April showers are bringing us May flowers. So, get out your rain boots & umbrellas….& superhero PJs? Yes, that is the dress code of choice around here on rainy days. Being a former Oregonian, I feel right at home when the rain starts coming our direction. Believe it or not, I have many fun memories of the rain — & yes, I used to sing and dance and try to recreate the movie “Singing in the Rain.” I actually thought our state song was “Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head” when I was a kid. It seemed to always be on the radio when I was little. Maybe I’m just dating myself as to the top 10 list of my time as a kid, or maybe it was just the DJ’s favorite song to play.
I was thinking through how to create some special memories with my kids in regards to rain and fun activities. I remember when my oldest boys were little I’d think, “Oh no, what do we do when it’s raining outside?” I’d end up spending all day researching activities to do with my kiddos to keep them busy and burn off energy when it’s raining outside.
Then it hit me, if it’s not storming — no lightening or gale-force winds — it’s okay to have them burn off energy outside. Novel, I know. But it seems like people in my neck of the woods just aren’t used to rain, and almost panic when it starts.
So, we grab our rain gear & head outside for activities that are sure to entertain. Of course, we have equal fun inside after we dry off.
My 6 Fun Rainy Day Activities
1. Puddle Jumping-As mentioned in the start, we love to just run around with umbrellas and boots — and PJs! Of course, coming inside to warm up by the fire with some hot cocoa is a must! I will admit that this Mommy usually takes pictures from the door versus getting soaked. But some days I do join in the fun.
2. Mud Towers & Pies-Make some good ‘ole mud pies & towers. I know for my boys, they love building towers as high as they can no matter what medium they are using — legos, blocks or mud. All equal in fun and triumph! Knocking down towers of mud or squashing them flat is always entertaining as well — as long as it’s not another sibling doing it without permission.
Now one benefit to muddy kids is the awesome sin illustration you can incorporate. I try to remind them that sin is like the mud all over them. We talk about how “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and how “while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Then I turn on the water and wash them clean and tell them that Jesus is the Living Water and washes our sins white as snow and forgives us of all our sin. A lesson they will surely not forget.
Of course, getting them to the shower is sometimes a messy, adventure. I should mention that having towels handy and a shower on standby are important for this activity. When the weather is warmer, we just use a hose to get the mud off.
3. Snail Catching!-Okay, we get overrun by snails this time of year. & the rain does a great job of bringing them out to slim around. I have my kids do something highly unusual, yet extremely practical. They run around with plastic, gallon-size milk jugs and put snails in it. The key is to make a solution of a bit of salt water at the bottom. Otherwise, they try to crawl back up and out. Gross!! We pay a penny per snail. So, this turns into a money making and counting exercise. Everyone pulls together to work toward a common goal — and my yard is getting saved. Funny side note: My Little Princess told me that she loves snails, because “they cuddle” her. I really didn’t know what to say other than, “Just don’t cuddle them back and no kissing, please!”
4. Indoor Snow Day!-When it is too cold to get outside, or we’ve already been there and done that, we like to do an indoor snow day. The kids get into their swim suits and hop into the tub. We start with a 9×13 aluminum pan full of shaving cream. We add army men, astronauts, shovels, paint brushes and just let the fun unfold and foam. Beards, crazy hair and pretend shaving usually come into play at some point. The best is that clean up is easy since they are already in the tub.
5. Fireplace S’mores-Nothing fits with rainy (or snowy) days like a warm, cozy fire. Not only does it add ambience and warmth, but it always makes us salivate for some indoor s’mores. Who needs a camp fire to make s’mores? The kids really enjoy roasting marshmallows indoors. Of course, there are days we just enjoy our Fancy S’mores next to the fireplace. But most rainy days, we do pull out the wire hangers and make some skewers.
6. Read-A-Thon-On super stormy days, when umbrellas might just re-create Ben Franklin’s kite experiment, we change up our homeschool day and all sit around and enjoy a good read-aloud book together. We often just make a day of it and soak in the ambience. We usually end up all reading our own books, even the little ones. Of course, their “reading” consist of flipping through their picture books next to us. 🙂
Nothing makes memories stick better than adding fun meals and snacks to the day. So, I gear my meals for the weather changes. We do lots of hot meals for breakfast. Anything from egg dishes, oatmeal cooked with fresh, tiny apple bites and cinnamon to raisin cinnamon french toast with hot maple syrup. We tend to make lots of pumpkin pancakes in the fall. For lunches, we do grilled cheese, tuna melts or any other open face sandwich with melted cheese. I love to grab all my favorite soup & stew recipes and toss them in my crock pot. Meals are accompanied by hot drinks of either cocoa with peppermint sticks left over from Christmas or spice tea (or coffee for mom).
Whatever the weather is outside, making memories with my kids is always fun!