With a little creativity, rainy days are opportunities for both fun and educational play. Here The Genius of Play, a nonprofit initiative whose mission is to raise awareness about the importance of play, shares some tips and ideas:
- Kids love playing with sensory textures such as paints, slime, sand and foam, and this helps improve fine motor skills. Fortunately, you can now find less messy and sticky versions of these items for a hassle-free cleanup.
- Consider classic board games like checkers and dominoes, or playing a game of crazy eights with a deck of cards. These games teach the importance of sharing and good sportsmanship while helping kids learn to strategize and plan ahead.
- Encourage kids to develop their emotional, creative and communication skills by developing their own skit or play. Maintain a well-stocked costume trunk that they can use for dress-up and have toys on hand to use as props.
- Whether your child prefers following step-by-step instructions or using their imagination, designing, creating and playing with construction toys can build problem-solving, spatial and fine motor skills.
- Building a safe obstacle course is a fun way to keep little ones active indoors while building core muscles and developing balance. Pick three to five exercises to get their energy out.
- Play with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) toys and games. For example, use a science kit to erupt a volcano or code a robot. These important educational experiences can be fun supplements to classroom learning.
- It may not sound like play at first glance, but cleanup can be fun with the right attitude. Put on music and have kids dance as they put toys away, make the bed and help with chores. Or, make a game of it, racing each other to complete tasks.
Find play ideas, expert advice and other play resources at thegeniusofplay.org.