It is raining here in Houston. A bunch. As in all over Houston. Since the city is built on a series of bayous, they are all flooding and so unless your job is a matter of life or death for others, you are home today, or should be. This means some moms (and dads) are home with kids today when they thought they would be at school. As for someone who grew up in Kansas, we had plenty of cancelled school days but they usually involved ice and snow; never rain. I personally loved blizzard days both as a kid and later as a mom. I loved the change in routine and the fun things you could do when you couldn’t leave the house. I do remember though that the little ones would be a mess on the days the school kids were home. They were fine on Saturdays and Sundays, but somehow those kids being home on a scheduled school day really messed with their territorial instincts. So this morning, I am trying to recall some of our favorite snowy day (rainy day) activities to help you keep from pulling your hair out.
Here are my top 5 suggestions:
- Build a tent or fort. Hang sheets and light weight blankets or comforters across the couch and attach them to some chairs, or hang it over your dining room table and then gather some pillows, stuffed animals and good books. Crawl in their with the kids and have some fun! After a while the kids will kick you out and you can read your own book. My number one favorite thing to do.
- If you have the supplies on hand, make smores to go with the tent theme. On a parchment lined baking sheet, lay down graham cracker squares, top with chocolate bars and then marshmallows. Toast them in an oven at 350 degrees or with your broiler. Watch closely, and when they are browned to your liking, remove from oven and cover with another graham cracker. Clean up required. Be sure and have the kids help build these up until you stick them in the oven. I recommend only adults or an older child put on the final cracker as the sheet pan will be very hot! Don’t have smores ingredients? No problem, get three ingredients out and have the kids help you come up with a recipe. Use the non-rush of this day to introduce your children to the creativity of cooking.
- Pull out those board games that typically take a little longer to play; ones that on busy school nights you never play. I am thinking Life, Mousetrap, Scrabble, Marble games, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly, etc. Or those annoying games that your kids love but you really don’t enjoy that much. This is a great day to indulge them.
- Make some homemade play dough and create some fun shapes. Pull out the cookies cutters or look for other unusual “dough cutters”. The recipe is posted below.
- Watch a musical! Usually these are longer and not usually the first thing families reach for, but they are great and a good way to introduce your kids to a bit of culture. Look for age appropriate ones. I am thinking Mary Poppins, Music Man, Oklahoma, etc. for younger children. My teen boys who have now all finished studying the French Revolution in History are going to be watching Les Misérables later today. The video games ARE NOT going to be played all day. (One reason, I am tired of hearing them yell at their friends through their headsets that they are not driving fast enough on their racing game!) Note, we have waited several years to view Les Misérables, as some scenes are very graphic despite their accuracy of the historical situations, so choose what is right for your children. Dig in your dvd drawer, if you have cable check your on demand” options. If you use an online service like Netflix or Amazon, see what musical you can find and you will be singing the rest of the day!
Rain Day Playdough
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 package unsweetened Kool Aid
Mix all together and cook over medium heat in a saucepan until the mixture forms a “blob”.
Remove from heat, knead a little and store in a zip-lock bag.
Ready for play on a rainy day, on the the kitchen table, but NOT on the carpet!
Well, I need to close this post and figure what in the world we are going to eat, but at least I hope this gives you a few ideas if you woke up in a daze wondering what in the world you were going to do to keep the kids from driving you crazy today. Let me know your favorite “cabin fever” activities and have a great Rainy Monday.