8 Things Every Parent Should Have on Hand for Creative Rainy Day Fun

kids rainThere's nothing like the prospect of being stuck inside on a rainy day with bored kids to fill a parent with dread -- but it doesn't have to be that way! There are plenty of super fun, super easy ways to keep your little ones occupied when the weather won't cooperate, both indoors and out. Remember: Not only is it perfectly okay for kids to play in the rain, some experts say this sort of soggy play is actually beneficial!

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The key to making sure your kids keep busy when it's less than lovely outside is having a variety of supplies on hand for crafts and other types of activities. The best part? None of the things you'll need are particularly expensive; in fact, you probably have some of them lying around the house already.

Here are a few essential items to have at the ready for when those storm clouds roll in -- and a few suggestions about what the kids can do with them.

Indoor Play

1. Shaving Cream

Take good, clean fun to another level with a humble can of shaving cream. Cover a table with a plastic cloth and let the kids squirt away. Encourage the kids to make "sculptures" and draw in the foam with their fingers. Try mixing in a little finger paint for extra color!

2. Cupcake Liners

They're not just for baking anymore! Cupcake liners (particularly the multicolored variety) are great for a multitude of crafts. Try cutting the middle out of a paper plate and having the kids glue the liners around the remaining circle to create a wreath of faux flowers!

3. Egg Cartons

Don't toss those containers -- give them a second life by cutting the individual cups apart and letting your kids turn them into bugs (with the help of pipe cleaner legs and stick-on googly eyes) or using them as tiny plant pots. Egg cartons are great for organizing craft supplies, too!

More from CafeMom: 10 Activities That Say 'Rain, Rain, DON'T Go Away'

4. Paper Towel Rolls

There's literally no end to what a cardboard tube can become in the hands of a creative kid: A snake! Colorful napkin rings! A kazoo! Or fill them with dried beans and tape construction paper over the ends for a simple musical shaker!

Outdoor Play

1. Food Coloring

Make puddles magical by adding a few drops of food coloring, or let sheets of paper get soaked in the rain. Then, kids can sprinkle food coloring on top for an instant masterpiece!

2. Chalk

You probably think of sidewalk art as more of a sunny day activity, but your kids can still make beautiful (albeit temporary) chalk drawings on wet surfaces. Bring some sponges outside to blend colors together for an impromptu art session!

More from CafeMom: 6 Easy & Entertaining Rainy Day Craft Ideas

3. Shovel & Bucket

Sure, "mud sculpture" might not have the same summer vacation-y ring to it as "sand castle," but kids love making things out of mud -- and why should they stop at pies?

4. Magnifying Glass

All sorts of creatures come out in the rain that might stay hidden otherwise (earthworms, in particular). Kids can go on a backyard safari and then check out their creepy-crawlies under the lens.

 

Image via JasonB/Flickr

 

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