Rainy days in combination with children cooped up in the house can be a prescription for aggravation for both the kids and the adults. However, if you have a plan in advance, these kinds of occasions can be fun and an opportunity to promote family bonding.
Prepare an Elaborate Dinner
If you prepare something elaborate, which takes some time and effort, you can recruit your kids to be sous-chefs, involving them in the creation of the meal. This activity will not only be educational, but will give your kids an appreciation of what goes into making dinner. Plus, they will be able to eat the fruits of their labor.
A good and fun idea for such a meal would be homemade lasagna with a side salad and garlic bread. Help your kids chop veggies, such as onion, green pepper, and garlic, that go into the meat filling. Have one kid make the salad, while the others prepare the garlic bread. You can make the preparation a competition, like Iron Chef or MasterChef, to see who completes the task in the least amount of time with the best quality results.
Have an Indoor Film Festival
An indoor film festival works best if you have a big-screen TV and plenty of room in your den or living area. Make sure the movies are running continuously and keep the popcorn coming.
The theme of your film festival could involve film franchises. The “Star Wars” movies or a combination of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” films would certainly take up a whole day. Binge watching a season of an age-appropriate TV series works just as well.
If the rainy day takes place during a holiday, by all means put together an appropriately-themed playlist. Christmas, for example, could include “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “A Christmas Story.”
Rainy days on the Fourth of July put a damper on fireworks. Consider “1776,” “Independence Day,” and “The Patriot.”
Of course, the sort of films that could run during a rainy Halloween are too numerous to mention and are limited only by your imagination and taste.
Have a Fantasy Role-Playing Campaign
Long before X-Box and PlayStation could place people into their own fantasy universes to hunt for treasure and fight with monsters, fantasy role-playing games such as “Dungeons and Dragons” were all the rage and, in some places, still are. If your kids are not familiar with games that don’t run on electricity, teach them. Have them roll up characters, learn the magic system, and then take them on an adventure as their Dungeon Master. The great part about fantasy role-playing is that it stimulates the imagination and helps to hone decision-making skills.
Some people, not content with the prepackaged gaming systems, have come up with their own. You can come up with your own, personalized gaming system, and involve the kids in its creation. You can develop the various countries and races (human, elf, dwarf, and so on), create a magic system or use GURPS (the Generic, Universal Role-Playing System), and then map out a number of campaigns. That process alone would take up at least one rainy day.
Hold a Treasure Hunt
Finally, you could hold a treasure hunt. Hide something the kids would like somewhere in the house, like a tin of freshly baked cookies. Deposit clues all over the house, then send the kids off in search of the treasure. If you write the clues cleverly enough, and hide the treasure so that it is hard to find, you can keep the kids occupied for hours.