When rain or cold weather keep everyone inside, it can be hard to keep kids happy and entertained. Sometimes it seems like the only options are sitting the kids down in front of the TV all day or spending money on outings. But if you can’t think of any fun and productive ways to keep kids busy when they’re stuck inside, it’s not because there aren’t options — you’re just not thinking creatively enough! Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning.
Introduce them to online math games
A lot of kids need extra help when it comes to mathematics, but assigning extra worksheets on top of their homework isn’t fun for anyone. When you line up a few interactive online math games instead, your kids will be having so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning. There are a lot of free math games available online, but for the biggest selection in one place, try Coolmath.
Use videos to teach about the natural world
Kids love flipping through YouTube videos, but as parents, we don’t always love everything that pops up on their feed. While there’s no foolproof way to control exactly what your kids see on YouTube, you can reduce the odds that they see something inappropriate by finding entire channels designed for kids.
As far as educational YouTube channels go, it’s hard to beat Nat Geo Kids. With playlists dedicated to different parts of the animal kingdom, including birds, insects, deep sea creatures, and more, your kids can easily spend hours engaged in learning about the natural world. And since the videos are embedded on National Geographic’s site, you don’t have to worry about something unsavory popping up in the sidebar.
Dig in to hands-on science experiments
The internet is a treasure trove of ideas for kid-friendly science experiments. When you arm yourself with a few craft supplies and a high tolerance for messes, your kids can make a glass of lava, create a cloud in a bottle, design the best paper airplane, or any number of other creative science projects. For more ideas, check out these fun science experiment ideas. Depending on your child’s age, the complexity of the experiment, and its mess potential, this activity might require parental supervision.
Design lesson plans around their interests
School curricula can be so rigid that kids don’t get much opportunity to explore their interests in a classroom setting. That means it’s up to you to foster your child’s emerging passions. Hobbies and after-school activities are one great way to do this, but another is by creating your own lesson plans. By devising lesson plans, rather than leaving children to their own devices, you can structure and sequence activities for maximum value.
Is your child mesmerized by the stars? Incorporate these activities from The Measured Mom for fun lessons about the stars, moon, and planets. Or if they’re crazy about pets, try some of these dog-themed lesson plans recommended by Rover. The possibilities are endless, but getting started will require some creativity and research on your end.
It might be hard to believe when they’re complaining about school and dragging their feet through homework assignments, but the truth is, kids love to learn. The trick to getting your children excited about learning is finding teaching methods that don’t feel like a chore. While these four ideas are an excellent place to start, they’re hardly the only options for educational rainy day activities. Stay informed about what your kids are learning in school and continue to think of fun ways to integrate classroom lessons into exciting at-home activities.