After an entire summer of outdoor activities, parks, and swimming, it can be difficult for many parents and children to transition to rainy, cold weather. Fortunately, there are many good rainy day activities for preschoolers that require little or no preparation. Rainy day fun can be had in many different ways, with a little imagination and a few supplies.
First, don’t be afraid to go outside even when it is wet and rainy! The outside world is different than what we are used to when it rains, and children love to explore it. You can search for worms with your child, and talk about why worms come out in the rain. You can also look for birds and butterflies, and hear what your child’s theory is for where these creatures go when it is raining. Puddle jumping is also an activity that helps children burn energy, and never gets old. Remember, germs cause colds, not raindrops. With proper clothing and shoes, your child can enjoy being outside even if it is wet.
Cooking is one fun way to spend a rainy afternoon with a preschooler. Quality early childhood education program such as our’s involves children weekly in cooking and nutrition activity because there are so many different aspects of learning involved. Young toddlers can learn turn taking and self-control. Two year olds and preschoolers can work on direction following, math concepts, science concepts, small motor skills and building cooperation skills. Children can help with almost any dish. Depending on their age, they can help you measure, stir, chop (pumpkin carving knives work great for helping children cut food) and present food. You are also creating wonderful memories for you both! Molly Krazen has some wonderful cookbooks for children. With clear directions and pictures, this books helps children create healthy dishes that the entire family will enjoy eating.
Many young children like to sort items into groups. This can be a fun rainy day activity too. If you have old large buttons, these can provide a great deal of fun on a rainy day. Get different bowls or even empty egg cartons, and have your child sort the buttons into whatever groups they would like. This helps them learn about colors, size, shape, and many other ways of categorizing objects. Children may also like to do this with toys, or even food.
Some other rainy day activities for preschoolers involve pretending that the inside is actually the outdoors. You can cover your living room floor with a sheet or blanket and have a picnic right there inside. Who doesn’t have special memories of a blanket fort? Children love the novelty of it and the fun of doing something unexpected. Pretend camping is also fun – make “tents” and forts out of sheets and blankets, or set up a real pup tent in the room and let your child take his or her nap there. This forts can be as elaborate or as simple as your child wants. This type of activity is a great way to encourage your child to think of new ideas and new ways to bring their ideas to life.
If you have any extra boxes, your rainy day has just turned into a day of entertainment for your child. Cardboard boxes (refrigerator and other appliance boxes are best but even shoe boxes can be fun) can open up new worlds of construction. Preschoolers will enjoy building cities, castles, forts, and other structures, and can build and rebuild as many times as they want. If you get out the art supplies, the boxes can be painted, colored, or collaged and get even more personality. Cutting the bottoms out of the boxes makes it possible to climb through them as if they were tunnels or secret passageways. Of course, your child would prefer you play with them, but cardboard boxes are a pretty safe toy to leave children alone with for a minute or two if need be. Be creative in whatever you do, it doesn’t take a look to entertain small children, just something new and different can be hours of fun!
“Childhood is that state which end the moment a puddle becomes an obstacle instead of an opportunity.” -Kathy Williams