We live in a place where the weather can be unpredictable. It makes it very hard when you are raising a child with a disability and the routine has to change because of the weather. It could be raining or too hot or too cold to go outside.
So what can a parent do to occupy your child during these times? One of the most important things is to keep a few activities hidden until days like these. These activities are only available on days you can’t go outside. That helps the newness of the activity to last longer for my boys, who both have ADHD.
If you have the space, letting your child do any kind of large muscle activity is so helpful. That uses the same muscles as when they are able to be outside and burn some of that extra energy off. Ball pits, small slides, foam flooring, and tunnels are all good things to help children use the bigger muscle groups. Even just playing music or playing Simon Says would help my boys use some of their extra energy on days we are stuck inside. They have hyperactivity and impulse issues so it is important that they are able to burn some of that off.
Sensory activities are great to do, also. Sand and water tables are terrific, but any kind of container could work. Bathtubs and sinks can be used for water play. Dish tubs can be used for water, sand, beans, rice, pebbles, or goo.
Homemade Play-Doh, goo, and bubbles can be made for those on tight budgets. Play-Doh can be rolled, pounded, and kneaded—all great energy using activities. Shaving cream is another great sensory activity that I let them do in the bath or shower.
Remember to keep the use of the “rainy day” activities for just those days. That will help keep your child’s interest a little longer. A lot of money does not need to be involved. There are ways to keep the mess to a minimum. Do messy activities in the bath or put down a lot of plastic!
Most importantly have fun with your child or children!