Rainy Day Activity Box

by Sara Noel

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If you have young children, creating an activity box is a creative way to keep them from becoming bored during rainy days or times they can't get outside to play. The box can contain items that you don't use often, so the activity box creates extra excitement when it's brought out and becomes a special part of building fun memories.

Starting the Fun

You can purchase a plastic container or you can custom decorate your own cardboard box. The size of it is entirely up to you, based on the amount of activity items you plan to store inside of it. Some fun ways of decorating your box can be up to your child, but some suggestions are sequins, stickers, markers/crayons, glitter, ribbon, and contact paper.

Activity Items

Choosing what your box will contain is the best part. Keep in mind that your child shouldn't be unattended. The following is a starter list:

Board game
Music CD
Brown paper lunch and grocery bags
Paper towel rolls
Matchbox cars
Construction paper
Rubber stamps
Paper airplane instructions
Cookie cutters
Popsicle sticks

A few items you can make yourself:

Play Dough

2 Tablespoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons food coloring
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt

Cook on stove top over medium heat for four minutes.

I-Spy Treasure Bottle

Use a 2-liter pop bottle, insert small items like a paper clip, coins, foam shapes, beads, jingle bells, and buttons and then add birdseed. Some people use rice or sunflower seeds. Tilt the bottle and search for the little treasures.

Coloring books or printable pages can be found at everythingpreschool.com/themes/weather/coloringpage.php

Besides the above craft supply and game items, you can also use this time as a "teachable moment." The following are ideas to teach more about the weather:

  1. Books and information on weather, rain, clouds, rainbows, how plants outdoors grow, and storms can be found online.

  2. You can use an old coffee can, 2-liter pop bottle, or glass jar to create a rain gauge outside. Just mark off increments. Then measure the amount of rain.

  3. You can make a rainmaker craft out of an empty paper towel roll too. Just decorate the outside by rolling a piece of construction paper around the roll and taping it. Then roll up tin foil and place it inside and add loose dried beans and rice. You can seal off the ends by stapling or taping them down flat. When you turn your "stick," it will sound like rain.

  4. Discuss the water cycle. To get started, visit first-school.ws/activities/science/drippy.htm

You'll have a handy box of boredom busters. Many of the items you probably have readily available in your house already, and if not, the items are all inexpensive to purchase, so creating the box is frugal fun too. It's so much fun that the kids won't mind rainy days.

Sara Noel is a freelance writer and the Editor/Publisher of FrugalVillage.com, HomesteadGarden.com and Homekeeping101.com. Visit these sites for information on getting back to basics through frugality, gardening, organizing, home keeping, lost arts, simplicity, homesteading, and natural family living.

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