Activities for rainy day blues

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

July 27th, 2009


Well, The Globe and Mail’s Leah McLaren had a few things to say about cottaging in Muskoka (including that she loves it), but at least one Muskoka Blogger wasn’t happy with her assessment of rainy day cottaging.

What do you think? Do you like rainy days? Do you like a whole month of rainy days??

I don’t mind the occasional excuse to stay inside and curl up with a book or to badger DH into joining me for a hand of cards, but I remember how hard it was to keep the kids occupied when they were small.

What are your favourite activities for kids on rainy days? Here are a few of our successes:

1. One man’s cardboard box is another child’s TV Once, when they complained about not having a TV at the cottage, DH ”made” them one using a cardboard box. Colouring pictures to tape up on the screen kept them quiet for at least an hour—and then we all watched the shows together.

2. Baking: blueberry muffins, birthday cakes (or any other kind), cookies, dinner…

3. Decorate the cottage: We still have the mobiles we made using coat hangers and objects found around the cottage. Dress up the kids in wellies and a jacket and send them outside to find bits of nature. Then they can all come inside to dry off, have a snack (see 5) and make the mobiles. You can ask them to pick some blueberries while they’re out there, but don’t count on having enough left for muffins when they come in (see 2).

4. Beading: Still a favourite activity for the small and big girls at our cottage. Buy a variety of small coloured beads at a craft store and keep them in empty containers. Kids can spend hours stringing the beads on fishing line. All you’re required to do is tie the twine around their wrists when the bracelets are finished. One daughter accumulated 14 beautiful bracelets around her wrist over a summer, only to have to cut them off before the school would let her go to gym class (Tip: you can usually buy inexpensive clasps at the same craft store, so the bracelets become removable.)

5. S’mores (in the fireplace) and Jiffy Pop for snacks (yes, you can still get JP at the grocery store—I always wonder if this will be the time the big silver ball blows up!)

6. Who doesn’t love to dress for dinner? Don’t throw out your mother’s ’60s sequined tube top or long white gloves, put them in the Dress-up Drawer for emergencies.

7. Dance the night away! Thanks to Muskoka Blogger for pointing us to this uplifting Thriller rendition from buggy Alaska. Hey, if they can do it in bug season, what’s a little rain?


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Jenn Jilks

Aug. 24, 2009

3:18 pm

Thanks for using my quote in vain! What bothered me about the article is that everyone complains about the weather and rain, but we have had cloudy mornings, then it clears for the day until later in the evening. They have been GREAT cottaging days in Muskoka! What to do at the cottage? So many choices:

Penny Caldwell

Summer Cottager

Jul. 28, 2009

12:50 pm

Thanks to my friends at Venture Publishing who let me know about these cool crafts for the cottage — rainy days anyone?

Penny Caldwell

Summer Cottager

Jul. 28, 2009

11:43 am

Have I found a new home for my kids old “tickle drawer”?

Martin Zibauer

Martin Zibauer

Jul. 27, 2009

10:50 pm

#6 reminds me of a friend who didn't have much money to buy gifts for her young niece and nephews, so she assembled a "tickle trunk" for playing dress-up, filled with colourful clothes, hats, etc., from thrift stores. It's one of the best gift ideas ever (I secretly still want one).

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