April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also bring grumpy kids who are stuck inside and soon run out of things to do. To help families with those rainy day blues, the makers of Resolve carpet cleaner and child-care author Patricia Gallagher have teamed up to provide some boredom busters. Here's a sample:
- COLOR DAY: Help preschoolers learn their colors by dedicating the day to one color, with clothing, crafts, activities and a special snack all themed to that color. On Red Day, for example, kids can make pictures and decorations out of red construction paper. They can use cookie cutters to trace shapes to cut and color. Serve a red lunch (tomato soup and a sandwich), and a red snack (apple, gelatin, strawberry ice cream). Tell a story about Little Red Riding Hood. Plan a red treasure hunt, where you hide red objects for kids to find.- MY NEIGHBORHOOD: Draw neighborhood roads on an old vinyl shower curtain or tablecloth. Let children draw in stores, friend's homes, playgrounds and other landmarks. Once markers or paints have dried, children can use small cars to tour their neighborhood.
- PLAYFUL PUPPETS: When the kids get restless, puppets can be just the thing to get their imaginations going. For easy hand puppets, cut out two matching felt pieces in the shape of an oven mitt. Glue together all edges except the bottom. Let the children decorate.
- MODELING DOUGH: Prepare modeling dough in advance and pull it out on the next rainy day. Since the ingredients are non-toxic, it won't matter if little ones put it in their mouths. Mix together 21/2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar and 2 packages powdered beverage mix in a large pot. Add 2 cups boiling water and 3 teaspoons vegetable oil. Stir until well-blended. When cool, knead the dough. Store in a tightly covered container so it can be re-used after everyone is finished playing.
- RAINBOW EGG MOSAIC: Every time you prepare hardboiled eggs, wash and save the shells. Let children break the shells into tiny pieces and glue onto paper. Then paint with food coloring or watercolor paints. Allow to dry.
For a free copy of a 12-page activity book, write to Resolve Rainy Day Booklet, P.O. Box Y-6348, Young America, MN 55558-6348.