It’s a rainy day. I love rainy days in autumn. I love sitting by a blazing fireplace, book in one hand and raspberry tea in the other. Rainy days are great for soups in the evening and cuddling with your husband…
I’m daydreaming again. Rainy days WERE great until kids arrived on the scene. Now I am stuck in a prison with two of them. The four-year-old thinks rainy days are for jumping off beds, tables, and couches while simultaneously screeching…I mean singing…at the top of her lungs. The baby thinks rainy days are for anything but sleeping: stomach pains, crying, spitting up, constant chair rocking. If I am to survive this day with a smile on my face, I will need to be creative. I have to believe that rainy days can be pleasant, even with kids.
1. Prepare in Advance – Our family takes as many nature walks as we can. Many times Sarah will take a basket with her to gather nature treasures for our nature window. I keep my eyes open for things that can be used in crafts for days when we can’t make it outside. A rock has been in our nature window for a couple of weeks and on one rainy day, we turned it into Angelina, the pet rock. There are tons of objects in nature you can use in your crafts: feathers dirt and leaves, acorns…
2. Create a game – Make a set of dominoes. The heavier the paper, the longer it will last. It can be as simple as making colored dominoes or you can draw 5 or 6 different pictures. Do you have a stamp and ink set? That can be used too.
3. No Lightning? Send them out – Sarah has an umbrella and galoshes and loves to go dance in the rain and find puddles to jump in. Sometimes we will see where the water from our driveway goes to, wading through it the entire way. In our case, we usually end up at the river. Give your child a tarp and let them create their own shelter.
4. Expect Energy – Being stuck inside all day just is not as relaxing for kids as it can be for adults. Resign yourself to the fact that running and jumping and loud noises are likely to be a part of your day. In fact, things will be a lot more pleasant when you choose to join them instead of trying to control them Turn on music that all of you can dance to. When Sarah hears classical music, she automatically thinks ballet. She’ll go to her room and put on a dress and shoes and dance and dance and dance. Blow up a balloon and hit it back and forth to your hearts content. Play Simon Says or Hide and Seek, or indoor Hopscotch.
5. Enforce Bedtime – Yes, eventually, your wild cats will need to sleep. If they are still taking naps, refuse to do housework during that time. Instead, make that cup of tea, grab that book, and head downstairs to the fireplace. At bedtime, don’t get roped into reading “just one more book.” Refuse to fall asleep with them and head back downstairs to cuddle with your significant other while having another cup of tea and sharing the highlights of your day with one another
Rainy days don’t always have to get you down once you have kids. Yes, they might force you to use a bit more creativity, but they can still leave you with a smile on your face