While April shower bring May flowers, they also bring a halt to outdoor fun. Kids can get a bit restless being cooped inside when the weather turns sours, so we would like to share some of our favorite rainy day actives from www.parents.com.
Materials: dry erase markers, paper towels, Windex or other cleaning solution, mirror
Activity: This activity is a type of “drawing dress-up” where kids decorate their reflection with whatever they can imagine! Maybe a cool pair of glasses, a crown, or even a funny mustache! A few people even suggest trying to have older children trace their reflection as a fun drawing exercise.
Benefits: This activity is great for fine motor skills, pre writing skills, speech and language skills and even body awareness!
Materials: Any device that plays music without headphones, and somebody to pause it occasionally
Activity: This activity is a fun gross motor game where you dance when the music playing, and freeze when it stops.
Benefits: This game is great for balance with children when having to hold whatever pose they are when the music is paused. Its also an excellent game to practice processing speeds and following direction skills.
Sock Puppet Theater
Materials: Socks, something to hide behind (such as a couch)
Activity: This activity can range from simple to complex, depending on what materials you have on hand. The simplest way to do this is simply have a sock over you hand and position yourselves behind a couch for the stage. For shy children, we would recommend adults taking the lead and acting out a well known fairy tale or story (you can even read from a book for a “script”) and inserting some audience interaction by having the characters ask for advise and help. For more adventurous children, you can have them be the puppeteers and watch them improvise a story. Manipulating the puppet can work on hand skills and moving the puppets above their head can work on gross motor movement.
You can build on this activity by making more complex sock puppets with glue, markers, or string.
Benefits: The bare minimum of putting a show on for the kids works on discussing consequences and logical thinking as you prompt the children for advice for the character and ask what would happen if the character did a certain action. The more complex the game gets, the more skills are addressed. Having your children decorate the puppet can work on fine motor, visual motor, and precision skills. Also, having poster board and drawing a background can also increase the complexity of the activity and work on more fine motor and art skills. This is also a great activity for social skills!
Hand Shadow Puppets
Materials: A flashlight and a wall
Activity: There are various tutorials online that show how to make different animals, and a simple google image search produces a wide variety.
Benefits:This activity is great for finger dexterity, following directions, and speech and language skills!
Paper Shadow Puppets
Materials: A flashlight, a wall, glue, popsicle sticks, paper, scissors
Activity: This is a fun way to work on cutting skills by having your child draw what character they want, and then having them cut it out. You can also print different pre-made characters and work on cutting those out. After the figures are cut out, glue them to a popsicle stick, and then have fun moving them in front of the light and making up stories.
Benefits: This activity is great for social skills and fine motor skills.
There are even more fun activities on www.parents.com that can help children beat the rainy day blues. Just search "rainy day activities" and let the fun begin!