Unplug and play! Rainy days don't mean an end to fun—enjoy one of these simple at-home activities with the family this fall
1. Playful play dough
Making homemade play dough is always a fun endeavour and provides hours of activity for the little ones. In fact, even just creating the concoction presents tasks and challenges that will busy young minds. Mix your own non-toxic batch using a recipe that requires no more than 15 minutes to make, with ingredients such as Jell-O and Kool-Aid adding playful colour and scents. When stored in an airtight container, the dough can last up to three months.
2. Pack light with indoor camping
Indoor camping is another rainy day activity with a long lifespan. Spend some time constructing a family teepee in the living room and kids can utilize the space later as a quiet reading corner or the perfect spot for a cozy afternoon nap. Locally designed in Vancouver, the tents offered by Domestic Objects (pictured at top of article) are perfect for even small homes. Shop Owner Sarah Jagger didn't have to look far for inspiration: she has two children of her own and wanted to find suitable indoor play spaces. In just three short years in business, the company now ships worldwide, counts television celebs among its client base and offers up eight creative, trendy styles.
3. Bake up some fun
Simply baking a homemade treat with kids can provide two major wins: a team-based activity and a tasty snack to top it off. Ask the little ones to mix dry ingredients, sift flour, measure out recipe components or keep an eye on the time. The responsibility will make the reward all the more worthwhile.
4. Get messy for fun
Fingerpainting may indeed get a bit messier than other crafty activities in the home but smart recipes—including bases of everything from flour to baby food—ensure little ones can put their hands in their mouths without causing alarm. Use handy household ingredients in this recipe to create art pieces and ensure non-toxic fun.
5. Nature's simplest stamper
Budget can be a concern when kids' pastimes are considered. But run-of-the-mill potatoes are an easy, affordable option to wile away a few rainy day hours. The starchy vegetable can easily be turned into customizable stamps, as you can carve out anything your heart desires. All that is needed are the spuds, some craft paint, paper and a kitchen knife. Cookie cutters can be added as a simple way to achieve easy shapes too. Task participating young minds with creating personalized birthday cards, name tags, invitations or art pieces to proudly hang on the wall.
6. Garden markers and more
Just as you scrounged through the crisper for potatoes above, run out to the yard to collect a few rocks and another at-home art project is born. Give the stones a rinse and then use craft paints to create small masterpieces. Best suited for school-aged children, this fun activity can be enjoyed anytime. Try to design your own paper weights like these creative samples. Perhaps dream up whimsical rock markers for the garden or simply create decorative pieces for the mantle. Children will enjoy expressing themselves through the little characters they create. (To protect them for time to come, layer on lacquer once they dry.)
7. Fold some fun with origami
With an endless supply of creative options, the art of origami can be enjoyed by every member of the family. Try simple objects, such as animals or bookmarks, or opt for more difficult patterns that require time and patience. Any coloured paper can be used, as long as it's thin and easy to fold, but origami paper can also be purchased at local craft stores. Instruction books can be helpful—and usually come with purchased origami paper—or follow step-by-step online guides like those found here.