100 Ways to Keep Little Kids Happy

Rainy Day Ideas

51. Create a sunny scene. "My kids draw on the windows with washable window markers," says Stacey Marshall, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
52. Splash in a couple of puddles. If the rain is light, you can look for worms along the way.
53. Pop in a yoga tape. Have her follow your poses.
54. Measure the place. "My 2-year-old daughter, Meredith, loves to play with a plastic tape measure," says Heather Gillespie, of West Harrison, New York. "We see how big all our furniture is."
55. Bake cookies with care. Give her a lesson in altruism by baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or to send to the troops in Iraq. Let her sneak a couple.
56. Plant seeds. Try lima beans, marigolds, and zinnias in a variety of mini pots, clear plastic cups, or an egg carton.
57. Play tag. Make it more fun with Playskool's Tag Tails ($15). Each player wears a detachable animal tail, which you try to pull off.
58. Create an obstacle course. Jump on pillows, crawl under chairs, and burrow through a blanket-covered tunnel.
59. Hunt for under-the-sea treasure. Run a bubble bath, then have your child sit inside or outside the tub and feel around for objects you've "buried."
60. Practice math. "Change the words of 'If You're Happy and You Know It' to 'If You're Happy and You Know It ... clap one time or jump three times and hop two times,'" says Jackie Silberg, author of 500 Five-Minute Games. Keep changing the activity and the number of repetitions.

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