During winter’s chill, parents are challenged to keep their kids from spending too much time on the computer or gaming system. Exasperated moms and dads nationwide throw their hands up in resignation as sons and daughters spend hour after hour playing video games, many of them excessively graphic and violent, because it’s simply too cold to play outside. When spring finally arrives and brings sunshine that naturally invites children outside to play, parents are thrilled that their kids are finally able to move outdoors and burn off their energy. But what about the spring rains and summer showers that keep kids cooped up?
Stuck inside with few opportunities to get exercise, kids need some way to work off all that pent-up energy. As much fun as “Call of Duty,” “Destiny 2,” or “NBA 2K18” may be, there’s no substitute for some good old-fashioned physical activity.
Fortunately, computer technology can come to Mom and Dad’s rescue on rainy days, providing instant access to activities that will get kids up and to dance, learn, draw, play music, and much more. There’s something to satisfy any interest and help kids blow off that youthful energy, which can quickly turn to frustration and confrontation.
If your kids need a good exercise workout, look no further than YouTube. There are exercise videos for all ages, from fun and frolicsome to high-impact, calorie-burning workouts. The best part is that they’re great fun for the whole family, which is good news for parents with young kids who don’t like to participate unless they see Mom or Dad joining in. There are tons of games for kids to play and countless fun activities they can recreate. It’s wholesome fun, and it’ll get the kids moving around. Try holding a competition, with the one who can do the most push-ups or run in place the longest winning the prize. If your child loves to dance, check out this video featuring music by Meghan Trainor and kids doing moves that emphasize agility and coordination. There are also exercise videos available on TV that have similar benefits.
If you have a piano, guitar, or other musical instruments at home, you’ve got a built-in rainy-day activity. There are many sites that offer free online music lessons for people of all ages and skill levels. It’s a great way for children to express creativity and develop cognitive skills. According to a University of Southern California study, learning music during childhood can boost cognitive development, especially where reading and language skills are concerned. If your child is interested in piano, Hoffman Academy has a free online tutorial site. Kids Guitar Zone offers free lessons for young people, while children can learn the saxophone for free from the renowned Eric Marienthal. If your kids are too young (or don’t have the attention span) for learning how to play an instrument, you can break out the pots, pans, and wooden spoons and create a family music circle instead (more on that here).
Kids are encouraged to express themselves through drawing and coloring from a very early age. It’s always a fun activity and a great chance to produce something they can be proud of and share with Mom and Dad. Drawing is relaxing; it puts one in a meditative state that focuses the mind and makes new connections between brain cells. Art for Kids Hub provides an abundance of drawing exercises that allow your child to try drawing everything from a favorite cartoon character to animals and ice cream cones. Creekside Learning posts drawing tutorials on YouTube for youths from kindergarten through high school age.
When your children start to argue when it’s too rainy to play outside, call up an energetic exercise video or compelling drawing tutorial, and you’ll have them in the palm of your hands. Kids love to try new things, especially activities that are fun and creative. So, when the rain starts to fall, don’t worry about what you’ll do with the kids: the answer’s right at your fingertips.
Jenny created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.
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