We all know how long the excitment of finishing up the school year lasts and I’m sure if your kids are anything like mine you’ve already heard the occasional “I’m bored” or “there’s nothing to do”! Somehow my helpful solution of working together to tackle the mess in the playroom is met with a suddenly empty room. Combine the friends on holidays or in camp with the second day of rain and you can be in for quite the disaster if you aren’t prepared!
We’ve asked our moms what they do to keep their kids busy on rainy or quiet days and they’ve given us some great ideas that we thought we should share. One of my favorites is making homemade ice cream! Sure I can pop over to the grocery store, drag all the kids in, say no to a thousand other treats, wait in line, buckle them all back in and serve it up at home but why not just have the kids do the work if you can! You can google all sorts of recipes but here’s an easy favorite to get you started…..
•1/2 cup milk
•1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla flavoring (vanillin)
•1/2 to 3/4 cup sodium chloride (NaCl) as table salt or rock salt
•2 cups ice
•1-quart ZiplocTM bag
•1-gallon ZiplocTM bag
Fill the 1 gallon Ziploc with the ice and salt. Use the smaller ziploc to hold the milk, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and seal it and place it in another small ziploc to protect it from the salt. Place the small bag into the ice filled larger bag and give the kids oven mitts or tea towel and put them to work shaking it up! It takes about 5-15 minutes depending on how good a job your little shakers do but the ice cream will be soft and creamy and delicious! You can add green food colouring and mint extract instead of the vanilla for a yummy mint flavour or some freshly mashed strawberries for a fruity treat! It rarely makes it to a bowl as the kids are excited to eat it right out the bag and I’m certainly not complaining about the lack of dishes to wash up after!
Board games are another favorite…check out these ones from Mattel.
Skip bo is one of my own personal favorites!
Some more great selections include……
Let children go through their toys and decide what they have outgrown or don’t use; then help them set up a yard sale and sell lemonade too (on a sunny day). On the next rainy day, plan a shopping day to spend the money they earned.
Play music and dance!
Visit an appliance store for very large boxes, and build a castle or a rocket ship.
Visit or volunteer at a local seniors residence or nursing home.
Visit the library and stock up on reading and viewing material.
Break out the cards, and play crazy eights or go fish or make up a game.
Get out old magazines and flyers. Cut them up and glue to create a collage.
Plan a tea party with old tea cups and saucers. Eat tiny sandwiches and cookies.
Armed with a list of things from around the house, make a scavenger hunt.
Websites to keep the kids busy or help you find some great ideas
Please feel free to share your ideas by joining us in the forums, together we will not only survive but enjoy the summer with our kids!