Feel-Good Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Preschooler
Extreme weather gives us several ‘strictly-indoor’ days each year.
These ‘rainy’ days can become quite challenging if you have a preschooler. Sooner or later, your child will want to do something different from his daily routine, after being inside for so long. Here are some productive ideas that can be feel-good alternatives to the usual indoor play. To children, novelty is a perfect remedy to whatever gloomy setting rainy days bring.
Ask your preschooler to choose one treasured item (like a small stuffed toy), or maybe several small toys of the same kind (like 10 tin soldiers or a dozen plastic eggs). Have your child close his eyes or wait in his room while you hide the treasure(s) in crafty places within a specific area of the house. Call your child, when you’re ready for the hunt. Before he begins, give your child specific area limits, like ‘only in this or that room’. If your child is an older preschooler, you may want to give a time limit just to make it more exciting. Use the clues “you’re getting warm” or “you’re getting cold” to keep things interesting. Once your preschooler has found the treasure(s), switch roles and be the treasure hunter next time. Limit your preschooler’s hiding places to a room where he can’t endanger himself or knock things over. Encourage him to use the warm and cold clues as you go through the hunt. In case you have an idea of where to look already, still ‘hunt’ for enough time to make it fun for both of you, before you finally find the treasure(s).
Some parents reserve the baby videos for their daughter’s Sweet 16 party. You may be surprised however, at how much your youngster will enjoy seeing her baby-self on screen when you watch those old videos already. She’ll be amazed at how tiny she once was and proud of ‘what a big girl’ she is now. She’ll be thrilled at her own attempts to take a first step, and be laughing at the mess she made when she first tried to feed herself. If you’re not the ‘videographer-parent’ type, baby albums (and those of her siblings) will have the same magical, entertaining effect.
Let your preschooler help you make her own play-dough at home. In a bowl, mix together 4 cups flour, 1 cup refined salt, 1 ¾ cup hot water (handle anything hot for your child), 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and some drops of food coloring. Knead everything together to come up with pliable dough. If you’d like several colors, you can make more batches and drop a different color in each. Also, you can divide the semi-kneaded dough into halves or thirds before adding the different colors your child wants. Salt dough can be used in the same way as modeling clay, for hours or creative fun. You can also bake your child’s formed creations, to create ornaments (not to be eaten). Once the salt-dough ornaments have cooled and hardened from the oven, your preschooler will have fun painting her creations into finished works of art. Her ornament(s) will serve as a souvenir of her fun rainy day. Remember to store any left-over salt dough in an air-tight container for future use.
Extreme weather sets the right kind of atmosphere to help your 4 -year-old or 5-year-old child to appreciate the good things in his life. At the same time, in a manner appropriate to his age, explain that not all children are as privileged and as comfortable as he is now, especially on a rainy day. Ask your child if he would like to share some things with those children who are not as lucky as he is. Remember to keep things light, because you want to teach your preschooler about charity, not guilt. If your child seems comfortable with the idea, help him go through his clothes, books and old toys. Ask him to see if he has some things that may no longer be useful to him, but can still be appreciated by other children. Value whatever he comes up with, even if it’s just one book or a pair of socks. Show him that the value of his gift is not in the amount of his contribution, but in the sincerity of his wanting to help. This is one way to carefully sow the seeds of compassion in your young child. In the future, you may see the initiative to share coming from him already.
Rainy days can teach your child to be creative, innovative, appreciative and fun-loving. With your help, these enjoyable indoor activities can make your preschooler forget about the dour weather outside.