Hands On Math Activities For Open Ended Measuring Time Question How to Keep Your Kids Busy on Bad Weather Days

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How to Keep Your Kids Busy on Bad Weather Days

Fall and winter will inevitably bring rainy days that keep kids indoors and often cancel outdoor events that serve as energy sappers. Staying inside all day isn’t the fun it can be for adults, because typical bad weather activities for adults, like napping and reading, are horrendous for most kids. Here are some strategies to help everyone stay sane when the weather doesn’t cooperate:

– Make sure they have rain gear. Children can go outside in the rain, provided they have appropriate rain gear. Rain brings all kinds of interesting phenomena, such as rivers running in street gutters and raindrops falling on umbrellas. Before kids go outside, make sure they take off their wet outerwear and boots in a designated place so they don’t trail mud all over the house. Warn them to cross the street, even if they are old enough, because the driver’s visibility will be lower than usual.

– Use the rain as a teaching moment. Ask your children open-ended questions about the rain to get them thinking and sharing: Where does the rain come from? How is the rain good for us (even if it has canceled the baseball game)? Talk about the water cycle with the help of Science By Me

– Make a simple rain gauge. Locate a clear container, such as a glass or plastic jar. Place it outside in the rain and have the children record the time the jar started to collect water. Set a timer for one hour. When time runs out, go back outside with the kids and retrieve the jar. Take the jar inside and measure the water level with a ruler. This measure is the amount of rain that fell in one hour. Congratulations, you just learned math in your day!

– View the weather radar map for your area. Show your kids how to enter your zip code and a map of your immediate area will appear with areas of rain highlighted. Find an animated weather radar map so they can see rain moving through the area. Ask them what this map indicates: will it rain later, or less?

– With rain comes cooler temperatures, so try a fun and easy cooking project like the Gourmet Hot Chocolate Recipe on AllRecipes (remember, children must be supervised in the kitchen whenever the stove is in use)

– Catch up with distant family members using web-based communication apps like Skype or Facetime – this gives your kids a chance to show off their rain gauge and hot chocolate to Nana.

– Push the movie envelope beyond the latest DVD release by introducing your kids to classic kids’ movies like ET, The Extra-Terrestrial, and movies you loved as a kid, like now Mrs. Doubtfire. Let the older kids have a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings movie festival.

– You and your kids can still get some exercise indoors with video games like WII Sports and Just Dance, or a round or two of Twister. Consider eating at a restaurant with indoor landscaping in your area, such as Chik-Fil-A.

– Local museums do great field trips on rainy days, because they are educational and unhurried. Check out museumsusa.org to see all the museums in your area.

If you want your kids to read a little, try a visit to the local library so they can pick out something new to read. If you have more errands to run, check out an audiobook that you can all listen to in the car (rainy days mean traffic delays, so allow yourself extra time to get to your destination).

– Make your kids’ favorite board game more epic with a high-stakes tournament, and the overall winner can delegate their least favorite task to mom or dad. Many board games have educational value, such as Cranium for Kids and Apples to Apples Junior

– Take out the recycling bin and let the children build things from the cans, bottles and boxes (make sure the cans don’t have sharp edges and don’t let them play with glass objects). If you live near an appliance store, call and ask if they have cooler boxes that you can get your hands on. Your kids will love the safe/castle/space station.

– If you have a covered patio or porch, let your kids do a messy art project there, like finger painting or playdough, or whip up a batch of homemade moonsand, which will do well in the humid air.

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