Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day! Rain has a funny way of dampening everyone’s moods. Winter’s flurries have seemed to subsided and made way to a string of really gloomy, wet days. Ever heard the expression ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’? Well, the lion is definitely here, and it’s best to be prepared to handle the touchy moods (already influenced by the weather) of the kids (ok, and me) and have some activities planned for the kids! My adamant followers might be thinking: Hey C, didn’t you just write a piece about snow day activities, and how might these indoor activities be any different? Truth be told, I’m constantly thinking about new ideas for posts, so these are just some more indoor ideas. Perfect for anyone that may hear ‘I’m bored’ once or twice during spring break.
Magnetic Slime! (Source: Frugalfun4boys)
This idea name contains two words of things that I never thought I would make! I immediately thought: “well I certainly won’t be able to make something magnetic without access to a lab” and then jumped to having doubts about making slime with household items. The truth is, it’s quite easy and can make for a thrilling way to spend a couple of hours while being pent up inside while Mother Nature relentlessly pours it down outside. You’re going to need to do some online shopping to find some of the rarer items that you’ll need, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!
To start this little makeshift science experiment, you’ll need:
- Liquid starch (find it at most grocery stores)
- Elmer’s glue
- Iron Oxide Powder (this is what makes it magnetic!) Find it on Amazon for pretty cheap.
- Disposable paper bowls
- A neodymium magnet (also found on Amazon, these are stronger than regular magnets)
Off we go!
- Start by pouring ¼ cup of the liquid starch in a paper bowl. Sprinkle in 2 tbs. of iron powder and stir it until it’s well combined.
- Stir in ¼ cup of Elmer’s glue. It’s going to look pretty globby and weird, but keep going!
- Take the gloop out of the bowl using your hands. You should be able to squish it around and toss it around like a ball of dough. Beware, your hands might be a little black for a bit from the iron powder, but it will wash out within a day. Disposable gloves will solve this problem.
- With a paper towel, pat the slime to get off any extra liquid. Once it’s dry, you’re all set to start playing with the magnets!
Beware: the magnets are quite strong (much stronger than regular old magnets), so you may end up pinching your fingers between them when stacking them up. Be careful and have fun.
Soap Clouds (Source: Ourbestbites)
What better way to spend the rainy day inside than making a cloud! This will be an awesome time to tell the kids about the formation of rain from clouds, and can be an excellent visualization for them on a gloomy, cloudy day. Although these clouds are made nothing like real clouds, it’s definitely another awesome mini science experiment.
For some reason, the only soap that has seemed to work with these is Ivory soap, so make sure you grab a bar or two from the store. Start by placing a sheet of paper towel in the base of the microwave. Then, simply place the bar of soap onto the paper towel and start it on high power for a minute or two. This sounds a lot messier than it actually ends up being. You may not need to let it sit there for the whole time, but just kind of gauge it as it grows and you can stop it at any time to your preferred size.
I’m really not sure what makes it poof up, but something about microwaving soap leaves you with a surprisingly cotton-like structure that really does look like a cloud! For the little ones, be careful when handing their cloud to them because smashing this up can lead to a ton of soap dust everywhere. Be gentle!
Once the kids have had their fun with their personal clouds, you can even recycle them back into soap to use around the house! Simply place the cloud into a large bowl and have them mash and mash and mash until you’re left with a powdery base. It’s actually quite satisfying, much like popping bubble wrap as it crinkles between your fingers. Then, using an electric beater or food processor, add a bit of warm water until it starts to come back together.
Use cookie cutters to make cute shapes of soap to use around the house! Obviously, be sure to thoroughly wash all containers that you used here. You can also use food coloring for beautiful new bars of soap. Once they sit and cool for a few days, they’re back into their original for of a bar of soap….magic!
Balloon Rocket (Source: Listotic)
This one is the quickest and easiest of the three but can keep the boys busy for hours on end. I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point in a science class to explain Newton’s Law of motion. Perfect for a rainy day when everyone is fighting for ideas to defeat the ever-present enemy of boredom. Simply take a balloon and blow it up. Then, take a decent length of string and put it through a straw and then tie the two ends to two chairs spaced a few feet apart.
Attach the balloon to the straw with tape, and hold the blown up balloon from the opening side, making sure that no air comes out. From one chair, release the balloon and watch it race across the taught string! To make it even more fun, you can duplicate the setup and have full on races!
Although a rainy day might dampen your spirits, try some of these ideas out with the kids and have a little fun the next time Mother Nature decides to rain on your parade.