Rescue a rainy day with crafty suggestions, occupying your child with positive, productive projects that combine fun and learning. Depending on your child's age and attention span, you can tailor your activity ideas to involve more or less of your presence in creating an expressive project or in helping you with one of your own. Some activities can capitalize on technology to hold your child's interest, whereas others take a 21st-century twist on lasting forms of enjoyment.
Invite your child to join you in the kitchen for some fun with food. Whether you actually prepare a dish or use food items for constructive play, you can teach your child some cooking skills along the way. Carving a raw potato to make a "rubber" stamp used with food coloring, making the legume equivalent of a sand jar using layers of raw beans and uncooked rice in a canning vessel, painting a cake with multiple colors of frosting or decorating cookies to look like members of the family: these timeless activities offer enduring appeal because they produce results. If you're updating your recipe database or researching new dishes, enlist your child's tech support with the computer chores for a do-together activity.
Make a Movie
Lend your child the family camcorder to shoot video segments for a home movie. With a fresh memory card in place, your child can capture footage of anything from puddles on the patio to the way the family cat reacts to thunder. Volunteer yourself as an onscreen actor, taking direction from your child to create a performance that's animal, vegetable or mineral, depending on what role your child asks you to play. Offer your help with the editing process on your home computer, unless your child already knows the software.
Through the Lens
Instead of a movie, some children prefer taking still photographs. Encourage your child to look at familiar objects in a new way and to see how different mundane things appear when you examine them at close range. Whether you print your child's images on your home computer and adorn the house with them, show them on your HDTV in a slideshow or turn a tablet device into a display featuring your child's collected works, make a point of sharing the photos with other members of the family and encouraging their interest in photography.
Turn on your media player or smartphone music library and share songs with your child to produce a literary masterwork. Create a story together in which all the dialog consists of song titles, the characters carry the names of famous singers or musicians, and the plot line follows the premise of a popular song that tells a story. Combine the musical theme with video technology so your child can create a music video for a favorite song. Suggest using dolls or puppets as actors or acting out the lyrics yourselves.
Photo Credits: Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
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