...because home doesn't happen overnight.
07.24.15 / Rainy Day Ideas

summer storm

The last few days have been gorgeous here, but that hasn’t been the case all summer. We’ve had so much rain that severe weather warnings and flood watches don’t faze us anymore. In our neighborhood alone we’ve had lightning strikes, fallen trees, flooded roads and power outages on an almost weekly basis. I love a good thunderstorm and slow, drizzly days (I usually open a door or window to hear and smell the rain) but I can only take so many lazy, rainy days in a row before I start to feel a little batty. We’ve had to get creative and move beyond the typical book reading, movie watching and puddle jumping activities to thwart boredom. Here are a few things we’ve been doing when precipitation strikes:

candlelit kitchen

We light candles all over the house. We play cards and board games by candlelight. We’ve eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert by candlelight. It feels slower and special. The kids love it. It’s gotten to the point where as soon as it starts to sprinkle they ask to light candles.

glow in dark chess

We play glow-in-the-dark chess. Layne was gifted this set last year and it has gotten so much use. The kids usually set it up in the boys’ room on the bottom bunk and close the blinds and bed curtains. It’s kind of the coolest thing ever.

We make stop motion videos. We use the myCreate app. It’s ~$5 and worth every penny. The kids use Play-Doh, Legos, matchbox cars and figurines to plot out visual stories. They even add audio sometimes. It’s pretty comical to watch and it keeps the kids occupied for long periods of time.

new recipes

We try new recipes. I’ve mentioned it before…this cookbook is my current fave. Paleo or not, the recipes are easy and tasty.

Or sometimes we stick to our old favorites like chocolate no-bake cookies. Who am I kidding? We make these even when it isn’t raining! I use almond milk instead of dairy milk. So, so good.

art museum

We visit local museums. Our favorites are the Dayton Art Institute and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The latter has FREE admission!

We have a balloon party. It consists of blowing up a bunch of balloons and hitting / kicking them all over the house.

aether cone

We listen to our Cone. The kids like to request silly things like “I like pizza” and “cucumbers.” Surprisingly, Cone almost always finds a song to meet their requests. (Yep, there really is an “I Like Pizza” song.)

We make origami. Earlier this summer, I purchased colorful origami paper and this beginner’s guide to modular origami. Sometimes we refer to tutorials on youtube as well. It’s a great activity for my oldest, Layne, who is 10 years old. He has created some really beautiful pieces. I think some of them might even make an appearance in the BHG feature.

vacation house

We browse airbnb and vrbo for fun. We take turns picking destinations and then pretend to search for a vacation home. “Oh, I would totally stay here!” “That would be my room!” “Forget vacation, I want to LIVE here.” Sometimes we end up booking a place, most times not. The pretending is almost as fun as the real thing.

We look through family photo books. I’m amazed by what the kids remember about certain events. We talk about happy and sad times, easy and difficult times. It’s usually a good reminder to me to order new books.

costumes

We make silly costumes out of everyday objects. I’ll hand the kids electrical tape, a paper bag and scissors and say, “Okay, make me laugh.” They always do.

nursery

nursery

We visit a local nursery. It might sound counter-intuitive but rainy days are my favorite days to visit the nursery. We usually have the place to ourselves and the fresh air is just what we need. I think the plants look so healthy, thirsty and beautiful covered in rain droplets. Our local nursery even has a children’s play table set up in the greenhouse. There are miniature animal figurines, dump trucks, shovels, buckets, gravel, sand and dirt. The kids can scoop, dump, pour and dig to their hearts’ content.

park

kid cave

umbrella man

We discover new parks. Again, it’s not an event that would normally come to mind for a rainy day activity but it’s one that we have come to really enjoy. Who knew there was a limestone waterfall just a short drive from our house? Or a real cave? (Perfect for hiding out in when the rain picks up.) Funny story: Layne was climbing on the natural rock walls which is against park policy. Steve and I quickly pointed out the “no rock climbing” sign. Layne said, “Oh, I thought that was a guy tripping on an umbrella.” Haha! That just goes to show how much rain we’ve had lately.

open house

We visit open houses nearby. This is my new personal favorite ;) I love getting a peek inside houses that I walk or drive by regularly. If I’m lucky, the homeowners have great taste and mad DIY skills.

What are some of your favorite rainy activities? Do you have any unusual rainy day traditions?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

31 Comments

24.July.2015

When my children were little and they were edgy, I would always have them eat by candle light and soft music. They could eat a PB&J and they thought it was special. They were calm and relaxed and we had some of our best family times like this.

reply )

24.July.2015

I grew up in the PNW so rainy days were just regular days, lol. I’m on the East coast now but still think I grew up in one of the best places ever and will be visiting Portland/Vancouver next week. And honestly it seems like it rains here as much as home, so…
We do pretty much everything you mentioned. We fish in the rain if there’s no thunder/lightning. We shoot nerf guns and play dance central. I love going out in the rain because we usually have whatever place to ourselves when everyone stays in!

reply )

24.July.2015

Thank you for all of these ideas!

reply )

24.July.2015

I need to ask. Do your kids play MineCraft? Do they constantly request to play or watch MC videos? Because that’s what kids around here want to do. Especially if it rains.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

