It’s cold and it’s rainy, and what in the world are you going to do all day with your teething baby and your energetic toddler?
Rainy days can be the hardest. All mommy wants to do is curl up with a good book or watch reruns of her favorite show, and all the kids want to do is run around like chickens with their heads cut off or complain about how bored they are.
So what are some productive things you can do around the house to both entertain everyone and organize your life at the same time?
1. Get rid of old toys.
I like to do this a few times a year – normally before or after Christmas, and then any time I notice the toy bins over flowing or getting harder to shut.
Each time I’ve gone through all the toys I’ve been sure to involve my kids in the whole process. I tell them what we are getting ready to do and why we’re doing it. I explain that they have so many toys, and that there are some kids that don’t have any toys to play with. We go through their boxes, put old toys in a trash bag, and donate those bags to the nearest Goodwill or CHKD thrift store.
So far the kids haven’t hated the process (win for mom!). They enjoy throwing all their toys onto the floor, climbing around in an empty toy box, and helping me load up bags into the car.
2. Go through your canned goods & donate them.
I’m guilty for hanging onto canned goods forever. We buy the chicken noodle soup in the winter, anticipating the flu or sore throat…and then we forget to use them (my kids just really don’t enjoy chicken noodle soup just yet). Then there’s the beans and the corn and other miscellaneous sides that we thought we would try but they just kept sliding further down into our can bin.
A rainy afternoon is the perfect time to go through any canned goods you won’t be using (or could afford to get rid of) and take them to a local food bank. Involve your kids in this process by encouraging them to stack the cans you’re giving away in creative ways. Or, go can-bowling!
While you’re at it, wrap up that pile of plastic grocery bags shoved in the bottom corner of your pantry and recycle those while you’re out!
3. Clean some of those hard-to-reach areas.
Maybe you are unlike me and you clean these areas every other week or so, but I am not good for remembering to clean under the couch, behind dressers, etc. Set aside a rainy day for those tasks! They’re annoying, yes, but you will feel great about yourself (and your home) when you take a step back. Pick up the couch, move the entertainment center a few inches away from the wall, pull all the food off the top row of your fridge and wipe it clean.
If you’re looking for something to get those handprints off your trim, use a baby wipe! I use those everywhere. I’ve actually learned that they do pretty good at removing crayon (from chairs, walls, and table tops…). Involve your kids by tasking them to grab a baby wipe and clean off some of their favorite toys!
4. Tend to your knick knacks.
Kids are cute, but they tend to break things. Their love for their toys is so overwhelming that they don’t always handle them with care. Our broken pieces tend to collect in one spot (in the kitchen), waiting there for the day that we have time to put them back together again. Well friends, today is that day! Put that Barbie back together, glue that leg back on, put batteries back in their favorite toy (unless it’s a super annoying toy, and then tell them that the store ran out of batteries).
We also have issues with accidentally tearing book pages. I tend to find ripped pages when I’m reading to the kids at night, and in the hustle and bustle of bedtime I forgot to fix them. A cloudy day is a good day to read – and fix – those books!
5. Narrow down your movie collection.
Are your DVDs starting to pile up? Do you even watch those movies anymore? Tell the kids you are going to have a movie marathon day, but sort all your movies first! Give away or plan to sell the movies you won’t watch anymore, and organize the ones you are keeping. This is also a fun way to come across those old favorites you forgot about!
I hope some of these ideas were helpful, and spurned ideas of your own! What do you love to do on rainy days?