For people without kids, a rainy day is a great excuse to catch up on a long overdue project, read a good book, or take a nap. For parents, it’s a whole different scene. If your kids are old enough you might get by with watching a movie but chances are at some point in the day you’ll end up playing referee to arguing kids. Of course, the dreaded words for any mom on a rainy day are ‘I’m bored!’

No need to hide in the bathroom. Rainy days are your chance to rise to the Super Mom occasion. The beauty is, it doesn’t take much to make it a memorable adventure.

Here are 5 ways to spend a rainy day:

Be their hero

Do something that you would otherwise say ‘NO’ to. Get out the Halloween box and let them play with the old costumes. Is the guest bedroom off limits? Turn it into a giant fort or pop up a tent in the living room. They’ll read and play games in their special clubhouse all day (add a bunch of pillows and blankets and you might actually get a nap too).

For older kids, let them try their hand at cooking up some treats or find a few ‘messy as you can tolerate’ kitchen science experiments they can do.

Let your inner artist come out

Pinterest has a neverending supply of art projects you can do at home. You can spend a little money and take an older child to one of those paint-a-canvas places. For little kids, take old magazines and let them cut it up and paste pictures on poster board or paper. There is something about cutting up mom’s stuff that keeps them glued to the project way beyond the typical 15 minutes of a regular craft (wait, was that only my kid?).

Find the freebies

A bookstore is a great place to kill some time. Go to a pet store to look at the animals. The Bass Pro shop at Concord Mills has a giant fish tank. Malls have free play zones. Get a stack of books at the library. Plus, loading up everyone into the car to go somewhere takes extra long in the rain. One trip to somewhere and half the day is over!

Send them outside

I grew up on a farm and rainy days meant days to play in the rain! As long as there is no lightning, the worst that can happen is they get wet and laugh till their belly hurts. Go ahead, stomp in the puddles, slide on the swing, play tag. Just grab a stack of towels so your house doesn’t look like the bathroom after they gave themselves a bath.

Explore your city

While older kids would enjoy a trip to the bowling alley, or an indoor rock climbing facility like Inner Peaks in Charlotte or Cliff Hangers in Mooresville, for younger kids a rainy day is a great time to go somewhere you normally wouldn’t. You want it to last more than an hour (or it’s not worth dragging everyone out in the rain).

So often we reserve ‘tourist attractions’ for visits with family. Never been to the Mint Museum? The NASCAR Hall of Fame? Carolinas Aviation Museum? A rainy day is the perfect day to go check it out.

In case of emergency, break glass

If all of that sounds simply exhausting or messy and you just can’t seem to get motivated to oversee, supervise, or play along, then I suggest keeping a secret box of goodies from the Dollar store to pull out on a rainy day. Fill it with cheap puzzles, Play Doh, craft sets, and toys. It will be like Christmas! Let them open it and play with all of the new stuff while you catch up on a long overdue project or read a book. I’d suggest a nap but let’s be real, it’s not a miracle box.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pexels

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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