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6 Dreary-Weather Cheer-Ups


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Girl inside on a dreary dayIt may be tempting to hop online or play video games when it’s gray outside, but think of it instead as a good opportunity to unplug. In fact, dreary weather provides an opportunity to connect with your kids in creative ways that could never happen in front of a screen.

1. Overcast photo shoot

Since there is no such thing as too many pictures of the kids, get out the camera and take advantage of overcast skies—which are great for snapping photos. Capture some memorable Kodak moments of kids stomping in rain puddles with their boots on, sporting rosy red cheeks during a cold snap, or building a snowman.

2. Bake up a storm

Let a cloudy day inspire you to bring magic and comfort to your kitchen with gooey cookies or fancy cupcakes. If they are old enough to read, let the kids recite the recipe to you and allow them to measure for excellent math practice. 

3. Rainbow picnic

Make sandwiches, spread celery sticks with peanut butter, and dream up a yummy dessert. Spread out a quilt on the family room floor and play a board game or cards. Then try balloon volleyball. This dreamily quiet activity will keep kids engaged for long periods of time. BONUS: no ants, itchy grass, or spoiled mayo to worry about on this picnic.

4. Dance ’til you nap

Forget inside voices! Crank up the tunes and cut loose. Kids never tire of the freeze-dance game. You be the DJ and control the music, and they dance until you silence it—at which time they freeze and hold their position until the music starts again. Let them wear themselves out, then take a nap together.  

5. Runway revelry

First they will need to select a wardrobe. Encourage kids to be as flamboyant, creative, and crazy as possible (offer them sports jerseys, pantyhose, purses, pumps, and hats). Then tape off a catwalk with masking tape and play energetic music so they can strut their stuff for the paparazzi: you!

6. Mother of all forts

Is there anything quite like constructing a tent, then climbing inside to read, dream, play Legos, or simply snooze? Draping sheets and quilts over and around the couch and a table, or a big cardboard box, helps kids make a magical cozy nest. A fort like this on a dreary day creates the sort of fun kids never forget.

Michele Ranard is a math tutor, professional counselor, freelance writer, and mom to two sons. 

What activities do you do with your kids to brighten up a dreary day? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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