The boys love MineCraft. They are always begging for screen time to play but I have a hard and fast rule…no screen time during the week. They have limited screen time on the weekends or on very rare special occasions (long car trips). I heard a report on NPR several months ago where an expert was gushing about MineCraft and its benefits. So, when they do have screen time, that’s the only game they’re allowed to play. I just don’t like the way they act after so much screen time. Also, I think it’s good for them to be bored. It’s an opportunity to get creative, go outside or try something new. When they tell me they’re bored, I tell them it’s not my fault…find something to do!

reply )

24.July.2015

I simply loved this post. Thanks for sharing a little insight on your lives. I love the paper bag, electical tape idea. I gotta try that. It’s simple things like these that can bring such joy and awesome memories. Thanks for the reminder! Also, I need to visit open houses! How fun, I never thought of that…I mean I browse and awe in all the beautiful photos of homes online—what better way than to see them in person. Thanks again. xo

reply )

24.July.2015

I’m afraid I agree with Layne–that sign is a warning against the dangers of errant umbrellas. Well, that, or perhaps a man hatching from an egg. As a graphic artist, I am appalled. They need to hire a better designer next time!

reply )

24.July.2015

We signed up for the coupons at kidsbowlfree.com, kids get 2 free games of bowling every day for the whole summer and you only have to pay for shoe rental. Our local bowling alley even has ball ramps for the little kids so they don’t have to struggle. We’ve used it SO many times this summer, the kids even like to go when it’s just really hot out.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

My kids LOVE bowling! We did a lot over the winter. I didn’t know about the coupon site. Thanks for sharing!

reply )

24.July.2015

We recently did a road trip from MA to KS and stopped at the Dayton Air Museum. I am not a history buff and definitely not a military history buff but after an hour in there I knew it was the best museum I had ever been to. It was AMAZING!

reply )

24.July.2015

I live in Ireland so every day is a rainy day. Around here the question is what do you do when it’s sunny?! We go for long walks on the beach, make sandcastles, swim in the freezing sea, go to playground, get the paddling pool out, have bbqs, enjoy the patio, go for long walks on the farm, hang out loads and loads of washing (smells so good off the line!). On rainy days….use an umbrella! :) Cook, bake, make lemonade, play lego, read stories, have a tea party, put on your wellies and get out and about in between the showers.

reply )

24.July.2015

I couldn’t figure out that sign either. Don’t climb in the cave? They should work on a better one.

reply )

My kids are just started to get to LEGO age, so we’ve been making lots of creations. We also like to visit Boonshoft, especially right now because they have a dinosaur exhibit!!!

reply )

24.July.2015

http://artforkidshub.com
I have a young toddler, but I pinned this website for the future.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

Great ideas!

reply )

24.July.2015

OK, I had no clue what that sign was supposed to mean! I was guessing “no falling into cracked dinosaur eggs”. Maybe I should spend more time in state parks? Love this post – and all of your posts.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

Haha! Hilarious!

reply )

25.July.2015

We often stay at home during rainy season. Kids and I would play board games and watch tv or help on kitchen activities and trying out a new recipe. My wife would do interesting DIY stuff on home decors since she is into home decorating and DIY.

reply )

25.July.2015

Just discovered your blog (it was a featured post on bloglovin’) and just had to drop by and tell you how much I love your current home. One of the most incredible renovations I think I’ve ever seen! Loved this rainy day post, too! We’re in Kansas, and have had lots of those rainy days this spring and summer too.

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

Welcome Deborah!

reply )

25.July.2015

These are some great ideas. We tend to get crafty on rainy days. Or sometimes we go crazy and go play in the rain :) The greenhouse nursery by your house is amazing, I wish ours had a play place for kids.

reply )

27.July.2015

Yeah, Layne was spot on. I thought you weren’t allowed to lose your open umbrella in the park. That designer should be ashamed. I saw a man hatching from an egg in the comments above…that works too. Also, the electrical tape mustaches and beards are excellent, haha :)

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

Love all the different interpretations! Haha!!

reply )

27.July.2015

Is that Hocking Hills State Park? We just stayed there last week on a road trip and it was beautiful!

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

The waterfall is part of the Charleston Falls Preserve in Tipp City, OH. Very cool place to wander if you’re ever in the area! Hocking Hills is beautiful but it’s a much longer drive for us.

reply )

27.July.2015

These a great ideas for grown-ups too. Next time rainy day hits us, we’re going to jump in the car instead of turning on Netflix.

Also, your kids look like they’re hilarious! Love their Reno 911 look!

reply )

27.July.2015

Great ideas for staying busy inside. In Georgia it’s hard to get out sometimes because it’s too hot! Noticed you don’t have a playset in the yard. Any ideas for keeping kids busy in the yard at home without play equipment?

reply )

replied on July 28th, 2015

We don’t have a swing set or anything like that in the yard. We’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of two great playgrounds / parks. Some of my favorite outdoor “toys” to have on hand are a gymnasium parachute, foam rocket launchers (HOURS of entertainment), frisbee, tennis balls and bikes.

reply )

28.July.2015

HAHAHAHAHA! a guy tripping on an umbrella…. LOVE it!

reply )

27.August.2015

Loved this post!! I ordered the cookbook you recommended after getting it at the library first (trying hard to limit my cookbook purchases since it can be a weakness of mine!) and ohmygosh, what an excellent recommendation!! Everything we’ve made has been amazing and I’m actually incredibly excited when we have leftovers!! Thank you, thank you :)

reply )

replied on August 31st, 2015

Awesome, so glad you like it!

reply )




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.