Let me start by telling you that my children have never been to Disneyland. We don't have a TV, but the eldest knows who Mickey Mouse is from a few books and some DVD's she has seen. That said, their exposure to "Kid Play Lands" is very limited. Last year, before the mister was deployed we purchased a family membership to our local children's Museum in Everett, WA. It is their Disneyland only without the scary, oversized, costumed animals walking around. We have gone a handful of times, and I have discovered a few things.
1. My children never seem to loose interest in the activities at ECM, no matter how many times we go. The buzz of other children running around (and their parents desperately trying to keep track of them) is in itself very thrilling. I think Addie could watch that toy train go around and around and around forever.
2. No matter how many times I try to get them interested in the really cool flashy light room, they spend half their time in the baby area climbing on the oversized firetruck (which, btw, you can find in any mall-type setting, for free).
3. As much as I want to parent other people's children, I am not the boss of them (as I frequently remind my oldest child). So, therefore I must expect that there will be some disappointment when all the balls are being used by one little girl hoarding them in her enormous bottomless pockets, with no supervising parent in site.
4. And in respect to #3, these kinds of places are great for teaching sharing and kindness. Lily really wanted that one pink duck in the water room. But once someone knows you want what they have, it becomes gold in their fingers. Good luck prying it out of their cold shivering wet grasp. But we talked about it, and she moved on. I like that about my Lily girl, she moves on quickly. That is a good quality.
5. The farm section of ECM is super fun, with life-size animals and loads of interesting activities. Both girls gravitated to the big red tractor (also a title of Addie's favorite book right now), and the fake chicken coup with the real stuffed chickens.
In the end, we spent about an hour and a half (just enough time to get back to the meter) and headed home to make some hot coca and have some lunch (Peanut butter on graham crackers. Yum!) Washington may be rainy, but this is one rainy day activity that never gets old.
The mister always talks about his childhood and rainy days being directly linked to a giant box of legos. We have slowly been building up our stock of legos for the girls. The baby is almost old enough to get into that.
I remember rainy days spent in my room playing house or dorm room with my sister, or dressing my Barbie Dolls and trimming their soon to be very short hair (it just wouldn't grow back!). I can remember a lot of grilled cheese and tomato soup on those days, as well. So nostalgic.
What did you guys do on rainy days as a kid? Did you play house, or read books, or watch cartoons?