Rainy Day activities that don’t cost a cent
With 2013 proving to be a financially challenging year for most, us moms may be entering the rainy season with a familiar feeling of dread. We are also probably asking ourselves the same worrying question, “How are we going to keep the kids busy during those rainy days, without breaking the bank?” Rainy day activities that don’t cost a cent may be the best option for some of us.
If your kids are anything like mine, within approximately two minutes of waking up, they’re already declaring themselves to be “bored” and demanding to be taken to an astronomically expensive theme park, where they will insist on you buying them poor quality food and toys that you would need a bank loan to afford.
It doesn’t need to be this way. There is a multitude of free, fun and exciting activities that can provide hours of fun, without even stepping outside of the door. Finding fun, free and educational activities is something that communities like the Bruderhof do on a regular basis. Here are three of their favorite suggestions:
Make a Den
Your kids will love this. It’s just like going camping, but you get to stay warm and dry and use your own bathroom! Make a den that covers the entire family room or living room using sheets, blankets, old curtains, and whatever else you can lay your hands on. Create a cozy nest by adding soft pillows and blankets inside. (see picture above)
Take this idea one step further by allowing your kids to sleep in the den overnight. There will be lots of giggling and probably not much sleeping, but it is something they will remember and talk about for years to come.
Grow Cress Hair
This isn’t something that will happen overnight, but it is a perfect rainy day activity. It takes a few days or sometimes even weeks, but think of it as a fun science experiment!
Making them couldn’t be easier; next time you have boiled eggs for breakfast, carefully peel the eggs and save the shells. Give them a very gentle rinse to make sure all traces of egg have been removed. Then get your children to draw funny faces onto the empty egg shells, using pens, paints, and stickers. Give them the empty egg carton to support the egg shells.
Once the eggs have been decorated, fill the insides with some damp cotton wool, and then sprinkle a fine layer of cress seed over this. Place the egg people onto a warm window ledge and watch their hair grow over the next couple of days. Your children will love giving them a ‘haircut’ once the press has grown to a decent length.
All kids (and some adults. I plead the fifth) love play dough. Even though you’ll be picking bits of neon paste from the carpet for several days afterward, play dough is an easy crowd pleaser that can be whipped up with ingredients from your own pantry. I always lay some newspaper down or an old blanket. Here’s an awesome play dough recipe that I use:
- 3 cups of flour
- 1.5 cups of salt
- 6 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 tbsp oil
- 3 cups of water
- Food coloring (optional)
- Vanilla or peppermint essence (optional)
Put all ingredients into a large, sturdy saucepan. Stir continuously over a medium heat until dough forms. Remove from the pan and knead until the consistency is play-dough like. Let cool before giving it to the kids. I also have cookie cutters on hand so that we can cut some fun shapes. Sometimes we even let them dry and use them as figurines to decorate with.
What are some of your rainy day activities on a budget?