If you are an Early Childhood Educator or a stay at home mom, or if you own your own home day care, I am sure you can agree on one thing, rainy days can be boring.
There are some simple, easy ways to make a rainy day fun, exciting, and still get those preschool children up, active, and burning energy.
Here are a few ideas you can use:
While the children are at play, cover a table with some newspaper, tape it down, and get out 1-3 different colors of paint and place a small amount of each color in different bowls or containers. Also have a paintbrush for each child. Have three spots available at the table with large white pieces of paper. Have 3 children at a time come over to the table and paint their own pictures sharing the three colors of paint.
The reason I emphasize the number 3 for this activity is that having three children paint at once will make sure all the children will get a chance to paint fairly quickly without waiting too long for a turn, and the second and most important reason is, you will not get overwhelmed with having too many papers to write names on, hang to dry, and get the children’s hands washed if needed.
Painting will not take all morning, so what can you do you do once all the children have had a chance to create their masterpieces? Why not play some fun games .:)
Preschool oriented games will get the children moving and give them a chance to engage in gross motor activities and burn off some energy.
A few game ideas are:
Pass the Hot Potato ~
Have the preschool children form a circle. You can use any object or use a real potato and pretended that it’s hot. Have the children pass the “hot potato” quickly around the circle singing the song (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down): Hot potato pass it on, pass it on, pass it on. Hot potato pass it on, you, are out.
The child who is holding the potato at the end of the song then gets a sticker and sits outside the circle while the game continues. I do not like to make a big deal at who wins the game because I try to emphasize how fun it is to play games and sometimes we will make it to the end and other times we will not.
All of the children get a reward for playing the game and making an effort by getting a sticker. The child who wins gets a sticker just like all the rest and I then give them all a high five for playing.
Red Light, Green Light ~
If you have space large enough for this game you are in for a fun game. First, get 3 pieces of yellow construction paper. Draw three circles from top to bottom like a stop light in black marker.
Color the top circle on one paper red, the middle circle on the second paper, dark yellow, and the bottom circle on the last paper green. (Or if you have different colors of construction paper available, cut out the colors and paste them on the papers instead of coloring the circles.)
Have the children stand at one end of the room and you stand at the other. Hold up one paper and say what color the light is. For example, hold up the green light and say “green light”, the children then walk towards you. While they are walking then hold up a different one and say that color. For example “red light.” The children should then be instructed to stop walking. When you hold up the yellow paper inform the children that this means go slow and encourage them to walk as slow as they can.
Variations of Red Light / Green Light ~
Have the children take turns being the “traffic light holder.” You can also hold up the different papers without saying the color of the “traffic light” and have the children play by just seeing the colors.
Musical Chairs ~
Set up enough chairs for the children in the room. Set them in two equal rows back to back. If there is an odd number then set the last chair with its back against the sides of the end two chairs in the rows.
Explain to the children that when the music starts, they are to walk around the chairs in a line. When the music stops, they need to find a chair and sit on it.
Make them aware that you will be taking one chair away every time the music stops and whoever is left standing gets a sticker and then will sit out and watch as the rest of the game continues.
As the children become familiar with the game, you can get creative by asking them to march around the chairs, skip, hop, flap their arms, etc.
I like to give the children a high five after they get their sticker, and say “good game” as they go sit to watch their friends finish the game.
The rain can really put a damper on our mood but with some activities and some fun planning “up your sleeve” I am sure you will start to love rainy days as much as the children do.
Also a great collection of kids CD’s will help liven things up. So on your next rainy day, make it shine in your classroom with some fun activities.