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Indoor fun: rainy-day activities will help kids to learn, too

Keeping kids active on a rainy day is a real trick these days, considering the temptation to plop down in front of the TV, switch on the gaming console, or spend hours on Facebook sharing the latest gossip with friends. It’s the easy way out for adults, many of whom are willing to leave kids to their own sedentary activities.

There are however many unique ways to get children up and moving on a rainy day with ideas that encourage group coordination, strategy, dexterity, and sportsmanship. Best of all, your kids will burn off all that pent-up energy in healthy and positive ways.

Online fun

Turn to the Internet for engaging and instructional activities such as online music lessons and drawing tutorials. Art instructors will show your kids how to draw animals, people and natural scenes using shapes and other simple techniques that make it easy to create images like a pro. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of watching kids gain confidence and inspiration as they learn a new skill. You’ll enjoy posting the artwork of your budding young artists on the refrigerator. Post their work on a Facebook page so friends and families can enjoy their handiwork as well.

If you have a piano, drums, or some other musical instruments at home, you can assemble an impromptu music circle with the kids. Even if you don’t have any “real” instruments lying around, you can improvise with pots, pans, spoons, and plastic spoons. Just get ready for a lot of noise!

Also, there are lots of free online sites and apps that can teach children the basics of playing an instrument. Taught by musicians and music instructors, these sites make it fun and easy to begin making music. Some sites even use artificial intelligence software to enhance the learning experience. Your child can learn to play at their own pace through fun practical lessons as well as the basics of music theory. You may discover your youngster has the makings of a talented musician.

Get them moving

Everybody can benefit from a little exercise, whether you’re inside or outside. Jump into an exercise video on YouTube, something the whole family can enjoy, and lead the kids in a fun workout. It’s one of the best ways to get everyone’s heart rate up.

Check out Fit Factor, a video led by kids with flexibility and aerobic exercises based on animal motions. It’s a great way to work up a sweat without resorting to the usual jumping jacks or sit-ups.

Start your pillows!

Bet you didn’t know pillow fighting is a bona fide sport. It’s a competitive activity that teaches strategy and teamwork and one of these days you might even see it in the Olympics! (No kidding). You can use latex, memory foam or down pillows to stage a friendly conflict that’s perfect for kids. Choose up sides and have one team defend a sofa fort that contains the prized “champion’s pillow.” Set a timer for three minutes and see which side ends up in possession of the champion’s pillow.

Play-Doh or clay

Kids love creating objects out of Play-Doh or clay. Sometimes they’re happier engaging in unstructured, creative play, which makes Play-Doh ideal for rainy day fun. Encourage the kids to pull up images of their favorite animals online as models for a Play-Doh replica. Have everyone create a different animal and build your own Play-Doh zoo.

A touch of science

How about a fun science project? If the kids are suspicious, tell them they’ll be making elephant’s toothpaste. You’ll need some yeast, a little hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, food coloring, non-metallic glitter, warm water, a funnel, baking dish, bowl and safety goggles. Just follow the directions and enjoy the foam geyser that results.

In the end...

A rainy day can be a good excuse for learning and skills development. Best of all, they can have fun while learning something new. They might find something that’ll become a full-time hobby.