Simple Summer Fun | Thursday | Family Photographers in Woodstock

Summer rainy days can be fun days!  Read my list for some ideas when the weather isn't perfect. Photographed in Woodstock, ON by Rachael Little Photography. 

Simple Summer Fun: Rainy Days

I dropped my son off at school this morning and I could see a distinct look in the eyes of parents + teachers.  It was a funny mix of relief, pride and that bittersweet melancholy that these kind of goodbyes bring.  We made it all the way to the last day of school and so much has changed in that short time. My son and I were making cards and end of year gifts, and it occurred to me that there are a lot of really special people that play a part in our lives throughout the school year. And just like that we'll move into summer with a whole new set of routines before us. I have to admit, it really crept up on me. 

In the spirit of bittersweet, I've compiled a list of fun things to do when the weather doesn't cooperate.  Rainy days in the summer can be a challenge, but not if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. 

Top 5 Rainy Day Activities in Woodstock

#1 - Cowan Park

Sometimes the biggest challenge is getting out all that extra energy when you're stuck indoors.  Cowan Park is a great indoor soccer field that runs a weekday activity time program for pre-school kids.  The program runs weekdays from 10am - 11am and allows for great non-structured play. When you can't get outside, its the next best thing!  If you know it's going to rain all day, get your kiddos out of the house in the morning to work some of that energy out of their system. 

#2 - Make Some Music

We are a somewhat musical family, and although none of us are virtuosos, we do like to make some noise together!  We have a couple of drum kits, guitar, keyboard and some shakers, harmonica and other fun stuff for the kids to experiment with.  My ten month old will hammer away on the keyboard for ages.  It's cute to see her and her brother engrossed in making all sorts of different sounds.  He loves to play his harmonica and to bang on the drums and sing. It's really neat to see them making music together (even if it doesn't sound quite like music...yet...although they may surprise you!)

Another thing we love to do, as a special treat, is play the video game Rock Band.  You'll remember this game from a number of years ago.  The best part is, it's available at a garage sale near you!  Put it on "no-fail-mode" and make a family band. My son loves Beatles Rock Band, although they're all pretty fun -- kind of a guilty pleasure: chock full of good-old-fashioned-cheesy-fun.  

On rainy days, we like to make music!

#3 - Make a fort + have a picnic

This is an old standby at our house.  The tradition of forts started with my mom (the world's best babysitter, for the record).  She would take a giant cardboard box and her and my son would play in it, on it, and around it for hours when he was a toddler.  They would draw on it, and run dinky cars over it...marbles...the works!  Now that my son's in school we'll have "pretend-school" days where we pack a school lunch, build a fort and eat in our fort. It's hours of fun and my son loves to play peekaboo with my 10 month old - perfect thing to do in a fort!  You can make a fort out of anything. The couch cushions, under the dining room table, beside the bed or in a closet. Relive your childhood and join in! (Don't forget to snap some cute pictures, too)

baby playing in his fort

#4 - Make a temporary reading nook with pillows

My husband is a big reader, and every night before bed he reads a few stories with my son.  Sometimes though, it's hard to get my son to sit still for a story during the day.  Rainy days are different, though.  I find that naps are more likely and quiet time is a little easier to come by when the weather is dreary and rainy.  So what we'll do sometimes is make a pillow mountain with all the pillows in the house and set it up near a window and read books with a blanket, watch the rain and just hang out.  It's a cozy quiet activity that sometimes encourages napping...and other times it encourages jumping into a giant pile of pillows.  Really it depends on the day (haha)! 

Rainy days are great for lazing in your pajamas

#5 - Go outside and embrace the rain!

My last tip is perhaps an obvious one...but so often it gets overlooked!  Warm rainy summer days are actually SO WONDERFUL, so there's no need to hide indoors!  Many times we've put on our bathing suits and just run around in the rain! There's nothing like it, and your kids will talk about it for days (and you won't melt..I promise).  When you're all done, grab a towel and cozy up in the house with a tea and a movie. The other option is just to put on your rain boots, grab an umbrella and go for a walk.  Quiet rains are so calming and beautiful. It's a great opportunity to teach your kids about nature - all the snails and earthworms will be out with you and they'll get to see the downspouts fill up and the storm drains collecting rainwater. It's fun to make boats out of paper and watch them flow with the current. If you're not in the mood to get your hair wet - try opening the garage door and playing with toys in the garage -- or have a "rainy day dare" to see who can stand in the rain the longest for a prize. It's all about being silly and enjoying yourself -- maybe you'll even look forward to the me! Plus if you want to get a location, ALL to yourself, the best time to go is in the rain...pictured below is the Southside Park skatepark on a rainy day. 

Rainy day at the Woodstock, Ontario skate park at Southside Park.  

I hope this list helps you enjoy the "so-called-bad-weather" too! Happy Summer -- & here's to whatever the weather brings us!