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Raining? Keep your kids entertained
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Kids usually enjoy the first few days of the rainy season, when raindrops are a novelty, thunderstorms are particularly fascinating, and the rainbow is a colourful bonus.
But, soon, the rains turn into a 'big bore' as the kids can't go outside, either because it is raining cats and dogs or because the roads, playgrounds and parks get too dirty.
Stranded at home, sometimes without electricity, can be tiresome for kids, especially for the little ones in the age group of five years and below.
We draw up a fun-filled activity chart to keep the kids occupied this monsoon.
The Idea Box
Ranjita Madan, homemaker and mother of four-year-old Neha, suggests introducing the concept of an Idea Box. "We converted an old shoe box into an idea box. Whenever we think of an idea, we write it on a slip of paper, put in the box and save it for a rainy day," she says.
When it rains or the lights go off, Neha rummages through the box and picks a chit lying inside. "My daughter enjoys the 'suspense' of picking an activity," says Ranjita.
Activities range from playing Antakshari and Dumb Charades, to creating a scrapbook, playing with puppets, cutting newspaper cartoons and pasting them to making homemade musical instruments.
For instance, if the chit reads 'Make homemade musical instruments' you can start by filling up cups of different sizes, shapes and material with water and use a small stick/ pencil to create different types of sounds.
Else, convert an old container into a drum. To add to the fun, your child can help you decorate the box with colourful paper. Sometimes, you can slip in a small gift like a sticker or a chocolate at the end of the activity.
The activities mentioned below can also be mentioned on the chits.
Keep a rainy scrapbook
Pick up a brightly coloured, attractive book and dedicate it to the rain. You child can have lots of fun making collages, drawing and decorating it. Give her/ him lots of raw materials like pictures, photographs, newspapers, crayons, old greeting cards, pamphlets, etc, to dabble with. Try to be around so that your child does not get hurt when trying to use a pair of scissors to cut something.
Make it sound like a project at the end of which your child will receive an exciting treat -- it could be a favourite snack or a film s/he really wants to watch.
Go on an indoor picnic/ camping trip
This is an all time favourite with Madhu Idgurkar, software engineer and mother of four-year-old Mahendru. "I pack a basket full of goodies and some board games. Then, we spread out a blanket near the French windows on our balcony, sit and have a good time," she says. "We listen to the rain, munch on sandwiches and tell stories."
When it stops raining, distract the kids with cloud formations. "Children come up with the strangest of formations. You will discover a cloud bird, a cloud car and even a cloud flower," she adds.
Another picnic idea is to take a couple of rainy books along. Let your child pick one out for you to read. This is a great way to nurture your child's interest in books.
Others like Nivedita J, a mother of two boys Yash and Rohan, six and four respectively, set up indoor tents by draping a blanket over a table or several chairs or over the bed. Of course, if you have storage area under a bed, you could try that. "Last time, we watched a wildlife CD on our laptop, whilst sitting in the tent and munching on nuts," she says.
Make your kids really listen to various sounds around them. Get out the tape recorder and make a project out of recording everyday sounds. Try water running in the bath, someone ringing the bell, opening the door, flushing the toilet, the birds singing or the vegetable vendor's voice! Get your child to guess each sound. The rains and thunderstorms will only add to the effect.
The idea is to be imaginative and get the kids involved.
Have clearance day
Sorting out toys can be fun. This should be the most important activity for the day. Help your child unearth old treasures and go down memory lane by relating all the fun experiences associated with each toy.
It could be an old toy car, a doll's shoe, a rattle or the first soft toy your baby cuddled up to.
Children often get paranoid where the lights go off. At this time, parents need to come up with something innovative to keep them entertained in the dark.
Enact a shadow puppet show. Use objects like socks, pens and sticks for better effect.
Antakshari is an all-time favourite in the dark. The theme could be songs with the words like 'rain', 'storm', etc, in it.
Dumb charades is also a great game to play in candlelight.
Last but not the least, do not swear in the presence of the kids about the rains or how mucky it is outside in front of your child. This breeds a negative impression about the rains.
Instead, talk to the child as if the rains are a good time to spend time at home!
What do you do to keep your kid/s entertained during the rains? Share your ideas with other Get Ahead readers.
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