Rainy Day Box of Tricks

Summer is usually the time when kids get to play outside, get wet, and have outdoor adventures.  However, sometimes the weather isn't willing to cooperate with such plans.  These are the days when video games and arguments ensue.  May I suggest that we anticipate days like this by putting together a little "box of tricks" to help our kids pass the time?

Every family needs a rainy day box of tricks.  This is simply a box of simple supplies that can be used to encourage creativity when playing outside is not an option.  Here are a few things you might want to have in your box.

Art Supplies:   Fine motor skills are important in a child’s development.  Providing a few materials will encourage creative play of all kinds—arts and crafts, drama, role-playing and game creation.  Most of these items can be organized into a small container and kept on a high shelf until needed.  Keeping adult control of these items will ensure longer life and variety in children’s play.
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Pencils
  • Paint brushes
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Chalk
  • Finger paints
  • Water color paints
  • Play dough
  • Bubbles
  • Crayons
  • Puzzles
  • Flashcards
  • Science, Craft, and Idea Books
  • Paint with water books
Kids of all ages can find something fun in the box.  Here are a list of ideas that you could print and tape in the lid of the box so it is handy when you are trying to help them come up with something to do:

Project Ideas:
  1. Build Your Own Board Game from construction paper, legos, etc.
  2. Thumbprint bugs:  take a colored ink pad and have the child make thumbprints on a piece of paper.  Then with crayons or markers they can draw eyes, legs, antennae of each bug using the thumbprints for the heads or bodies of the bugs.
  3. Whip up some soap powder or flakes in water to a foamy paste.  Let the child finger-paint on a small window or a Formica table top.
  4. Make leaf prints by placing leaf, vein-side up on a solid surface. Put paper on top of the leaf, and run a crayon over the paper.  This works for investigating any kind of item that has a texture.
  5. Weave paper by cutting slits in a piece of colored construction paper and using strips of other colors for the weaving.
  6. Begin a picture gallery in the children’s rooms to display their creations.  Suspend some twine along wall, hang pictures with clothespins.
  7. Do a science experiment together.
  8. Make bubble prints.  Have the child take a piece of construction paper and catch the bubbles you blow with it.  The bubbles make little rings on the paper when they pop.
  9. Make a piñata by covering a balloon with several layers of paper Mache (strips of newspaper dipped in paste made from flour and water and placed on the balloon until it is completely covered). Let it dry and then paint a design or a picture on it.
  10. Have puzzle races.  See who can put a puzzle together the fastest.

Check out the Adventures at Home manual for these and other indoor activities.

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Tags: summer  fun  crafts  rainy day 

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