Spring has sprung! …a leak apparently. As a little boy growing up in Arizona, I imagined spring as all sunshine, flowers and bunny rabbits. But, it would seem it’s actually just really really squishy, wet, and wormy. What to do when it’s warm enough to play outside after a long winter but wet enough to need a divorce lawyer if you track those shoes in on your wife’s newly mopped floor one more time?
Have no fear, these are top ten tried-and-true-best rainy day activities.
For $5 per hour or $12.50 a day you and your kids can choose from hundreds of board games from Chutes and Ladders to Risk and everything in between. Perfect for kids young and old. Since your pass lasts all day feel free to take the kids home, get a sitter and come back with your wife to finally beat her at Trivial Pursuit.
2. At home game day
As an alternative to paying to get out and play, play at your kitchen table. Pop some popcorn and sit around teaching your kids the finer strategies of Uno, Jenga, or Connect 4. Uno is a great game for kids because its color recognition for the little ones, number recognition for the middle ones and complex thought for the big ones.
3. Go climbing
Help your kids get their exercise on in a new and interesting way: rock climbing! We’re talking Hoosier Heights, Climb Time Indy or EvoRock. All of these locations offer kids’ areas and packages to help you get started if you are a first timer. If your kids are like mine, they are climbing up the walls by 10am anyway, so might as well learn to do it with correct foot placement. Cost varies by location.
4. At home exercise
If getting out to climb is outside your budget, no worries! YouTube has a series of kid’s exercise videos which are as much fun to narrate from the couch as they are to watch your kids groove along to. It might feel silly to turn on exercise videos for kids but mine have always found it good for 30-90 minutes worth of fun. Kids yoga is excellent for nap time!
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5. Try pottery
Our family favorite isn’t far from home: Kiln Creations is located in downtown Noblesville. With an excellent view of the square to watch while its raining, there’s also plenty of paint and pottery to keep your little ones busy and creative. Not to mention you’ll have a functional piece of flatware once its been fired. It’s all the fun of those art class projects without any of the lumpy clay work! If this spot isn’t close to your home, there’s bound to be a great place near you though.
6. At-home creativity
Stop off at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and pick up a couple of canvases and paints. Set your kids up at a table in front of a window and ask them to paint you a picture of the rain. It’s always amazing what kids see in the everyday things we overlook. Bonus points if your child also knows how to paint with all the colors of the wind.
7. Visit the public library
As you’ve seen in some of our other posts, the public libraries around town are incredible! Virtually every day has some kind of activity for kids to participate in. It’s not all sitting still and story time either, there are music and motion classes and Lego building clubs available depending on the library or day!
8. Do some structured play at home
This one is labor intensive, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Get a stack of stuff together: Book, pot and spoon, Legos, queue up Spotify on your phone and get ready. Then rapid fire your activities! 30 minutes on each thing, then move on to the next. Keeps it mixed up and interesting, and if they’re in the middle of something when you are ready to move on, remind them they can come back to it during “free time”. “Free time” is what we call “Please leave me alone while I drink this coffee” time.
CP’s Discovery Station has an EXCELLENT blanket fort section that will entertain kids up to age 30 I suspect. Probably older if their knees aren’t as crumby as mine. With tabs to hang the blankets from and poles that move, it’s possible to build a replica of Windsor Castle in no time.
10. At home blanket fort
Finally, if getting out in the sludge to hike it to Conner Prairie is outside your wheelhouse today, fret not! You needed to wash your sheets anyway right? So before they take a spin in the ole Whirlpool, bring them downstairs to build an epic blanket fort. Yes, it’s a mess to clean up. But consider that mess an investment in your kid’s’ childhood. My wife calls them “in-mess-tments”: Make an in-mess-tment in your kids today!
At that point – as he says: “I realized: I need a wife. I married Katie in Sept of 2007. Aside from one lousy pen left in my pants pocket and numerous dried on Conner Prairie stickers, the laundry has gone pretty well since then.” Luis has four children: Maggie- 7, Micah- 5, Millie- 2, and Merritt- 1. Each of them helps him sharpen his parenting skills in new and unique ways. “Without Maggie I’d never have learned to put on tights. Without Micah I would have the weakest MMA fighting skills on the block. Millie challenges me to improve my search and rescue abilities. Merritt gives me weekly lessons in Matrix style urine dodging. Together we are the greatest family to ever ruin your family’s nice quiet afternoon at the park.”
Follow along with Luis as he helps shows you the best places to let your family run wild.