You can read my weekend calendar blog, but aside from the organized events, here are 10 ideas to keep kids busy as Hurricane Harvey hits the coast and brings the rain to us.
1. Plan and make a meal together. Haven’t gone grocery shopping and don’t want to brave the store in the rain? No worries. We bet you can scrounge up some ingredients that you have on hand. Get the kids involved to see how creative you can get. This is also the perfect time to teach kids how to bake a cake from scratch.
2. Make recycled crafts. Dig through your recycling bin and the junk drawer for some found objects. Bring out the glue, the tape, the markers, the glitter, the stickers, the paint. Bragging rights or prizes could be awarded. There could even be judges.
3. Get some exercise. Search YouTube for yoga for kids and do a session together. Blow up a balloon, move out the furniture in your living room and play volleyball. Play hide and seek.
4. Make homemade Play-Doh. DIY Natural has this recipe:
1 cup of flour (whatever kind you have on hand)
¼ cup of salt
½ cup of water
3 to 5 drops of food coloring
Mix together the flour and the salt.
Mix together ½ cup of warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture, stirring as you pour. Stir until combined, then knead with your hands until the flour is completely absorbed. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it doesn’t stick at all.
Or make Goop, which is one part water to two parts corn starch. Mix it in a zippered bag. Throw in some food coloring and get to playing.
5. Head to a museum. You might get slightly wet on the way in. The Thinkery has workshops on printmaking this weekend. Aside from the museums you know like the Thinkery, the Bullock Museum, the Blanton Museum and the Contemporary Austin, You can also try a museum you might not have thought of, like these:
- French Legation Museum
- George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
- Mexic-Arte Museum
- Williamson Museum
- Neill-Cochran House Museum
- Republic of Texas Museum
- Capitol Visitors Center
6. Go see a play. On stage right now:
Austin Summer Musical for Children: “Jungle Book.” 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. Boyd Vance Theater at George Washington Carver Museum. 1165 Angelina St.
Or create your own play or act out your favorite movie.
7. Hold a moviethon in your house. Check out the Netflix, the Hulu, the Amazon Prime for the movies your kids haven’t yet seen, or show them some classics from your childhood. Pop the popcorn and enjoy.
8. Bring on the books. Hit story time at Barnes & Noble or BookPeople on Saturday morning or go to the library and pick up some new books. Start a new series of books that you read aloud together. We love “The Magic Treehouse” for younger kids and Harry Potter and Percy Jackson for older ones.
9. Bring out the board games and cards. Start with Go Fish and work your way up to poker (no betting… OK, maybe just pennies). Our new favorite board game is “The Oregon Trail” based on that computer game I played as a kid in school when they were teaching us how to program on an Apple IIc. We also love some “Apples to Apples” and that game that is about a bull and his excrement.
10. Make puppets. That sock that is missing its match, that lunch bag or gift bag make a perfect medium. Or eat Popsicles and use the sticks to attach paper characters to. (See we just wanted the Popsicle.) You can even create a play to go with your new puppet friends. If the light goes out, create shadow puppets using a flashlight.
BONUS: Embrace the rain. Put on the boots, the rain coat, the umbrellas and stomp in the puddles. Have a fenced-in private backyard. Turn bath time into a rain shower by bringing out the soap and shampoo. Have lots of warm towels at the ready inside.