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Summer is upon us and kids are home from school. But when the rain starts and the kids are stuck indoors, what's a mom to do? With a little creativity, you and your kids can have fun and not be stuck in from of the TV or video games all.

If rain has spoiled your plans for a picnic have no fear. You can have an indoor picnic. Spread a blanket or vinyl tablecloth on the floor, get out the picnic basket and have some fun. Younger children will enjoy bringing their favorite teddy bear for a Teddy Bear Picnic. If you really want to get into it you can put on your swimsuits have swim in the tub. Or, if you don't want to be as messy, you can blow soap bubbles.

Rainy days are also great days to get out the art supplies. Keep a container full of supplies. Handy for rainy days or "I'm bored" time. Keep the container stocked with traditional art supplies such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, ruler, stickers and lots of paper. Also, include recycled items such as paper towel and toilet tissue tube, pot pie tins, buttons, yarn, string, cardboard, Popsicle sticks, and egg cartons, just to name a few. Also recycled yogurt or pudding cups make great water cups for painting or containers for paint or glue.

Puppet shows can be fun for the whole family. Puppets can be easily made from paper bags, socks, wooden spoons, paint sticks or large paintbrushes. Just draw or glue on a button or felt face, glue on some yarn hair and Tada! A puppet. If you use a paintbrush for the puppet, hold it with the bristles up for a spiked hairstyle. Glue your face to the wooden part just below the brushes and hold onto the handle. Making a puppet theater is easy too; all you need is a large cardboard box. Cut the back out of the box, leaving about 2 inches around for added support. On the front cut a large window on the top half or third of the front panel. You can then paint or decorate your theater in anyway you choose. If you want to get extra fancy you can add a fabric curtain with hot glue or staples.

For more fun, children often enjoy tactile activities. Some fun ones include play dough, shaving cream, silly putty or modeling clay. You can use commercial dough and clay or make homemade. If you have very young children it is probably best to make edible dough such as peanut butter play dough. Just mix equal parts of creamy peanut butter and not fat powdered milk with one tablespoon of honey per cup. This is just as fun as traditional play dough, but healthy and safe to eat.

Shaving cream can be used in two different ways. Young children will enjoy having it on the table to squish and play with. Older children will enjoy placing it on their faces and "shaving" with Popsicle stick "razors". Whenever shaving cream is used please use extreme caution as to avoid getting it into eyes.

Another fun activities is making egg people. Crack an egg near the top and save the egg for a later use. Wash out the shell; decorate like a face by gluing on googely eyes, or what ever you desire. Then fill the opening with potting soil and plant grass seed into the eggshell, and water. Make a stand out or an egg carton or small cup. Place in a sunny windowsill and in a few days your egg person will have sprouted "hair". As the grass grows you can style it however you desire. Children may choose to give their egg person a spiked cut or let it grow and braid it, the possibilities are endless.
Rainy days can put a damper on outside fun, but with a little creativeness and the right supplies saved you have a great time in the great indoors.