23 October 2010

Rainy Day Fun with Kids!!!

I've struggled in the past with rainy day activities.  Finding something that works for all four kids can be a real challenge.  I don't mean ONE thing that will work for all four but just SOMEthing that will work for each one.

We can find a set of compatible table activities... playdoh, coloring/drawing, sticker-ing, etc. that will last for about 10 minutes max.  Then the playdoh press busts, the playdoh falls on the floor and gets hair or crumbs in it (sweeping and mopping more frequently would probably help that situation), the playdoh gets stuck in someone's hair (usually not the one working with it) or on the drawing of another child.... Or someone bumps the table, which messes up the drawing.  Or bumps an arm or hand or pen, which also messes up the drawing.  Or the marker of choice runs dry (sky takes a lot of blue, ninjas take a lot of black, fire takes a lot of red). Or someone starts drawing "off-road" which leads to the rat-out which brings about some yelling on someone's part...  Or the stickers get folded over on themselves or stuck in an unintended place leading to intense frustration and probably tears and shrieking... My kids are pretty loud.

We've done baking projects.  That is rarely enjoyable for anyone after about 10 minutes.  The eggs get cracked and then someone starts gets mad that s/he didn't get to crack the eggs this time and it was her/his turn and it's so not fair ALL THE TIME!!!!!  S/he then is often placated with getting to measure stuff out and add those ingredients in.  The generally results in too much or not enough in the bowl, too much out of the bowl and a huge puff-cloud of flour as the cup is dumped in from about 20 inches above the bowl no matter how many times I patiently say, "you want to keep the cup very close to the bowl."  By this time another child notices that baking is happening and wants to participate.  This child has his nose perpetually buried in a book and more often than not misses all familial announcements.  He'll elbow his way up to the counter (with very sharp, skinny elbows) and announce that he is here to help. "All that's left is mixing."  "Okay."  "Remember to start of kind of slow and low in the bowl so the flour doesn't puff all over the place."  "I know."  Handing over the spoon, it is so hard to make the decision... should I just turn away and not watch the huge flour cloud form overhead?  or should I watch and coach him on how to do it properly which will lead to slamming down of the spoon and a declaration that I don't know what I am talking about?  What's it going to be like when he's thirteen?

And there are always movies... that's where we are right now and how I am able to put this out.

This morning was a little different.  It was rainy.  This is often the time of year when we do get a bit of rain.  And the husband is out of town for the weekend.  (I really miss him).  Luckily, the kids found some entertainment!  Using the balloons from The Blob costume they played keep-away and "baseball" and juggled and were having just tons of fun for over an hour!  The baseball game got a little rough so I told them to take it outside... the rain had turned to a light mist.  So they went outside and played with the hose and got pretty wet.  Then, still getting along and in good spirits, they came in.

Someone got the brilliant idea to make... WATER BALLOONS!  I thought the were just washing up from playing outside in the rain and getting clean and dry.  Nope.  And I cannot figure out how they untied those darn balloons!  And now I know why Q-man came up to me at one point and asked me to untie one (which I didn't).

Good news is the bathroom floor that Master Procrastinator has not been attending to has now been taken care of!  As have the walls ... and the baseboards... and the hall floor....

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