On days when the weather’s too poor to enjoy educational activities outdoors, you and your preschooler can still have fun indoors. Here are some suggestions for keeping your preschooler entertained while stuck inside the house.
Develop language and literacy skills with a good book
As we mentioned in an earlier post, reading with your preschooler develops literacy, creativity, problem-solving, and a lifelong love of learning. A rainy day is a perfect time to enjoy a few good books with your child. Encourage your child to interact with the books. Touching the books, turning the pages, and even playing with components of the books themselves will create a positive mental association with reading.
With rainy-day reading, take your time and delve into the book. You can extend the story and ask your child questions such as, “What colour is that car?” or “Why do you think the dog ran away?” Preschoolers are endlessly curious, so try not to put too much importance in the linear aspect of the story. Instead, let your child discover the joy of books.
Encourage creativity with make-believe
According to psychologist Sandra Russ, imaginative play in early childhood may be associated with increased creative performance in later years. There is no better time than a rainy day to let your preschooler’s imagination blossom. Some ideas for imagination-focused make-believe games include:
- Putting on a play or dance with costumes
- Setting up a mini-grocery store with household items
- Having a tea party, complete with stuffed animals as guests
- Building a city with blocks and other toys
- Being an animal – an elephant, a horse, even the family pet
Pretend play allows children to express their creativity and develop problem-solving skills in a safe, controlled environment.
Develop fine motor skills with crafts
Through hands-on crafting activities, your preschooler will develop his fine motor skills in a fun, age-appropriate way.
Fine motor skills such as hand-eye coordination can be developed with crafts that involve smaller, intricate movements, such as: stringing beads together to create a necklace; drawing shapes and patterns; and building a tower with blocks.
Develop gross motor skills with games
The gross motor skills that use the larger muscle groups of the body can be developed through a wide variety of indoor games. For example, dancing is an ideal way to help your child understand the concept of rhythm. You can encourage this development by singing songs that require a corresponding action, such as “I’m a Little Teapot” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
You can also set up an indoor obstacle course using household items such as couch cushions, stools, and chairs. Helping your child to crawl under, climb over, balance on, and pass through these obstacles is a fun way for her to develop her gross motor skills.
Poor weather doesn’t have to mean that your preschooler misses out on fun and educational activities. Together, you and your child can enjoy a rainy day indoors while also developing his literacy, creativity, and fine and gross motor skills.