Inside on a Rainy or Snowy Day – Keep Yourself and Your Kids Entertained

Playing in robot

When it’s cold and raining or snowing outside on weekends and during school breaks, the days can drag on. What can you do to keep the kids entertained but not spending the day in front of the television? Try some of these fun activities for a rainy day inside. Keep what you need on hand and you’ll always be prepared for anything. 

Have an indoor treasure hunt. This is a great game for all ages, because you can decide how challenging it is. Hide a small present for each child. It can be a toy or an IOU for a fun day at the movies or skate park. Then, create a set of clues for each participant and hide the clues in order, so the first clue leads them to the second clue, the second clue leads to the third, etc., until they find their treasure.

Create an inside campsite. Drape some sheets over the furniture around one of your rooms to make a tent. Your tent can be as big you want and your sheets will allow. Add some pillows and blankets inside your tent and you have a place to tell ghost stories, play games and, if you’re lucky, take a nap. It may even be fun to have a picnic inside the tent.

Create a story book. All the kids can create their own story books or they can create one together. All you need is some paper, some crayons, a few pens and lots of imagination. Let them write their stories on the pages and draw pictures to go with them. At the end of the day, everyone gets to read their books out loud.

Bake some chocolate chip cookies. Everyone has fun during and after this activity, as the reward is a cookie. Want to sneak a vegetable in? Add some chopped garbanzo beans and add them to the cookie dough before baking to sneak in something good.

Make a splash! If it’s a warm rainy day and it’s just raining, not thundering or lightning, it’s the perfect time to put on the rain boots and rain jackets and grab an umbrella. Go outside for some fun letting off steam and splashing in puddles. Because no one wants to be inside all day if they don’t have to be!

Make a movie. It’s rare today that our phones and digital cameras don’t come complete with their own video recorder. Have some fun. Write a script, learn your parts and try out your acting skills while you make your own movie. Pop some corn and watch your movie on the computer.

Make a family dinner. Is it getting later in the day and it’s still raining? Get everyone involved in dinner preparation. Let the kids make salads or help you stir a sauce. And encourage someone else to set the table.

Put together a Rainy Day / Snow Day Box that you keep on hand. Inside include arts and crafts supplies, like papers, crayons, glue, glitter, beads and other things that kids can use to create fun art; coloring books or other activity books; books to read; puzzles and games; a deck of cards. You can pull this out in a pinch on a rainy day or any time your kids say, “I’m bored.”

With these tips in your box of tricks, there’s no reason your or your kids should be inside AND bored when the weather outside keeps you in. 

Get Your House Ready for Back to School

 

Learning to calculate, high five success

It may seem like summer is still in full swing, but back-to-school is just around the corner. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your home ready – makes sure your students are set for success when the bell rings. Here are some tips to start getting your home ready now.

Create a designated place for homework.
Whether it’s cleaning off the desk in your child’s bedroom or setting up a study station at the kitchen table, a clean and designated workspace is key to helping kids focus. Make it a no cellphone zone to help kids focus on schoolwork. Keep items like pencils, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, calculators and extra paper handy. And let all of your kids work together in one place if they want. When homework doesn’t feel like an isolated tasks, it may be easier to get them ready to study.

Purge and then organize closets.
Make space in your children’s closets for them to plan and prepare their clothes for each week. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit or are too “used” to wear anymore. Are there other things in their closet you can get rid of? Old games, puzzles, book bags that are “so uncool”? Make space by donating these things to charity and make space in your morning for getting out the door. If you’re really organized, encourage your kids to gather their outfits for every school day during the week. What a treat to not hear, “I have nothing to wear.”

Organize the kitchen.
Organize all of your lunchtime essentials like lunch boxes, sandwich bags, napkins, plastic containers and any non-perishable food items in one place for easy grab-and-go mornings. Prepare baggies of items like chips, nuts, carrots and celery for the week. By preparing ahead of time, you’ll save money on last-minute lunches that have to be purchased and a lot of time in the morning.

Make leaving easier.
Find a place where your kids can store their backpacks, coats, boots and other morning essentials the night before and make sure they put these items there every night. If they can just grab their backpack off a hook and walk out the door, you’re saving time waving from the door as they catch the bus, rather than driving them in morning traffic.

Change your routine now.
If heading back to school is a headache because you have to get back into the routine, start now! Give yourself and your family a break by going to bed a little earlier and getting up a little earlier each day. When the big day comes, no one will notice that they are starting their mornings at 6:00 instead of 10:00.

Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to chaos.  With a little planning your house and your family can be school-ready in no time.

Summer Vacation Means Summer Jobs for Kids

girl watering the flowers

It’s summer vacation. Don’t let your kids spend the summer on the couch watching TV. Encourage them to earn their own money and start saving today for things they want tomorrow. Here are six jobs that kids as young as age 10 can cut their teeth on and become young entrepreneurs. Some of them may require a little help and coaching from adults, but that’s part of the experience. Help kids get started with marketing – make and hang signs, go door-to-door, put flyers in mailboxes, post on neighborhood websites, or create ads for neighborhood newsletters.

Do Yard Work
If your kids are old enough to use a lawn mower, then mowing lawns is a great job from spring through fall. The beauty of lawn mowing is that kids can push the mower from house to house! If kids aren’t ready for lawn mowing yet there are lots of other jobs: rake leaves, plant seeds, pull weeds, water flowers, etc.

Open a Lemonade Stand 
Younger kids may enjoy setting up a lemonade stand. If the weather is right (hot!) a lot of passersby on their way home from work or out walking the family dog may be ready for a refreshing beverage. Make sure the table is set up on a safe corner that has some foot and car traffic and they can be in business. If you really want to make some money, sell dog treats for the pups that go by with their owners.

The next three jobs may require some adult supervision when kids first begin them.

Walk Dogs
Be a dog walker. Dogs love going for walks and people who work all day love knowing their four-legged friends are getting outside. This job may be easier to get if the kids have pets of their own that neighbors see them taking care of and tending to. Dogs need to be walked all year round, no matter the weather or the time of year, so this job can grown into a continuous business. And good dog walkers never forget to clean up after their pooches!

Watch Someone’s House
When neighbors go away on a vacation, they often need someone to either feed their pet, water their flowers or pick up their mail while they’re away. A good house sitter is hard to find! It has to be someone trusted. But when your child becomes a favored house sitter, like dog walking, this job can become year-round business.

Be a Mother’s Helper
When kids are too young to babysit, they can get some training and earn some money by being a “mother’s helper.” A mother’s helper makes life easier for moms when they are at home. out a mom with her young kids while she’s also at home. They may play with the kids and keep them entertained while their mom does other chores around the house. They may even be asked to help with simple chores themselves.

The earlier kids start working, the faster their savings and their work ethic will grow. And the good things about these jobs? They are close to home and if your kids get one or two good clients, they will keep getting more business!