We've been warned that El Niño was coming and that we'd be getting a triple dose of rainfall and winter like weather but I didn't actually believe it.
And then came Saturday....
...And Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Rain, rain, rain.
In my house that equates to decibel levels that are off the charts, lots of whining and lots of bored kids making bad decisions.
When we lived in China, our summers were spent surviving torrential downpours and monsoons. I came up with a box of activities that my son was only allowed to play with when it rained--so that it felt like a special treat when he got to pull out the box and find something that he wanted to do.
We called it the rainy day box.
Now that we are back in California and are actually experiencing real rainfall, I decided to make a new rainy day box for my kids to enjoy.
I bought a large sterilite container and took a trip to the dollar store and target dollar bins to start filling it.
Here's what in our bin:
Foam heart shapes
Stamps and stamp pad
Large serving spoon
Write on wipe off letter book (dollar tree)
I also had on hand:
Wood alphabet puzzle
Geo board and rubber bands
My 4 year old and 2 year old both enjoy age appropriate activities with these materials.
Here's what we like to do:
Materials: muffin tin, tongs, spoon, pompoms
My daughter (2) enjoys pinching and grasping them with the tongs. This works fine motor skills and helps build finger/ pincher strength that will be beneficial when she starts writing.
My son (4) enjoys sorting by color, shape and size. He also likes to pick them up with a spoon and balance them as he walks from one end of the table to the other.
Pony bead sorting:
Materials: muffin tin, pony beads
This is an activity that my younger kids aren't allowed to participate without my full attention due to the small size of the beads. My son likes to sort by color and then count each cup to see which color "won" by having the most.
Pony bead bracelets:
Materials: pony beads and pipe cleaners
Kids string pony beads onto pipe cleaner and can make patterns or just be random depending on their ages. Sometimes I lay a sequence out for my son and he tries to copy.
Bubble wrap jumping:
Materials: bubble wrap and wiggly kids
Lay the bubble wrap out and encourage them to jump away.
Materials: stamps, nontoxic stamp pad and lots of paper.
Stamping and coloring. What's better to pass a day? Pro tip: keep wipes handy. Ink tends to get everywhere-- if say, you have to turn your back to change the baby.
Materials: hole punchers, paper
This activity is good for preschoolers to help develop their pincher/squeezing muscles for writing. My son likes to make confetti.
Materials: foam shapes, paper, glue
My daughter is super into (eating) glue sticks, so I am trying to teach her what glue sticks can be used for. She glues the paper and then presses a heart on the paper. We talk colors and sizes (big/medium/small). My son usually sorts by size or color. He's a sorting master.
Materials: geoboard and rubber bands
These are great for little hands and trying to make shapes and designs. My father in law made ours but they're available on Amazon as well.
Materials: coloring book, crayons, markers
This activity is self explanatory. I stocked up on coloring books and these fantastic write on/wipe off activity books at Dollar Tree.
I rotate one of our puzzles into our rainy day box so that it seems new each time they play with it, without me actually having to buy new puzzles all the time.
So, there you have it. A bunch of ideas to help keep you sane and your kids busy on your next rainy day. The only thing that could make a rainy day even better was if Starbucks started delivering.
A mom can dream, right?