Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rainy Day Activites

Rainy Day Activities for Kids

This website has more links at the bottom and is promoting a book, but I thought it had some fun ideas for families.

Build a Fort

To get set up, all you need are a few blankets (sleeping bags, sheets and comforters all work well) and some cardboard boxes, and you’re good to go! Ask appliance stores for large boxes that can be turned into playhouses. Cut holes for doors and windows and adorn the box with items from around the house: a tissue box can be made into a chimney, fabric scraps can be turned into curtains and artificial flowers can be “planted” in a window box. Give kids tempera paints and allow them to “paint” the house.

* Fill the fort with pillows, blankets, flashlights and lanterns.
* Serve kids lunch or snacks inside their fort.
* Teach kids how to make shadow puppets (search YouTube to refresh your memory).

Create a Time Capsule

Parents know all too well that kids grow up fast. By collecting items for a time capsule, you’ll end up with a fun keepsake that reflects who your kids are at the present moment. No need to buy a container: simply get creative with what you have at home already (decorate a cereal box with contact paper or use an empty margarine tub). Designate a date to open the capsule such as one, five or ten years in the future. Include newspaper clippings, labels from their favorite foods, photos, schoolwork, a mixed CD of their favorite songs, pictures they’ve drawn or anything else kids can think of. Parents can help out by “interviewing” children about their favorite foods, favorite TV show or movie, best friend or what they hope to be when they grow up. Make it extra special by recording it.
Indoor Science

Why not make rainy day activities educational as well as fun? With the help of a few common household ingredients and your supervision, kids can channel their inner scientist. Here are a few favorites:

Tornado in a Bottle: For this experiment, you’ll need two empty two-liter bottles (labels removed), duct tape and food coloring or colored dish soap (optional). Fill one of the bottles 2/3 of the way with water. Add a couple drops of food coloring or dish soap to make the vortex more visible. Tape the bottles together securely with the duct tape at the mouth. Turn the bottle containing the water upside down with the empty bottle on the bottom. The water will slowly drain to the bottom bottle as air bubbles go up to the top. Move the bottles in a circular motion a few times to help the water go down the spout more quickly. You’ll be able to see a funnel-shaped vortex in the top bottle as the air pressure in the lower bottle decreases.

Cornstarch Quicksand: When combined, cornstarch and water create a consistency that sometimes feels like a solid and sometimes feels like a liquid. Combine two parts cornstarch to one part water, adding a drop or two of food coloring for fun. Kids will have fun picking it up and squeezing it so that it feels like a solid as well as letting it run through their fingers like a liquid. Store it in a one-gallon sized zipper storage bag.

Celery Experiment: This is a great experiment to illustrate how plants absorb water. Drop 4-5 drops of food coloring in clear glasses of water (vases or jars also work well). Place a stalk of celery with the leaves still attached in each of the different colored glasses. Kids may begin to notice the leaves of each celery stalk begin to turn color in as little as four hours. See what happens overnight!

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