Yesterday my little one and I enjoyed a warm sunny day at the pool! I love those extra warm days that appear in May before the older kids are out of school and everywhere you go is bustling with crowds. There were about eight other kids at the pool, all of whom were little, cute and harmless. We had such a peaceful and enjoyable time!
After putting the boys to bed, I plopped down on the couch and felt the perfect proportion of fatigue after a day well spent running around in the sun. The slight tightness on my skin reminded me of how much I love summer! I instantly began pondering on activities we can do and places we should visit during our summer break!
Summer never ceases to be filled with a plethora of memorable moments. The days are longer yet the rush of life seems to slow down. Our days are filled with trips to the pool, visits to new destinations and evenings by the fire. Family is always around and playdates with our friends can happen more often. For me, it’s also a time when I feel I get to sit back and smell the roses a little more!
I am clearly eager for the season to begin. And while my oldest has a few weeks before he is out on break, the little one and I can start getting a taste of the season right now in May. Some of our usually scheduled responsibilities are starting to conclude for the summer season and with the weather getting warmer, it is the perfect time to start making those memories!
Unfortunately, here in Maryland, we are calling for five days straight of RAIN! So while my heart is yearning for more warm, sunny days, my mind must shift to what on earth I am going to do with A during all this non-stop rain!
I decided to make a list of some of our favorite things to do during those washout days. We are not inside the house very often. We practically LIVE outdoors! So being pent up requires some extra planning! Luckily, I almost always have items around the house that can become a fun project or adventure – most of which you probably have to! I hope you gain some ideas for beating the rainy day blues!
- Make a Fort – This is #1 for a reason; it is our all-time favorite thing to do when pent up! Sometimes we pull out our tents and connect them all together throughout half of the house. Other times, we create our own forts using pillows, couch cushions and blankets. Regardless of our choice, it always inspires creativity and hours of entertainment (I have boys, so think my fort vs. your fort in an apocalyptic attack!).
- Build a Train City – Again, I have boys, so legos and trains are involved here. We build houses, churches, libraries, gas stations, etc out of legos and construct the train tracks throughout the town. It’s a fun project for us to do together and can take a few hours if we get really elaborate.
- PAINT! – I saw a few of you wince as you read this. Yes, paint is messy!!! But it is so fun!! You can keep it clean and simple by putting a smock on your child, setting up the paints on a covered table and keeping the mess contained. OR you can get a little more crazy (as we prefer!) and strip your kid down to his skivvies, cover a large part of the kitchen floor in rolled paper (Did you know Ikea sells rolls of paper super cheap?!), hand them some finger paints and let them go to town! It is sure to be entertaining and will always require another fun activity – a bubble bath!
- Get Baking! – My kids love to help in the kitchen. So whenever we are rained in we make something yummy from scratch. Homemade cookies, soft pretzels, and individual pizzas are our favorite.
- CREATE with Clay – Molding clay is fun because you can let your projects harden and then paint them. Our personal favorite, however, is homemade playdoh. There are a ton of recipes out there (I sampled a Young Living recipe one time which used their essential oils and it smelled amazing!). The kids can help make the playdoh then create with it. Double win!
- Play in the Rain! This is another favorite around here. BONUS if you find a big puddle! We are “lucky” enough to have an area in our yard that floods pretty easily. As you can see, my kids jump in it like it’s a pool! This activity also requires a bath!
7. Visit the Library – If you need to get out of the house, and sometimes we just do!!, the library is always a great place to go. Most libraries now offer interactive games, building blocks, train tables, and puzzles. We also love checking out new books to read (in our homemade fort!).
8. Make an Indoor Obstacle Course – Need an energy burner? Set up a course throughout a “kid safe” part of the house! Our basement is our kid safe area. We don’t keep anything that can be broken down there and everything seems to be padded! Haha. So I set up agility ladders, chairs, jump ropes, balls – whatever I can get my hands on and create a course for them to crawl through, jump over, spin around, etc.
9. Visit the Pet Store – My boys love to walk around this store! We check out the fish tanks, lizards, snakes, cats and the dogs in daycare. Make this even more fun by pulling out some old magazines and cutting out pictures of dog food bags, a fish and other things that might be found around a pet store. Glue the pictures to hard stock paper and take it along as a scavenger hunt for your little one!
10. Let Your Little One Guide! – I was jotting down ideas and realized that some of the most creative concepts we’ve explored are dreamed up by my boys. If you haven’t noticed, I like to PLAN! Some of my ideas are embraced and others get rejected. But if I let them take the lead we often end up playing and learning in a whole new way. Kids are so much more imaginative than us anyway, aren’t they?!