The Rainy Day Box

If you’ve got young children, a forecast of rain, be it a day or a week, can bring on feelings of dread.  How on earth am I going to get through a day confined to the house with them?  Well, here’s one idea to keep up your sleeve…a rainy day box.  This is a box that is only brought out when the rain sets in.  It’s full of simple, no mess activities (the aim is to maintain our sanity after all!).  That means no paint, glue or glitter!  The activities should be ones that your children can do both with you and by themselves (and hopefully you can squeeze in an uninterrupted cup of tea…ok let’s be realistic, a semi interrupted cup of tea).

So, what do you put in it?  It depends a bit on the age of your child but some fairly universal ideas are blank paper, stamps, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, stickers, toilet rolls, balloon, textas, pencils, crayons…you get the idea.  Remember, the box only comes out on rainy day. This helps to keep it new and interesting for them.

And the golden rule, choose no mess activities or prepare to find something like this after turning your back for a minute…

If you’re feeling revived after your cup of tea, you might like to get involved in the activities with your child.  Although simple, these activities create fabulous opportunities for teaching your children lots o
f language!

First step is to get down to their level.

You can do this be sitting at their table or on the floor with them.  If the thought of getting up again makes your bones ache, bring your child up to your level by sitting together on the lounge, at the dining table or on a bed.

Then, it’s a matter of talking about what you are doing using lots of comments.

To be most effective you’ll want to talk in sentences that are just a bit longer than what your child is using.  So, if your child is putting two words together when they talk, repeat what they say and add on an extra word to two.  It might go a little something like this…

Child: Want more

You: Want more. You want more. Want more paper

Here you’ve added the extra words ‘you’ and ‘paper’ which teaches your child how to use those words when they’re talking.

For older children you can make comments that include words that they may not hear as often to help expand their vocabulary.  In the rainy day box activities, describing words and location words can come up a lot.  Talk about the soft, squishy cotton balls or blowing up small balloons and huge balloons or putting a stamp in the top corner.

Most importantly, it’s about having fun.  If you’re starting to feel frustrated or bored with how things are going it’s completely fine for you to take some time out.  Playing with your children and teaching them language is time consuming and energy zapping so make sure you take time for yourself.  The added bonus is that playing alone has loads of benefits for your child too!