Rain, snow and high winds can be a “downer” for youngsters who typically love playing outdoors with their siblings and friends. That’s why Rockville daycare centers organize plenty of indoor activities when the weather is uncooperative for outdoor fun. As a parent, or a caregiver to preschool-age children, you too can improvise and make rainy days fun for your kids.
Here are 10 creative and fun ideas to keep your preschooler entertained when the weather isn’t cooperating!
If there’s one thing a preschooler loves, it’s the thrill of a hunt! At our daycare in Rockville, caregivers know that one way to give young kids that thrill is to set them up for a scavenger hunt. If you’ve got time to plan one, then go for it – hide toys and treats all around the house, and have your preschoolers hunt for them.
However, if bad weather hits you unexpectedly, and you didn’t plan for scavenger hunting – don’t fret! You can improvise with everyday items: Hunt for matching socks. Challenge them to look for hidden spoons. Or just hide a toy somewhere, and ask them to go looking for it.
While the rain pours outdoors, you and your preschooler can have loads of fun indoors with an easel, crayons and paints. This activity does not require any skill in drawing or painting. But you can unleash your preschoolers’ creative juices by thinking of fun themes to sketch and paint.
If there’s a favorite cartoon show that your child loves to watch, bring up a character from the show on your smartphone, TV or computer, and have the child draw that character in crayons or paints. To encourage them, tell them their creation may land on the family softboard or earn a place of distinction on the refrigerator!
Entertainment, on a wet and rainy day, shouldn’t only be for fun – it could also be a learning opportunity. The Rockville daycare staff find that holding spelling bee contests can make rainy-day entertainment something that also adds a bit of learning to the fun. Instead of holding the spelling bee in the regular “dining room” format, you could make it less formal: Organize it on the couch, or perhaps even in your (covered) courtyard.
Another creative and fun idea to entertain preschoolers on a rainy day is baking. Whether it’s cookies and cakes, or buns and breads, a rainy day gives you a captive audience to share your culinary skills with youngsters. Ideally, pick something that your kid loves to eat – gingerbread cookies? – And teach them to make them.
It’s a good idea to buy and stock baking kits, such as shortbread or gingerbread making ingredients – beforehand. Then, when the need arises, you can quickly call your preschooler to act as your sous chef, and whip up a batch of their favorite baked treats.
The staff at our daycare in Rockville frequently rely on slime as the go to activity to encourage preschooler creativity on a rainy or snowy day. The best part of using slime for fun is that it can also become a teachable moment. Firstly, with it pouring outside, kids will likely not be chomping at the bit to get outdoors. Now that you have their attention indoors, you can use slime to teach them numerology, alphabets, or simply creating and identifying everyday objects.
Is your preschooler interested in how things work, or how they are made? Well, if your child shows that aptitude, then why not take sliming to a higher level, and teach them the science behind making slime? Making that amazing, gooey substance isn’t rocket science. But, by using everyday items that are available in most households – baking soda, craft glue, dishwashing fluid – you can start explaining the science of chemical reactions that ultimately transform into slime.
Kids, from toddlers to high-schoolers, love stories – and preschoolers are no different. At our Rockville daycare, the staff organize story time as part of the learning curriculum. On a day when it’s particularly rainy, windy or snowy outside, it’s a great idea to snuggle on the couch with your kids and read them their favorite stories. To take things up a notch, try reenacting the story, or change your voice to mimic various characters in the tale. You might even get your kids to act out various scenes while you narrate the story.
If your preschooler has lots of energy, or is someone who prefers to be on the go, even when indoors, then this is a fun activity for them. Why not blow up a balloon (or five!), and play balloon tennis with them? The object of the game (at least that’s what you’ll tell your high-energy preschooler!) is to toss the ball – between yourself and them – so that it never touches the ground. The real agenda, however, is to help kids have fun, burn calories, and not think about the miserable weather outdoors!
Kids attending our daycare in Rockville on a rainy day will typically have fun playing with toys and play-castles and slides indoors. However, at home, you might not have tents, caves and castles readily available – but don’t let that stop you! With the winds howling outside, and the rain pouring down, you can improvise indoors to build tents and castles using empty packing boxes, grocery delivery cartoons, curtain rods, clothes lines, bed sheets, pillows and furniture.
For preschoolers with a more academic bent, a game of factoids and fun facts can help while waiting for the weather to clear up. To make things livelier and more competitive, have them keep score and give the winner (they’ll win – obviously!) a prize.
Rules of the Game
To make rainy-day indoor events a success, don’t make it too hard for your child to win. Keep the event time bound, and declare a winner when you find they’re disengaging. But have prizes for everyone – regardless of who wins! And finally, hold these events within a space where you can watch them all the time. As a bonding exercise, parents should participate with the child if they don’t have siblings. Alternatively, you can hold some of these events remotely or virtually, with friends and family members.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.