Oh no - the worst has happened! You're staying at a hotel with your family and it's pouring down rain.
Now what do you do?
Don't worry - I've got some great ideas to help you stay sane during the rain.
It's not the time to turn on the TV, this is a golden opportunity for real family time. Here are great ideas for entertaining the kids (and keeping the adults sane) from toddler to school age, as well as that "perfect storm" of all three! The best part is, these ideas rely on things you would have handy in a hotel, no special equipment or preparation needed.
Toddlers: Lay out the bedspread on the floor and get on the ground with your cooped-up kid and make a toddler obstacle course with pillows and cushions. For older tods who aren't quite ready for Simon Says, play a simplified version of "Copy my silly face" or "Copy my clapping pattern." You'll be amazed at what your little one can show you!
Preschoolers: Hunt through your luggage and roll up some socks (a bigger sock ball is easier to catch) - practice tossing the socks back and forth to each other, moving back one step for each catch. Count your catches and keep track of the score. Winner gets to pick dessert at dinner!
School age kids: Why should smartphones be a distraction from family fun? Turn this downtime into something special and have your school age kid prepare some interview questions for you and your spouse, then use the video feature on your phone to record the conversation. It's the perfect time to create that digital scrapbook that's been on your to-do list forever.
Combined age groups: Work together to create a monster! Using the notepads in the hotel drawers, fold a paper into thirds. Each person can create part of the monster (head, body, feet) on one-third of the paper, but can't look at what the others have drawn. Unfold and reveal your "horrible" creation! And there's never a bad time to have a Sock Puppet Show. Older children can rehearse and perform the show while the younger siblings become thrilled members of the audience.
More ideas include Shadow Charades, No-writing scavenger hunt, and Paper Airplane Airport and Playing Card Bingo.
What ideas have you used to stay sane during the rain?
As a traveling mom of three boys, I know the panic that can ensue when bad weather threatens to ruin a great vacation. But stay cool, moms and dads, and remember to enjoy the moment and create your own unique memories, regardless of sun or rain.