When was the last time you played with your child/children? It is raining outside (with lightning and thunder!) on a weekend. Outdoor sports for the boys/girls? nope. Video or online games? You already declared your royal decree that the time you have given is enough for the day. Play with their toys? Around 1 hour maybe then they start to get annoyed with each other. Your mind starts to think of things to do with the boys/girls when it rains. The main idea here is you will do it WITH THEM and not just a passive witness to what they are doing and looking at your smartphone/tablet/laptop.
Here is a list of what we usually do on a Saturday or Sunday when heavy rains prevent us from going to the park or beach. It is up to you my fellow parent if the activity is age-appropriate for your kids.
- Playing Hide and Seek
The boys suggested to play hide and seek in our second rental home way back in 2014. It’s been a long time since I played hide and seek. This game made me realize how I gained weight through the years. *giggling*
I tried to hide behind a door and sucked in my gut. Alas! Whoever was looking for me, he will know that someone is at the back of the door. I occupied too much space! Furthermore, when I tried to go under the bed, my youngest son mentioned that he could already see my bottom.
It was so exciting and fun that I had the uncontrollable urge to pee! If you are playing with 4-5-year-olds, expect that they will get a bit upset. It was late afternoon and it was a bit dark in the dining area. I hid behind the curtains. The curtains were so thick, my son had a hard time looking for me. He started to get teary-eyed out of frustration. The two older brothers began helping him search for me.
My husband who was found earlier in the game gave a clue to my youngest to try to go to the dining area. The joy I saw in my son’s face when he saw me hiding in there is unforgettable. Looking back, I was glad that he didn’t quit the game. He didn’t stop seeking for me.
- Watch favorite shows, movies, and anime.
Popcorn, junk food, drinks and a cozy sofa are the essential things when we decide to sit down and view a series or movie marathon. We still chuckle at the same funny scenes, cringe at the same embarrassing moments and already memorized by heart the epic lines of the movies. We often discuss afterward what could have been your decision if the scene in the movie could happen to you in real life.
Here are some of the movies we watch during our downtime especially when it rains. These are just my suggestions. It is up to you as a parent if you will allow your kids to watch it or not. We have different tastes you know. Moreover, the following movies are more on my sons’ preferences.
- Bruce Almighty ( Jim Carrey), Evan Almighty (Steve Carrell) – These are hilarious movies about random people having the chance to talk to God. The actor portraying God here is Morgan Freeman.
- Captain America Movies: Captain America The First Avenger, Captain America, the Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War – All these movies are action-packed filled with Marvel Characters.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Volumes 1-2, Thor: Ragnarok – Christ Pratt and Chris Hemsworth. Enough said.
I am not a professional chef or baker but every time I bake, the boys consumed them all. Brownies, apple strudel, Nutella twists and cassava cake are some of the baked goods I tend to prepare.
One rainy afternoon, I asked them to help me bake. They were busy the whole afternoon.
One thing I noticed with the boys is, after the baked goods are taken out of the oven, they couldn’t wait any longer for the food to cool down. They just immediately grab a bite and praise themselves how remarkable their masterpiece is. No leftovers for the next day.
- Play Monopoly.
Beware of this game.
The good: It will teach you how to manage your money and property.
The bad: A spark of negative emotion will come out on each player.
There were games that ended well for us with no dramas as we go on our separate ways. The winner was happy and the non-winners just shrugged their shoulders.
Yet, there were games that made one player cry, the other player was almost on tears out of frustration because of the worthless chance cards, the other player went bankrupt and the other two just had enough of paying on the same property huge amounts of money because it has a hotel in it.
Even if I tell the family beforehand that this is just a game, be a good sport and no tears, still, one player is bound to lose it. The jealousy, the frustration, the desperation, the sadness and the sweet taste of victory all rolled into one game. This is family bonding time board game by the way. Still, we choose to play it.
- Play Boggle
I bought this game from a garage sale for $3. This game taught us to make-up words then look for it on Google hoping that the word we just wrote exists.
This is a fun game because we learn new words in the process. However, when the youngest member of the family saw a word that no family member was able to write it, it creates a symphony of comments like “ What? I didn’t see that word!” “ That word exists?!”
For the parents, it keeps you on your toes especially when the children start to catch up with your score. 5 games will last you for more than an hour. The time-consuming part here is looking up the words in Google. Furthermore, you secretly and hopefully wish the words you come up with are accepted English words in the dictionary.
Here are some of the words my sons wrote and discovered.
lat – a former silver coin of Latvia (Source: www.dictionary.com)
qua – in the capacity or character of, as (Source: www.merriam-webster.com)
oom – A man, especially an older one. (Source: www.oxforddictionaries.com)
- Play UNO cards
This is a laugh-out-loud game. I think I am the only player not looking at the other player’s cards. They couldn’t resist. They were busy plotting how to keep the other player having more cards than usual. I just enjoy my family’s company and laughing at their side comments like
“You are going down!”
“I will have my revenge! Mwahahahaha.”
There is competition in this game but on a lower level compared to Monopoly. All is well after the game.
Read a book.
Sometimes, we just lay down in bed huddled together like sardines in a can. I usually read the book by Dr. Seuss “ Oh the Places You’ll Go.” This is a good book teaching about positive thinking and the challenges of life.
Reading to them a book helps them stay still and keep calm. Reading this book also reminds me that Life is a Great Balancing Act.
- Talk about anything under the sun.
All family members usually end up sitting in the sofa discussing a wide array of topics like what they learned in school, the joke his classmate mentioned, what I read somewhere and my husband’s childhood years. We end up giggling most of the time. Also, they love to hear stories when they were toddlers and the silly things they did.
- Play Snakes and Ladders
This is a game of extreme: either the game will be over quickly around 15 minutes or it will be a never-ending game. Every Snakes and Ladders player knows that the longest snake will make you go down as if starting from the beginning again.
You thought you are already the emerging winner but another player will beat you to it because of the longest ladder going up. The game becomes humorous and annoying at the same time when the dice keep rolling on the same number that will take you to the same snake over and over again. You feel that there is a curse on that level.
However, it will result in family laughter every time. I noticed this game doesn’t become vicious. Even if they know they are losing, the triggered laughter always gives them good vibes.
- Teach them how to cook.
I consider myself a work-in-progress cook. I may not be a pro but I can teach them the basic skills. Cooking is a life skill. They love to eat rice so teaching them how to cook it is important. Start with frying an egg or preparing a pancake. From there, introducing meals like spring rolls, fried chicken and sautéing chicken and pork with potatoes and other vegetables can boost their confidence in the kitchen.
I know the boys will not stay young forever. My husband and I appreciate our time with them as we grow old. The laughter, the dramas, the stories and the games. Don’t get me wrong. We do this when it is not raining too.
These are just some of what we do. Sometimes we sing KARAOKE STYLE. We hug the microphone and sing songs to our heart’s content. Some of their favorite songs to sing are Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5, Lips of an Angel by Hinder and YMCA by the Village People.
My dear reader, there are a lot of engaging activities you can do with your children when it rains. Moreover, imagination, cheerful attitude and presence both mind and body are the requirements.
All these moments are treasured in my heart. How about you, my dear reader. What do you cherish? Have you played with your children lately?