3 fun games to keep children active on a rainy day

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Every child dreams of spending the day with their favoruite animals. On days where it’s too rainy to take your kids to the zoo, your child can still learn about the animal kingdom and the world they live in. These three activities use geography, math, and your favorite animals to create a fun-filled, educational day travelling the globe and exploring the earth and beyond!

 

Around-the-World  Animal Hunt

Everyone loves animals and this fun game is a great way to learn about the exotic places they live in around the world. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild as they play this educational scavenger hunt that incorporates their favorite animals and geography!

You need:

  • 5-15 age-appropriate plastic exotic animals (small toys can be a choking hazard)
  • 1 map of the world or 1 globe
  • 1 packet of notecards
  • 1 pen

Instructions:

  1. To set up, hide the plastic animals around the house, placing a notecard with a statistic or fact about the continent the animal originates from underneath it. For example, underneath a hippopotamus, have a notecard that says, “This animal lives on the same continent as Simba from the Lion King.”
  2. Once all the animals have been hidden, on a second set of notecards write clues about the animal and where it is hiding. For the hippopotamus, you could hide him next to the bathtub and have the clue say, “I am always hungry for plants and you will usually find me near lots of water.”
  3. After the setup is complete, read the clues to your child to send him/her searching for the plastic animals. Once your child has found an animal, read the next clue and have the child point on the map (or globe) the area or continent the animal is from.

 

Rainy Day Fund Animals

This fun activity combines math and counting with art as your child makes these fun coin animals! Your child will have a blast creating these coin-creatures, and you can save them and use them again and again!

You Need:

  • 4 paper plates
  • Any loose change you have
  • Glue

 

Instructions:

Have your child glue the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to the paper plate in the shape of their favorite animals (one on each plate). Once dry, cut out the coin-animals and begin the counting fun! Ask your child to count how much money is on each animal, and then increase the difficulty by asking them to add or subtract the other animals. For example, “how much money do I have if I combine the horse and the bird? What if I add the snake?”

 

Paper Machete Hanging Moon

This activity is great for long, rainy days as it needs to be done in two steps- making the moon in the morning and finishing it at night once it has had all day to dry. You can use it as an educational activity by reading a moon fact book while your child paints the hanging moon, or you can read one of your favorite moon-themed kids’ books.

To make the moon:

  • Paper machete – a simple recipe is 1 part water to 1 part flour
  • 1 balloon
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • Strips of newspaper (enough to cover half of the balloon
  • 1 length of string at least 24” long
  • Moon Paste:  mix together 1 part washable white paint to 1 part flour
  • One large paintbrush
  • 1 sheet or newspaper to cover the table you work on

 

Instructions:

  1. Cover the table with an old sheet or with newspapers. Blow up your balloon, and prepare your paper machete mixture
  2. Tie a knot in the end of your string and tape that end to the balloon. This will be what the moon hangs from.
  3. Place the blown-up balloon in the mixing bowl (this helps steady it), then dip the strips of newspaper into the paper machete and smooth onto the balloon making sure the long end of the string hangs free. Have your child add lumps and bumps with the paper machete to make the surface of the moon have craters! Repeat until entire balloon is covered, and let dry.

Once the paper machete moon is mostly dry (Usually 6-8 hours unless you use a hairdryer set on cool) the fun really begins! Mix 1 part washable white paint and 1 part flour to make your moon paste. Have your child paint the moon with the moon paste and let dry. Once dry, hang wherever you choose. Have your child put on their favourite pajamas and read your child his or her favourite book while they drift off to sleep under their new nighttime sky.

 

Even when it’s raining out, you can still become a world explorer. Getting involved with educational crafts and games is such a great way to spend those days at home, and staying home doesn’t mean you can’t hop on over to Africa. So next time it rains, roll up your sleeves and get ready for some fun!