Meeting Recap October 28, 2016 - Rainy Day Fun

The leaves are falling off the trees. We had over 20 inches of rain this month alone. The weather has definitely changed. Sunny days with lots of outdoor play have been replaced with cold, damp indoor days. What is a mom with energetic, wiggly preschoolers to do? With the wit and expertise of four of our mentor moms, we tried to answer this question last week.

We started the meeting with a mentor mom panel. Melanie Ryder, Christine Duplissey, Amber Grant and Marie Nelson all shared a bit of advice about how they handled rainy days when their kids where young. There were a few common themes that ran through their comments.

Rainy days are better with a friend.
When we stay cooped up in the house alone with our brood, we all get a little crazy. Invite a friend over. The kids can play together and you can have an adult conversation with someone besides the letter carrier or the checker at Costco. Don't worry if the house is a little messy. Better yet, keep it real. Leave the dishes in the sink and the laundry piles on the floor. We are all in this together.

Get out of the house. 
Pack snacks, extra diapers, lots of wipes and get out of the house. Go to town and run errands. Meet a friend and run errands together. Melanie shared how she and friends would regularly drop their kids off at the play area at the Fred Meyer Kid Depot for 1 free hour of play time and then go do their shopping or have a coffee together. Kid free time, errands done and a girls coffee date all at once...amazing!

Books with examples of things to do with your kids.

Our area also has tons of other activities available for free or relatively cheap. Take the kids to the mall and them play in the kids area or Barnes & Noble. Drop by Imagination Station in Port Orchard. Check out the new Ahoy Kitsap Playground. Sign you kids up for an activity at the YMCA, bonus mega energy burner. Visit Chucky Cheese. Pack up the car and day trip it to one of the nearby kid museums. Or hop  the ferry and enjoy the many activities offered in Seattle. Still need ideas? Ask the Internet, or better yet, ask a friend and make it a play date. 

These crazy stressful days will be over way to fast. Take a deep breath and really try to enjoy them. Get the Play Dough out. Make a mess in the kitchen baking cookies. Before you know it, those toys covering the living room floor will be in a box heading to the thrift store. Read stories. Take pictures. Smile. Laugh. Relax. Enjoy it. These are some of the best days of our lives.

Succulents - our early bird prize donated by Creekside Homestead

Inspiration for Rainy Day Activities

After receiving lots of wisdom from our mentor moms, the fun kicked up a notch. It was giveaway time! This was a giveaway of epic proportions. Marie had put together dozens of simple, inexpensive rainy day play activity packets assembled with items found in her home or at The Dollar Store. The packets were simple, designed to pack loads of fun into a preschooler's rainy day. 

Here are some inspiring examples of so you can create your own rainy day fun
  • Shaving Cream Spread it in a pan and let the little ones "finger paint."
  • Fun Paper, Unused Envelopes from Junk Mail, Stickers, Writing ToolsLet the kids write letters and deliver them to other family members.
  • Cord and Clothes PinsPlay laundry. Create an art gallery. Make curtain for a stage. Hide behind it for a puppet show. Endless possibilities.
  • Ball of Yarn
    Run it around and between furniture to create an obstacle course. Have older kids figure out how to roll the ball back up.
  • Glue and Googly-Eyes
    Turn the world into a happy place by putting googly-eyes on everything and anything.
  • Plastic Plates Taped to Popsicle Sticks and a Balloon
    Indoor badminton anyone?
  • Paint Brushes and Tiny Containers
    Water down some water-based paint and put your kiddos in the bathtub and let them paint away. 
  • Scissors, Glue and Old Magazines
    Cut out pictures and create create art.
  • Contact Paper
    Pair with scissors and paper for a none glue art project. Use tissue papers and create sun catchers.
  • Matchbox Cars and Painters Tape
    Race track!
  • String/Shoe Laces and Circular Cereal (Fruit Loop/Cheerio type, make sure hole size matches string size)
    Practice fine motor skills by making an edible necklace.
  • Salt, Plate and Q-Tip
    DIY salt table.
  • Shoe Laces and Plastic Basket with Holes
    Practice fine motor skills by lacing to create a basket.
  • Stickers and a Book
    A place to collect all those stickers in one spot.
  • Cardboard, Tape and Crayons
    Create your own shield.
  • A Bag of Uncooked Rice and Little Toys and Cups
    DIY sensory table
  • Strainer, Measuring Spoons, Dawn Dish Soap
    Water play station
  • Paper and Markers
    Draw a picture and then go out and walk in the rain. Watch how it changes the picture.
  • Spray Bottle
    Water plants, Help with cleaning.
  • Clear Glue, Glitter, Paint and Liquid Starch
    Mix 1 5 oz clear liquid glue, 2 T paint, 1/4 c liquid starch and desired amount of glitter. Create glitter slime.
  • Glow Sticks
    Take a walk in the dark. Play aircraft marshall
  • Sheet and Clothes Pin
    Make an indoor tent.
Enjoy your rainy days!

Kristen is a wife and mother who likes to pretend that she can cook, write and create. She is a little compulsive when it comes to cleaning and organizing and has an ever growing love of dark chocolate, tea and Jane Austen. But mostly, she is a woman trying to figure out how to live a life she can be proud of.