Rainy Day Activities
Just because this rainy weather is staying put doesn’t mean you have to. Here are some fun activities to get children moving indoors!
- Make a treasure hunt: Lay out three to four clues leading children to a prize, like a trinket or healthy snack. Adapt the clues for children’s reading level. Use written riddles, puns or pictures, or make the game toddler-friendly by assigning clues to items of a specific color. With each clue, include instructions about how children should travel to the next hiding place: hopping, skipping, running, crawling, waving their hands in the air, etc.
- Dance and move with musical statues: Children love to dance, and this activity leads to even more fun by asking children to freeze mid-move! Simply turn on the tunes, and explain to children that they must become a statue when the music stops. Encourage them to move as fast as they can by jumping, bouncing, marching and wiggling. Then, when you pause the music, call out “Statue!” to signal that it’s time to strike a pose. You can make this game educational by asking children to freeze in the shape of different letters.
- Film an exercise video: There are tons of fun exercise videos online, on TV or at your local library. Show kids your favorite selection (we are big fans of Zumba!) and task them with choreographing their own routine. Put on some music and use a video camera or smartphone to record their moves!
- Construct a fort or obstacle course: Is there anything more fun than building a fort with your kids? Make sure you start with a sturdy base like a table or big cardboard box to make your architectural creation safe. Round up all your blankets and pillows to add walls or padding to the inside of the fort. Or, for an obstacle course, use sheets and bag clips or clothespins to section off different areas. Balls and hula-hoops can add to the fun.
- Play balloon volleyball: Use two chairs and a ribbon or yarn to create a low-hanging net. Then blow up a balloon and start playing! If you want to organize a more collaborative game, challenge children to work together to keep the ball in the air. Toddlers might enjoy the help of a paper plate to make hitting the balloon a little easier.
- Stretch and learn: This stretching game helps children learn the alphabet while increasing flexibility and range of motion. Fill a container with cards, each with a different letter written on it (for younger children, start with uppercase letters that are easy to form, such as A, C, H, I, L, M, O, T, V and W). Next, march in place while singing the “ABC song.” Have children take turns picking letter cards and, as a group, bend, stretch, twist and reach to form that letter. Teach literacy by asking kids to name words that start with their letter!
- Create a hopscotch map: Using tape, plan out a hopscotch route with numbers in each square. Have children toss a small toy in any one of the squares. Then, ask them to walk, hop, jump, or crawl to the square, calling out the numbers as they go!
For more ideas check out: pecentral.org, sesamestreet.organd familyfitness.about.com