Montessori Recommended Rainy Day Activities
By Veronica Chen, Principal
Children typically don't like rainy days because it means they can't go out to play. But rainy days can be a lot of fun, and ultimately can mean more quality time to spend with your family. Here are some rainy day activities that will be fun (and some helpful) for the whole family!
Clean: Montessori practical life exercises are filled with engaging children to take care of their environment, which in some cases can mean cleaning. Fill a small spray bottle with water and allow your child to wash the windows around the house. Have your plants and window sills been dusted recently? Rainy days are a great time to take out the duster. Toddlers can play matching games with laundry socks and most other children can practice folding laundry. If your child doesn't want to fold the laundry, maybe add an incentive like the first person to finish folding and putting away their clothes can pick the next activity.
Create an obstacle course: Need to get a little bit of energy out? Create an obstacle course with your child. Use painters tape to mark the route or start and end points. Use safe household furniture or toys to be a part of the course. You can frog jump over stuffed animals, belly crawl across the couch, crab crawl down the hall, retrieve a ball from a bedroom, bunny hop to the laundry basket, spin 3 times in place and then throw the ball into the basket. The family member who gets the most baskets or has the fastest overall time gets to pick the next activity.
Cook: Parents are normally in a hurry and children tend to move at a much slower pace. But on a rainy day, we have lots of time to enjoy each other. Choose a new recipe and prepare lunch together. Montessori encourages to allow the child make mistakes and explore as a way of learning, as long as it isn't dangerous, so don't be too quick to correct the child if he/she is not doing something the way you might do it.
Play games: Board games and card games are great for a rainy day. If you don't have any at home, make up your own game or let your child make up a game. One game that doesn't need many materials is Swift Swap. Split your family into 2 teams. The teams will line up and face each other. Team 1 will observe Team 2 first, trying to memorize what Team 2 members are wearing and how. After 30 seconds, Team 1 will turn around and Team 2 will swap clothes, rearrange accessories, or change hair-dos. After 1 minute, Team 1 will turn back around and spend 5-10 minutes guessing what was swapped in Team 2. Then Team 2 will take a turn observing while Team 1 swaps clothes. Pictionary or charades are also classic games that can be played without too many materials.
Go on a scavenger hunt: Make a list of things your child is sure to find around the house and send them hunting until they find all of the items. Bonus points if they can find the toy piece that has been missing for weeks. You can do a Montessori style scavenger hunt by allowing the child to practice what they are learning in school. If they are learning their phonetic sounds, maybe the scavenger hunt can ask them to look for items that start with "a" like "apple" or "ant." Elementary students might be able to do a word scavenger hunt where after they find the items, they give the list back to you and then they need to write the words down and spell them correctly.
Dance party: Need another way to get some energy out? Turn up some upbeat music and dance the afternoon away!
Write a letter: Need an activity refocus and recenter? Ask your child to write a letter to a friend or even their teacher. We love to know what your child has done over the weekend!
At the end of the day, your children are happy spending quality time with you no matter what you do together! Happy rainy day play!