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When bad weather rolls in, many parents find themselves at a loss in helping their children stay entertained. Unfortunately, fall months bring a lot of rain across the U.S., making outdoor playtime difficult or impossible, and when kids can’t get outside, they can have a hard time finding a way to work off excess energy. This can lead to trouble even for the most well-behaved child, so it’s important to help your little one find ways to stay entertained, have fun, and even learn a few things when the weather gets nasty.
The good news is that there are many ways you can help your child have fun even when she’s stuck inside. Look for ways to engage her sense of adventure and curiosity, such as creating a scavenger or treasure hunt that ends with a small prize. Or turn to educational apps on the tablet so she thinks she’s having fun when she’s really learning. You can also create “stations” around the house or around one room that will give her different activities to try, such as a puzzle station, a building block station, and a video game station.
Here are a few ideas to try out the next time it rains.
Get involved in science
Science experiments can help kids get comfortable with math and reasoning concepts, which can be beneficial in many other areas. Help spark your child’s interest in science by looking online for some fun activities to try, such as the Magic Milk experiment. There are many science-related activities that can be done with common household items, several of which you probably already have in the pantry. Take an hour and help your child perform the experiment; record your findings and encourage her to try a few on her own. And don’t forget to look at apps like Science360, which provides videos and information from a variety of science communities around the world.
Like science activities, cooking can benefit your child in many other areas when it comes to learning. Cooking and baking involve measuring and learning to take responsibility for a project, so get in the kitchen and find a recipe both of you want to try. Not only is this a great bonding activity, but it’s also a chance to teach your child about healthy eating. Plus, apps like Issa’s Edible Adventures or Dr. Panda’s Restaurant can offer teachable moments and even help with understanding cooking tools and basics.
Find activities on YouTube
There are tons of fun activities on YouTube for kids. From science to math to music channels, the site has several ways for you to help your child stay entertained indoors, and many of them involve exercise or getting creative. Look for MyFroggyStuff for great kid-friendly crafting videos, or look for singing/dancing tutorials that will help her get active. Keep in mind that anytime your child is online, you’ll want to ensure the site or channel is truly kid-friendly.
Create a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fun way to help your kids stay entertained while working on their reasoning and teamwork skills, and it’s relatively easy to create. You can find hiding spots for small toys or little treats and work out clues for each of them to solve that will be age-appropriate. You can even throw in a math equation or other educational tidbit to keep them challenged! You can even use an app like Treasure Hunt to help with ideas on what your kids can find.
And while many parents balk at more screen time, the goal here is to incorporate learning and education through technology. A tablet can truly be a valuable tool in your toolbelt. If it’s time to upgrade the family tablet, look to models like the all-new Apple Ipad 10.2, which functions just like a computer when necessary and is designed for everyone, or the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, which boasts serious durability and affordability.
Rainy day activities, whether analog or digital, can help your child have fun even when she’s stuck inside for a while; just make sure they’re safe at the same time. When working in the kitchen, never leave your child unattended, and create some rules for projects such as making sure long hair is tied back and hands are washed thoroughly. With some careful planning, you can help your little one have a great time even if she can’t get outside.
Visit Jenny's site, specialhomeeducation.com.