Bored on Rainy Days? Activities Your Child Can Delve Into! By Jenny Wise, Guest Blogger for ParentTalk


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“Rain, rain, go away - come again another day!” In children’s minds, rainy weather typically equates to a less-than-interesting day. However, even if you are stuck inside, there are plenty of activities you can do to develop your child’s mind and imagination. And unlike simply supplying them with a video game controller and unlimited TV time, these activities allow you to be hands-on with your child. They can explore and develop new skills that will help them unlock their full potential.

Here are some fun, educational activities you and your child can delve into on a rainy afternoon.


Burn Off Excess Energy

Once your child realizes that rain means they will be stuck inside all day, the first thing you’ll want to do is work off that excess energy. Just because you and your child aren’t able to go outside doesn’t mean you have to stay sedentary. A quick search on YouTube will provide a large number of exercise videos geared for all ages -- from animal-themed videos for toddlers to educational cartoons for grade schoolers, all it takes is a search.  Light exercise is good for kids because it helps them develop strong hearts and lungs, enhances emotional well-being, and will help them sleep better at night. Even if you’re inside all day, you can still take some time to exercise with your child. To get them more engaged, try making it into a game or treating it as a dance party.

 

Create a Work of Art

Rainy days can be a great time to start experimenting with other activities your child may not have tried before, like art. Art is useful on several different levels. It can help your child develop fine motor skills, precision, and problem-solving capabilities. Drawing is also a great way for children to process their emotions in ways for which they might not have words. Finally, the creative process has great neurological effects and is fun, as well!  To start out, try searching online for free beginner drawing tutorials. Since drawing only requires paper and a pencil, it can be an engaging, cost-effective way to spend a rainy afternoon. Get your child even more into the process by giving them the power of choice -- let your child choose what they would like to draw, then join in. In addition to the other benefits, sharing in a creative activity will deepen your child-parent bond.

 

Make Music Together

Music is another ideal activity for rainy afternoons. Recent studies have found that musical activity in childhood actually speeds up cognitive development, increasing reading, language, and mathematical skills. Playing music engages the problem-solving parts of the brain and also releases endorphins triggered by the satisfaction of creation, reducing stress overall. Online music lessons can be a perfect way to get started with music. Eventually, your child may want to pick up an instrument officially, and it can be difficult to decide which instrument to play. Basic logistics can help narrow down your choice (for instance, can your child reach the pedals on a piano or the far frets on a guitar?), but much of the decision comes down to your child’s personality and preference. It is highly recommended to let your child test out different instruments; for example, they may not feel drawn to a viola, but they may gravitate toward the smooth sounds of a saxophone or clarinet. 

 

Explore Science with Household Ingredients

Finally, you can also do small at-home science experiments together. For example, with a few basic household ingredients, you can turn a simple glass of water into a blob of lava! Let your child follow the instructions themselves, then develop their analytical skills by asking them questions, such as how different liquids might affect the lava or how the shape of the glass affects the liquid’s motion. If you engage your child’s curiosity, filling the day is easy.

Being stuck indoors on a rainy day doesn’t mean your child has to sit quietly all day! With the help of the internet, there is no end to the fun, educational activities at your disposal. By the end of it, your child might be eagerly anticipating the next rainy day.

Note that overindulgence research shows that children who are always “entertained” had long-term negative effects. Instead, parents who empower and encourage their children to discover exciting things to do all on their own grow up to be more self-sufficient!


Jenny Wise is a stay-at-home parent. She writes and manages the “Special Home Educator” blog. Contact her at specialhomeeducator.com.


There is more help about avoiding overindulgence in How Much is Too Much? Raising Likeable, Responsible, Respectful Children – From Toddlers To Teens – In An Age of Overindulgence (2014, DaCapo Press Lifelong Books).


Photo Credit: Pixabay.com


© David J. Bredehoft, Jean Illsley Clarke & Connie Dawson 2004-2018;  bredehoft@csp.edu, jiconsults@aol.com