Learning the Fun Way on a Dreary, Rainy Day: Indoor Activities for Kids
Rainy weather is usually a sign for kids to hunker down at the gaming console and wait out the weather the way kids do these days. If you’re a parent looking for ways to separate the kids from video controls and handheld devices, a rainy day is a perfect opportunity to give it a try.
The Internet has a wealth of activities ready-made for children who have too little to do inside when it’s too wet to play outside. Search engines, YouTube and other online platforms can be robust tools for moms and dads looking for ways to combine fun and education in ways that will help your kids while away the time in productive and meaningful ways.
Play a tune
Check out some instructional music videos on YouTube. If you have a saxophone, clarinet or some other instrument at home, your kids can have hours of fun learning how to play it. Learning to play an instrument benefits a child’s cognitive development, teaches patience and discipline, boosts self-confidence and develops physical skills. Youngsters learn to collaborate with others as they make music together, which enhances social skills and develops motor skills. And it’s fun picking out the right instrument with your child. Most music stores will allow you to handle and try out different instruments to see which is best for your kid.
Get straight to the art
Kids really enjoy drawing, painting or working with clay. They’re fun and creative activities that many children don’t do as much anymore in this age of high-tech entertainment. Art refines hand/eye coordination and provides a means of self-expressionthat lets kids explore limitless imaginative possibilities. There are many online drawing tutorials that can show kids of all ages how to make the most of their creative impulses.
It may be a rainy day outside, but your children can still get up and get active. Dial up an exercise or dance videoand let the kids go at it. If you have younger kids, there are exercise videos that let them exercise while mimicking animal movements or learning some new dance moves. Or, give yogais a fun and healthy exercise discipline for people of all ages. Children enjoy learning the different poses that comprise a yoga routine. Try doing a few moves with your kids and make it a family affair.
Get the popcorn
How about turning your living or entertainment room into a movie theater for a few hours and cue up some of your children’s favorite flicks? If they have a hard time agreeing on what to watch, air a nature show or a documentary that encourages your kids to learn and think about the world with a broader perspective. Try Watermark, People of a Feather, Listen to Thisand Prom Night in Mississippifor some illuminating information and stories that will keep everyone transfixed.
Hop online and get the kids involved in educational games including Funbrain, Simon Says and Musical Chairs. National Geographic Kids and PBS Kids’ Games are two platforms with an extensive list of fun and educational games. Scientific experiments can be fun – kids love to watch things spew liquid, change colors or explode (just kidding). Try out the Magic Milk Science Experimentor make your own “edible glass.”
Sometimes parents have to use their imagination to encourage children to explore beyond online gaming rooms. The Internet is an abundant source of music and drawing tutorials as well as fun and educational online games. You might even set your kids on the path toward a career in music, art or science.
Jenny is a homeschooling mom to four children. She created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.