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Published on June 20, 2018

18 Fun Activities for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day

18 Fun Activities for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day

For energetic and restless kids, being cooped up inside can be a damper. The same toys and books can get boring quickly. It may be tempting and easy to resort to screen time to keep your kids entertained but there are so many other activities that are much more beneficial for their development and creativity.

These activities don’t have to involve expensive materials or a complicated set-up. Using many things that you already have in a new and innovative way will keep your kids happy AND keep their minds engaged, away from the screens.

1. Create a cardboard town

Do you have an abundance of cardboard boxes laying around that need to be recycled? Encourage your kids to use them to build a cardboard town.

By using different sized boxes, the town can include a bridge, a park and train tracks. Incorporate toys that you already have on hand, such as blocks, trucks and toy animals. The structures can be decorated with markers and stickers to truly make it their own.

2. Start a family band

Do your kids love banging on their musical instrument toys and making a ruckus? Get the whole family involved and play music together. You can use real instruments that you own like a keyboard or guitar.

Don’t forget to incorporate household items such as pots and pans, wooden spoons and anything else that makes noise![1]

3. Make something yummy

Help your kids get comfortable in the kitchen at an early age by allowing them to help with age-appropriate tasks when making something that they love to eat:[2]

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    Baking is a great group activity where the kids can help with measuring and mixing. Tacos, pizzas and stir fries can also be very kid-friendly.

    Look for recipes that you and your kids will enjoy: Master Chef-To-Be: 40 Easy Recipes To Cook With Kids

    4. Listen to a podcast

    Podcasts are becoming a very popular platform for storytelling, comedy, news and so much more. Chances are, you already have a list of podcasts that you love to listen do.

    Did you know that there are podcasts made for kids too? On Fatherly, they have some interesting podcasts for kids here.

    Round up your family and spend time listening together. Have a laugh, hear a great story or learn something new.

    5. Race paper airplanes

    Folding and racing paper airplanes is a game that never goes out of style. See how far each child can make their paper airplane go, using their own innovative folding technique. Then, try out different designs and see which one is the most aerodynamic. The results may be surprising!

    Here’re some airplanes ideas from John Collins, the Paper Airplane Guy:

    6. Make handmade cards

    Is there a holiday or birthday coming up? Use this time to make unique, thoughtful cards for grandparents or aunts and uncles.

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    Bring out the glitter, paint, stickers and other art materials to let your kids’ imaginations go wild! This will make a wonderful surprise for your relatives to receive in the mail.

    7. Science experiments

    What better way to teach kids about how the world works while entertaining them at the same time? Choose an age-appropriate activity for older kids and help them set it up using common household materials. From invisible ink to a marshmallow catapult, there are endless possibilities for a day of science fun!

    8. Learn how to fold origamI

    Origami is the art of folding paper into a shape that represents an object. It’s amazing how a few simple folds can transform a piece of paper into something completely different!

    Using origami or printer paper, show your kids how to fold a few different simple origami patterns. Once your kids have mastered those, move on to more challenging designs.

    9. Make indoor s’mores

    S’mores doesn’t have to be an outdoor-only treat! Capture the magic of sitting around a campfire by bringing the best part indoors.

    Use your fireplace or stove to roast marshmallows or pop the assembled s’mores into the oven for a ready-to-eat dessert. Tell ghost stories or sing campfire songs to make it a truly authentic experience.

    10. Talent show

    Everyone has a talent they can show off. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, doing an imitation or hula hooping, no talent is too trivial to share in the family talent show.

    Use props, costumes and other members of the family to perform your act. Give out prizes in various categories to all of the participants. Record a video of the show and have a family viewing later.

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    11. Sing-a-long

    Do your family members like to sing in the shower, in the car and pretty much all the time? Put on a song that everyone knows or take turns belting out your favorite tunes. Don’t worry if you or your kids can’t carry a tune. The only requirement is being enthusiastic and having fun.

    12. Board game

    A great way for you and your kids to bond while having fun is to play a board game together. Your kids may not want to pull out Candy Land for the hundredth time, but how about trying some new board games? From families that love Disney, drawing, singing or building, there is sure to be a board game that will get everyone excited.

    Here’re some interesting board games you can try with your kids.

    13. Fashion show

    Dressing up is so much better when kids are allowed to use Mom and Dad’s clothes.

    Use this opportunity to gather up clothes, shoes and accessories that need to be de-cluttered and let your kids have free reign. Create a runway for the models to walk down and showcase their fashionable and on trend outfits.

    14. Indoor obstacle course

    Are your kids full of energy? Design an indoor obstacle course using items such as chairs, hula hoops, and pillows.[3]

      Use a timer to see who can complete it the fastest with no cheating! See if your kids can improve upon their time or figure out more efficient ways of completing the course.

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      15. Create a TV show

      Urge your kids write and produce their very own TV show. It could be a comedy, a mystery, a talk show or a game show. After they come up with a script or plot, record the show for them and do some basic video editing or add special effects. Have a screening with the whole family!

      16. Make ice cream

      Making ice cream at home is a great way to combine a science lesson with a delicious treat! You only need a few ingredients and basic materials to make your very own ice cream: How to Make Ice Cream At Home Without An Ice Cream Making Machine

      Let your kids take charge in doing all of the shaking and check to see if it’s ready after a couple of minutes. Ice cream DOES taste better when you make it yourself.

      17. Plan a garage sale

      You can teach your kids many valuable lessons by helping them sort their own clothes and toys for an upcoming garage sale.

      Help them decide which items they have outgrown and how much they should charge for each. You can also talk to them about what they are going to buy with their profits or encourage them to donate it to a good cause.

      18. Treasure hunt

      Create a list of things for your kids to find around the house. Use riddles if your kids are old enough to add an additional challenging element to the hunt. Design the hunt so that each clue leads to the next one. Have your kids work together to read and figure out each clue. Don’t forget the prize at the end!

        A dreary, rainy day does not have to result in a group of unhappy and bored kids, cooped up inside. There are countless things that can keep them entertained and engaged that doesn’t involve staring at a screen for hours at a time. Use these ideas to show your kids that creativity and enthusiasm can go a long way.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

        [1]Red Tricycle: 14 Handmade Instruments That Actually Play Music
        [2]Thirty Hand Made Days: Kids Cooking Camp at Home
        [3]Family Education: indoor obstacle course

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        Katie Lemons

        Parenting Blogger and Full-Time Working Mom

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        Published on December 14, 2018

        14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

        14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

        According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

        One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

        But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

        1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

        Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

        Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

        Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

        2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

        At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

        Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

        Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

        Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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        3. Build a Community

        In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

        Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

        4. Accept Help

        Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

        There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

        5. Get Creative with Childcare

        Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

        If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

        When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

        6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

        As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

        Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

        7. Create a Routine

        Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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        If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

        Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

        8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

        If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

        When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

        This article may help you to discipline your child better:

        How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

        9. Stay Positive

        Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

        Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

        Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

        10. Move Past the Guilt

        In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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        Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

        Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

        11. Answer Questions Honestly

        Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

        Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

        Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

        12. Treat Kids Like Kids

        In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

        There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

        Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

        13. Find Role Models

        Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

        Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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        Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

        14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

        Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

        Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

        Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

        Final Thoughts

        Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

        However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

        Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

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        Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

        Reference

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