Rainy Day Fun

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Moms dread a rainy day in summer unless they have an arsenal of fun, simple activities that kids can't resist. A little planning, a few inexpensive supplies and a dash of imagination can make the first few raindrops of a rainy summer day the signal for indoor fun.

Quiet Fun

One of the most highly recommended quiet, rainy day activities is just to read a favorite or new book. But even the best reads will last only so long for pent up, active children; then it's time to up the ante to keep their interest. Coloring books of varying levels of difficulty are known to induce an endorphin filled and calming state for kids of all ages.

Inexpensive plastic containers, a favorite color for each child, stocked with paper, colored pencils, safety scissors, glue, tape, patterns and stencils are the ingredients for soothing and satisfying imaginations. The formal art show on the fridge gallery will, of course be the follow-up activity.

With the needed material from the same box, challenge each kiddo to create a uniquely-their-own book modeled after their favorite author. Have them take turns reading their completed creations to the family.

Imaginative Fun

Paper bag puppet shows, dress up costume plays and talent shows, all kid-created, can really bring out the genius in a budding director or actor. Children love to exercise their imaginations and will remain occupied for hours with just a bit of guidance from the also housebound grown-up.

Active Fun

Crank up the tunes, move the furniture back and have a dance competition. Physical movement that is coordinated with rhythm and melody will help spend some pent up energy and encourage creative physical expression.

The Secret Animal game allows children to act out the animal drawn from a bag and have everyone else guess the animal. Play can rotate rapidly as animals are guessed and score is kept based upon the child who guesses the most creatures.

Helping Fun

Turn chores around the house into a game that allows each child to earn a sticker for each job or chore they have completed or assisted with. When each child reaches a designated number of stars, a treat, or individualized treats are the reward. A rainy day is a great time to instill the value of having everyone pitch in to the household upkeep, especially with a captive audience. Then, end the afternoon with an indoor finger food picnic.

Of course, on a warm day you might occasionally let the kids out to play in the rain for a while!  ; )

Get the Kids Outdoors

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For many mothers, summer break can feel like a prolonged vacation where there's simply not enough to do to keep the children entertained. Instead of resorting to days spent indoors in front of the television, there are plenty of old fashioned activities that are both fun and affordable.

Play in the Sprinklers

Let kids cool off from the heat by running through the sprinklers in the front yard. Some of the best childhood memories include simple ways where they can be loud and run through the water. Invite the neighborhood kids over for more fun and remember the sunscreen.

Sell Lemonade

Children can learn how to manage money and make a profit while selling lemonade with their siblings or friends with a homemade lemonade stand. Use addition and multiplication to decide how much water, sugar, and lemons to purchase, while calculating how much each cup should cost. Signs on poster board can be made to wave at passing cars or pedestrians, and kids can have fun counting the change at the end of the day.

Play Red Rover

Get the neighborhood together for a round of Red Rover in the backyard for a fast-paced and entertaining activity outside. You can be the referee and even play some music, while serving healthy veggies during break time.

Visit a Farmer's Market

Let your child have fun exploring locally grown produce at a nearby farmer's market once a week. Allow them to pick out fresh strawberries or plump peaches that look appetizing, while discussing recipes that can be made from the food at home.

Go on a Bike Ride

Not only are bike rides a fun and affordable way to spend time outside in the summer, but it's also a great form of exercise for the whole family. Plan a route in the neighborhood with the children and visit a fun place that they can look forward to cycling to. Try riding to a local ice cream parlor or public library. Pack plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated, while ensuring each rider wears a helmet.

Have a Picnic in the Park

Spending time at the park is the perfect way to enjoy the weather in the shade under the trees. Pack a picnic that the family can make together, while allowing your children to run in the grass and spend time on the playground.