandbox. This is one that's sure to keep little ones busy for hours. Fill a tub with dry beans, rice, or oatmeal, as well as measuring cups and large spoons.
  • Have a dance party. Burn off that restless energy by turning up the tunes. Dance parties at our house quickly disintegrate into "ball parties," where the girls get out every ball in the house and throw them around while we dance. Good fun!
How do you spend rainy days at your house?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.