Monday, August 27, 2007

Rainy day activities...

[This post is written by Tharini of Winkie's Way.]

One of my fellow bloggers gave me the suggestion to put together a list of rainy day activities. And I had a pleasurable time recollecting all the little things me and Winkie have done so far, which gave us both many moments of absorption and harmony.

Cut-out sewing pieces

: I found these really interesting things at the Chalkboard

. Little cardboard cutout shapes, with little holes, and multi coloured laces. The idea is much like the basic running stitch. And it encourages the little ones to improve the dexterity in their fingers, which paves the way for beginner writing. This is one of the things Winkie did in school when he first joined Montessori at 2 and a 1/2. And he enjoyed it sooo much there, that I bought one for our home use, and it has filled many a lazy hour with purpose. Even now, he enjoys doing it from time to time whenever I remember to pull it out from the shelf. Another nice thing about it is that you can use these cutouts to trace figures with. And tracing is such fun and once again encourages the fine motor skills of the hands, and you can start off holding the shape, while your child traces, and then progress to letting him hold the shape himself while he traces.

Pasta painted necklace : This is another activity that they did in school. Simple pasta shells of assorted shapes, sizes and designs are coloured on with simple kid friendly paints, allowed to dry and then strung on a twine to make a necklace. It was quite a hands on project that you can do right away, without having to gather/buy too many materials. And with so many different pasta shapes out there....this is a fun project. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show for it, for that necklace of mine has gone missing. :(

Flash cards :

I first bought flash cards when Winkie was close to 2 and 1/2 and we were travelling to India on vacation. This was a means to keep him busy onflight. And it kept him busy for a long long time. There are so many different types of flash cards out there....right from beginner stuff to school level concepts and at least 3 different types of games you can play with each set. And who's to stop you from coming up with more of your own! Definitely a rainy day pick!

Bubble baths :

I resort to this even on regular days, when I am busy and he wants some fun which I can't provide. Run a warm bath, and put in my favorite lavender scent, throw in all the rubber playmates and bubble blowers and he's floated off into his own world for the next 30 precious minutes.

Board games :

He's highly into this right now and up for a game of Boggle, Sequence, Memory or Brain Quest anytime. It takes a while in the beginning to establish an understanding of the game in his mind, but once that is done and we have a few games underway, he becomes quite a delightful playmate, with an attention span of 30 min or under.

Activity books :

You the colouring books, connect the dots, find your way through the maze...that kind of thing.

Little sweeper :

I bought it more so because it was sooo cute but I think it holds good promise for the future. I am speaking of a small little kid sized broom to rope him in to help me sweep up the messy areas. Whenever I used to do it, he'd want to get his hands on the big broom and it was too long to be wieldy enough for him. So this was perfect. I am yet to see him help me properly in the task, but I think we'll get there!

The Cooker :

When he was that cuddly old age of 2 and thereabouts, he would just loooove to cook. He'd ask for a little pan, a spatula, some dried beans, a glass of water and a little bowl and he would happily absorb himself for a good 1/2 hour. Those were the days! Of course there was a bit of mess to wipe off, and he'd always love to help! Nowadays though, the attention span for the same activity is greatly reduced, he makes a greater mess and refuses to help clean up. But for what its worth, this little activity was a big favorite of his in those days and he'd cook everyday.

Baking :

This is still a hit with Winkie. He loves to help

me bake. Right from measuring and pouring the ingredients, breaking the eggs, whipping it all together, spooning lumps for cookies and being the official taster, he was wholly involved.

Sticker books :

He got the stickers fascination when he was gifted a sticker book by his teacher for his 3rd birthday. We used to work on it almost every evening, little at a time. It is pretty laborious finding the right stickers to stick on each page...and even now we still have many pages we haven't fully finished.

Well, that's it for now. Hoping to hear more suggestions from you guys and add them to the list so its gets more comprehensive for future use. So....write in! :)

Edited to add more activities based on your feedbacks:

Legos: A perennial hit and something that can grow with your child.

Foam Stickers : A very versatile activity, and tons you can do with it.

Indoor Camping :

This is sure to be a hit. Maybe the tents could be brought out only for these special wet days. This also reminds me of those cute tunnels that you get in Ikea. Pretty cheap, and nice to have in the basement, and Winkie can spend endless time inside it with all his favorite toys for company.

Some wonderful websites to look into:


RJ said...

I spend sometime online with my 16 month old at, teletubbies. Now a days he likes google image search- googling images of fruits/ veggies. I have the list here

Asha said...

Great list!! I wish we had some rain here,haven't seen any in more than a month now.
Enjoy the fun stuff. My kids just play video games,too old to drag them to do fun things!:D

Saheli said...

Legos were a big hit with my son when he was 3-8 yrs old. He could spend couple of hours with them. He is 9 yrs old now and still makes sure that he gets some time after playing his Game boy DS games for his legos.
He also enjoyed cutting car pictures from old magazines.
We also made paper boats to play with in the puddles after the rain stopped.
For my daughter I used to get those foam stickers in different shapes and sizes. She used to love those. The peeling gave her a great sense of achievement.
They both also loved the "I Spy" books and it was fun for me too.
One time my daughter asked me "how does rain feel?" I told her to get the experience first hand. She had a blast getting soaked in the rain. But, this is a bit scary if there are thunder and lightning.

Tharini said...

Thanks RJ. Those are nice web resources. WIll add it on.

saheli : Paper boats in the rain is so whimsical and awesome. I need to do that! Thanks for all the ideas. Will update my post.

Kay said...

Great list, Tharini!

Camping inside the house? I've seen the small tents from Ikea which can be used for these...

Sandeepa said...

Thanks Tharini for this great post.