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After another night of rain pouring on the distant rooftop above my head and running down through the drain pipe near my window, I awoke to the final words of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in my head:

When that I was a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.
. . .
A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.
Here’s the song.

School is out and the days are dismal and wet. Not the ideal way to begin summer vacation. What can moms do to help their children fill their days with something other than video games and Pixar movies? Here are some things to get you started:

1. Put on some music and dance. I have a friend who remembers dancing with his mom to Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head. I still remember the basement classroom in the old brick school (now long gone) where our classroom would cross the hall and join Mrs. Chamber’s class. Each child would sit on the small bench seat of the desk with another student. Then we’d have music with Mrs. Hawk at the piano and Mrs. Chambers leading. That is where I learned that song.

2. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but make Thunder Cake. On rainy days my children and I would start at the back of the book and make the cake, then read the story while it baked. In Thunder Cake, a grandmother helps her granddaughter overcome her fear of thunder by baking a special cake while a storm threatens. They race about the farm gathering the ingredients while the storm approaches. (Tomatoes are the secret ingredient that children delight in.) Here’s the actual recipe: (We substituted butter.)
Thunder Cake!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together one at a time:
1 cup shortening
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated
( blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
Sift together:
2 ½ cups cake flour
½ cup dry cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt
Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8
½ inch pans at 350 degree for
35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting. Top with

My DH looked out the window this morning and commented: “We should have waited to put out the patio furniture. But I guess it could rain forever.” Don’t let the rain discourage your children. Help them find the wonder of rainy days.

3. Create an art gallery. Color pictures and tape them up to the wall in a hallway.

4. Create blanket forts or tunnels. Here’s a post with more ideas.

5. Make some Gloop, Gurch or Goop.

I live in a desert. We are not used to such rainy days. But it’s not the first year like this. There are huge pumps in the West Desert as a testimony of the floods of ‘83. I still remember when downtown Salt Lake turned streets into rivers. We learn to adapt. I was at my friends the other day, helping her trim tulips and daffodils and visiting. Her husband was busy installing a rain barrel.

6. Check out books from the library on weather. Make a rain gauge.

7. Get out the boots and umbrellas and go for a walk. Splash in puddles. Or go to a park and feed the ducks. They love the rain.

8. Have a spa day. Paint nails, braid hair, give facials and pedicures.

9. Play games. Last night I was at my son’s for a multi-birthday party. As the evening was winding down, those remaining formed a circle and we played Mafia. More enjoyable than the game, was the relaxed laughter and easy banter. I still remember playing Monopoly as a child on our living room floor with a couple of siblings and my mom. My own children still assume that when they come to Sunday supper, we follow with a game of Rook (occasionally something else).

This last idea comes from another blog who borrowed it from someone else. I wasn’t able to find it, but here is the concept:

10. Have a DEAR day. (Drop Everything And Read.) The mother plans easy snacks such as crackers, fruit and cheese, provides lots of blankets and cushions and piles of books. Then everyone just snuggles and has a read-a-thon. She schedules these days about monthly.

Here’s a song just for mom while the children are napping. Feeling Good with Michael Buble. Grab that broom stick, lip sync and let it rain!