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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

18 Fun Activities for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day

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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.

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        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

        More by this author

        Katie Lemons

        Parenting Blogger and Full-Time Working Mom

        Reading for Kids: 17 Reasons Why It’s Important and Where to Start 13 Ways Working Moms Can Balance Work and Family (And Be Happy) 18 Fun Activities for Kids to Do on a Rainy Day These 18 Smart Kids Apps Will Make You Rethink Learning and Education 14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

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        Last Updated on October 7, 2021

        Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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        Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

        In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

        Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

        There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

        Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

        Let’s get started, shall we?

        Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

        Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

        1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

        When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

        Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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        “Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

        2. Teaches the Value of Family

        Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

        According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

        3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

        Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

        “Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

        For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

        4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

        How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

        “If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

        5. Creates a Safe Environment

        If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

        Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

        6. Reduces Stress

        This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

        According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

        So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

        How to Make Family Time Happen

        Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

        1. Family Dinners

        This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

        Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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        “Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

        According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

        As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

        2.  Regular Movie Nights

        This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

        Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

        3. Game Night

        This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

        In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

        So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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        4. Sharing a Hobby

        If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

        Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

        Final Thoughts

        Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

        Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

        The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

        Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

        Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
        [2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
        [3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
        [4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
        [5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
        [6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
        [7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
        [8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
        [9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
        [10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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