School vacation is here and you’re bound to have at least one rainy day. Keep the kids’ minds and hands active with these fun, cost effective activities. Remember to keep the list handy so the kids can pick an activity at a moment’s notice!
Organize a Book Swap – Email friends and relatives and host a book swap. Kids bring up to 3 age-appropriate, gently-used books. Moms can bring books for themselves too! Open your house for an hour or two and maybe even ask each mom to bring a lunch item. Or, play bingo and let the kids win their ‘new’ books.
Build a Fort – Gather a few couch cushions, dining chairs, sheets, and your imagination. Build a fort by draping flat sheets from a dining table or couch over dining chairs. Imagine a castle or a camp. Build a pretend fire using papertowel rolls and red, orange, and yellow tissue paper.
Watch a Movie – Make some popcorn and watch a new movie on your home DVD. Plan to pick up the latest flick a week before the kids are on vacation and surprise them with a new one. Or, go to the movie theater. If you’ve been to the regular movie theater, try an IMAX theater or the Planetarium.
See a Show – See a play, the circus, a comedy show, or listen to a band play. Have dinner at a local restaurant that has live entertainment.
Take a Ride – Get in the car and take a scenic drive along the seashore, through the forest, or through some neighboring towns you just want to explore. You can even make a list of things to find on your drive to make it more interesting – i.e. Find a sign with the letter “R” in it, a yellow house, a blue mailbox, a green car, and a house with their holiday lights still up.
Play Board Games – Take a trip to the toy store and buy a new, strategic board game that will enhance their minds. Scrabble, Monopoly, Pictionary, Clue, or Chess are great options.
Go See the Animals – Animals don’t mind the rain, so put on your raingear, open the umbrella, and visit the zoo or aquarium and let the kids explore the habitats of other living things.
Build Like an Architect –Get out that big box of Legos or Lincoln Logs and design a building, a city, or even a dinosaur!
Take a Tour – Take a tour of a professional baseball park, football stadium, or basketball or hockey arena.
See a Piece of History – Visit your local history museums. These may be in the form of a natural history museum, an art museum, naval museum (battleships), armory museum, or an outdoor history museum like Old Sturbridge Village (Also a great place for a hike!).
Learn to Skate – Most rinks have open-skating times each week and you pay just a few dollars to ice skate for an hour. Or, you can also get a few friends together and rent the ice rink. In-line skating rinks are also lots of fun!
Bake Some Dough & Play – Kids love to bake. Try making basic vanilla cookies, dividing the dough into four parts and coloring each differently with food coloring. Let the kids use the dough like they would modeling clay to make shapes and then bake.
Cook Family Style – Put on some tunes and teach them to cook. Cook a four-course meal complete with appetizer, salad, main dish, and dessert.
Play Ball – Get a few friends together and rent the local gym for an hour. The Boys & Girls Clubs, local YMCA, or tennis club are good places to check into. Spend an hour at the batting cages or go bowling.
Let Them Paint or Sculpt – Pick up a few inexpensive canvases or clay at the local craft store or go somewhere like Plaster Fun Time and let the kids create a masterpiece!
Visit the Library – The library is a great place to get some ‘new’ books, movies, and video games.
Clean the Closets – Set aside a few hours this week to clean out the kids closets. If you need to entice them a little, try hiding a surprise or two somewhere under all of the mess. This may be tickets to the zoo or a $5.00 gift certificate to their favorite fast food restaurant.
Visit Friends & Relatives – Vacation weeks are a perfect time to catch up with the cousin’s and friend’s that live a bit further away. So get together for a simple lunch at either their house or yours. The kids will entertain each other while the Moms get a chance to relax.
Choose at least two of the ideas listed here and your sure to turn a rainy, vacation day into a one you may even look forward to!