As a teacher, I often have parents complain that they can’t figure out how to keep their children occupied on rainy days. This past year, we had a particular problem with this. Tropical Storm Faye hit Northeast Florida the very first week of school and the students were out of school for three days. Parents wanted to keep them on track so they could return to school ready to learn. What would a teacher suggest for rainy day activities? I have few suggestions, some of which I used with my own children and some that I have used with students and parents in the past. Some of those suggestions for rainy day activities follow. Of course the rainy day activities you chose have to do with the age of the children..
1) Make a Bored Jar. This is a great rainy day activity that I have used this with my own children when they were smaller. I found an old mason jar, and we made a list on memo paper of things that they wanted to do when they were bored. We tried to keep all of the activities to learning types, such as collect bugs and find their species. The goal is for these to be activities that the child can do alone. We then decorate our bored jar with poster paints or construction paper.
2) My children love this rainy day activity. I tried to combine movies with books that went with them. One of the best is The Princess Bride. Another great one is Treasure Island. There are several version s of the movie. We read part of the book, then watched the matching part of the movie. The kids then had to compare the movie and book, finding out what was different between the two.
3) It has been a while since I used this rainy day activity. When my children were smaller I arranged a book party with my neighbors. If kids are out of school for a long time, this works. I had three neighbors that had small children my age. We each chose a book, planned a small afternoon party with refreshments, then hosted the neighbors kids for a couple of hours. This not only interests the children in reading, but it gives the parents a break who may be going nuts from having the kids inside all day.
4) This is a creative art game for a rainy day activity. I call it Artt Memory Match. I have the kids create a memory match based on their topic. I give them construction paper, folded into equal matching pieces. They are to draw something on the front of each piece related to their theme. For instance, one child may chose sports, and another animals. They draw their animals, or items, then cut them out. The hard part is telling them to match the items as close as they can when drawing. So one butterfly should pretty much look like another.
5) This rainy day activity is great on Sundays after you are finished with the comic strips. This is an activity for older children, and I have even used this in my classroom before. I take comic strips, and cut out each segment. I group the strips together, like Blondie, etc. and place them in no particular order in an envelope. The children then try to place the segments back in the order that they would have occurred. This is a wonderful activity to teach comprehension and sequencing.
It is a shame for our students to forget what they have learned over breaks. A lot of the forget factor has to do with a lack of exercising the brain. The brain needs to be exercised or used, just like muscles or we lose some of our abilities. So hopefully, these fun rainy day activities will help to keep your children occupied on school breaks. Not only will they have fun and learn with these rainy day activities, but you might end up having fun yourself!