Rainy Day Play for Preschoolers
Are your children ready to climb the walls because they’ve been inside for too long? Well, let them! Set up a safe, fun obstacle course that will get them moving around the house. Start with a simple obstacle course to start with: perhaps something like “Run around the dining room table, climb over the footstool, crawl under the chair, and shake the rattle to announce you’re finished.” If you have a long hallway, have children run down the hallway before stopping to climb over or under something. You could also have them carry something on their head or with one hand, skip (for older preschoolers), walk backwards, etc. As children master the obstacles, add more. Supervise closely for safety. Cheer loudly for any effort made and don’t make it about competition (who is first) but about having fun.
Make a Scrapbook
Choose a theme for your scrapbook, such as “trucks” or “beaches” or “teddy bears” or one of your child’s favourite movie characters, such as Dora or Max and Ruby or Huckle Cat. With your child, browse for pictures online (enter your search term in Google and then click on “images” in the top toolbar) and print the pictures. If your child can use scissors, consider printing two or three pictures to a page so your child can cut them out. Then help your child glue the pictures into an old notebook or binder or create a new notebook by stapling pages together. Show your child how to draw borders around the pictures or help him add some descriptions. Print some pictures of your child to add to the scrapbook—beside his favourite truck or talking to her favourite character.
Start a Band
Little children love to make lots of noise—so let them. If you have a collection of toy musical instruments, find them all and distribute them to the children to play. They could have a marching band around the house or simply sit in the living room, playing along to your singing or to their favourite songs. Or you could improvise instruments by digging out some pots and stainless steel bowls from the kitchen to be drums, with sturdy wooden spoons for drumsticks. Children could bang two spoons together to play sticks. Or Google ways to make various musical instruments at home. Encourage children to follow the beat, play together and to sing along.
Mixing and Pouring
Children love to mix and pour, so let them mix and pour in the kitchen. Spread a sheet, bath towel, or newspapers over the kitchen floor for easier clean-up. Give your child a few bowls and teaspoons or mixing spoons. Then give your child a cup or two of white sugar, dry lentils, flour, cornmeal, rice, or other grains to play with. (Rice and lentils could be washed after play to be cooked; sugar and flour will have to be thrown out.) Let your child pour and mix. Then give your child a small bowl of water to add to their “sand” and see what happens. Add a few drops of food colouring to one ingredient to see what happens.
Be a Princess for a Day
If you have little girls in the house who like being princesses, then be a princess for a day. Consider painting toenails and fingernails. Let your daughter wear your high-heel shoes (or her fancy dress-up shoes) and a fancy dress. Style her hair—maybe even with a curling iron (if she’ll sit still). You can practice walking with her in her fancy shoes, pretending that you are going to a party. Set up a tea party in her room or the living room and invite her dolls—serve water or simple snacks there and teach her some manners as part of the game (such as those found here). Little boys could be invited to participate as knights or princes, if they wish, or perhaps as the dragon who is allowed to kidnap the princess from the party until mommy rescues her and tames the dragon.
Next time the weather keeps you playing inside, get creative—and encourage your children to do the same. For more rainy-day ideas, see Fun Rainy Day Activities to do with Your Kids.
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