April showers bring May flowers! Rainy days are aplenty this Spring season. If you have children running about a bit bored, feel free to use the following ideas for wonderful imaginative play, educational learning, and family bonding.
Beat Spring’s rainy weather; go camping in your living room. Set up a tent or drape a sheet over over a length of twine. Roll out the sleeping bags, tell scary stores, and sing campfire songs. Sneak into the kitchen to make s’mores.
Make a Backward Movie
Kids will shriek with laughter at this one. Choose a simple story line (a nursery rhyme works well). Devise ways to do everything backward. When you run the movie in reverse you will appear to be doing it forward. (And fast, like an old time movie) try walking, putting on a coat, jumping into a pool, eating, sliding, or throwing a ball to a dog. The possibilities are endless. This is guaranteed to be hilarious.
Afterward, award you own Oscars or Golden Globes. You could have a Best Supporting Dog, or the family baby could be Most Promising Newcomer.
Create Your Own Walk of Fame
Recycle aluminum pie tins by filling them with plaster or cement and letting your little stars press their hands and feet in them, just like celebrities at Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Save them for posterity or use them as novel stepping stones in your spring garden.
Have a Movie Marathon
This is another wonderful rainy-day activity. Introduce your kids to the hilarious classics. Our kids howled with laughter at Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Bothers. Dozens of videos are available free at most libraries.
Make a Flip Movie
These are a blast! Draw a face in the upper right hand corner of each card in a stack of 3×5 cards. Make the eyes roll, the tongue stick out, or a beard grow by changing the drawing a tiny bit on each succeeding card. You can draw a bud opening, a balloon popping or a simple do dancing around. Now staple it together or secure with a rubber band on the left side of the cards, being careful to keep them in order. Flip quickly through them and your drawing will actually appear to move. Explain that this is how real cartoon movies are made. Encourage your child to make sound effects as she flips through the booklet.
Conduct a Popcorn Taste Test
Pop up several brands and sample them as you enjoy movies. Even if you know your preference, better make another go round of samples, just to be sure! Take a vote and see which kind is most popular with your family. Look for the hybrid miniature popcorn that pops with no hulls. Try coating the popcorn with caramel, or with dark or white chocolate, then mix with M&Ms.
Make Your Own Movie Candy Bars
What’s a day at the movies without some treats? Melt white or milk chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. After the chocolate melts, pour it into a greased mixing bowl and let the kids stir in almonds, raisins, puffed rice cereal, marshmallows, or coconut. Spread the mixture onto waxed paper and let harden. Break into chunks to enjoy as you screen your movie together.