Rainy Day Rescue: Keeping Your Kids Busy & Unplugged

By GalTime Teen Expert Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, Psy.D.

Rainy day alternatives for kids. Rainy day alternatives for kids.

Summer is a great opportunity for your kids to spend their days playing and exploring the great outdoors. Whether you live in an urban, rural or setting somewhere in between, the warm weather provides the perfect climate to wander about and discover new and exciting spaces and places.

Unfortunately, with the good weather comes the bad. It can be quite challenging to dream up adventures and activities when you and your kids are stuck inside on a dark dismal day.

Sure, you could take the kids someplace such as a museum or indoor amusement arcade. There are some days, however, when even the thought of venturing out of the house (or apartment) is unsavory or even overwhelming.

It would be easy to rely on the TV to babysit but, in all honesty, you want more for children.

If you have tweens or teens they could easily keep themselves busy social networking or gaming all day, but that is not your idea of activity and, quite frankly, there are some days you wish you could throw the cell phones, tablets, and computers out the window!

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So, enough about how you don't want your kids to spend the day, now let's focus on what you can do. Now is a time to get creative. Start by conjuring up a theme for the day.

Your younger kids may like the idea of pretending they are in the Wild West, Fairyland, students at Hogwarts, etc. Your tweens and teens may moan and scoff but stay with it. Ask them to help you pick the theme.

Offer some suggestions such as Mexico, The Rainforest, Asia, etc. Work together to come up with a list of activities centered on this theme. Create a tentative daily schedule for the day. If you have younger kids carve out approximately 15 minutes per activity.

Your older tweens and teens will values longer projects. Your younger kids will appreciate fun games and stories related to your theme. Pick one or two related crafts and perhaps a related baking or cooking project.

Related: 4 Summer Crafts for Kids

Work with your older tweens and teens to write a theme related story and/or find more intricate theme related crafts. Tweens and teens usually appreciate a baking or cooking project.

Take things one step farther and you can decorate the house and prepare a theme related dinner and of course dessert.

The most challenging part of picking a theme is ensuring that you have the materials you will need to construct a craft as well as the ingredients to cook and/or bake. If you want to be a really prepared parent, plan ahead. Put together a few theme bags.

Research the Internet to find ideas for crafts and recipes. Gather all the items you will need and store them away for a rainy day. Your kids will love the idea of picking a bag. For real fun, don't label the bags and have them randomly pick a bag.

What a way to spend some quality time with your kids. Nothing beats bonding when engaging in a fun activity. It certainly beats arguing over homework!

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