Newsflash: It does rain at the beach (occasionally).
You won’t read that in any promotional tourism guide or on your resort’s website, but let’s be real. It happens. And when you’ve researched and planned the perfect vacation months in advance, packed up the family and all your kid gear, driven for hours or navigated airports, arriving to a forecast of gray skies is a bit of a downer.
If you are a regular beach vacationer, it is bound to happen at some point, but bad weather is no reason to cancel your trip to the Gulf Coast (unless of course the weather threat is severe.) If there is a hurricane, Jim Cantore will be here to tell you all about it as you tune in from the safety and comfort of a living room far, far away. Thankfully, tropical storms don’t happen every day and when they do threaten our Coast, there is typically a few days’ lead time for visitors and residents to prepare and evacuate if necessary. The most important thing is to stay alert and keep an eye on the forecast, especially during hurricane season (June 1-Nov. 30, 2014).
There. Now that my super tangential PSA for storm preparedness is over, the real reason for this post is to share a story of how my family entertained ourself on a recent rainy day that kept us all indoors. It’s one you can easily recreate with your own family if you find yourself holed up in a hotel room or condo during a downpour.
Quite simply, get crafty!
I am perhaps the least crafty person on the planet, but I make the occasional effort for the sake of my children. With this as our inspiration, we set out to make our own fabric covered letters. We used:
- old wooden letters I picked up years ago (These are available at any craft store or Walmart.)
- fabric scraps and embellishments that my late grandmother gave me
- beads from one of those kids’ jewelry making kits (The few that my toddler hadn’t discarded into the crevices of our carpet.)
- all-purpose craft glue
We already had all of these items around the house, so it was easy to pull them out and get started.
I helped with some of the fabric cutting to ensure that it would wrap around all the angles of the letters, but after that it was mostly an exercise in gluing and decorating. So I sat back and supervised as the girls made their own custom creations. The (almost) end results:
While I still haven’t mastered sewing, I’d like to think my grandmother would be happy that her great granddaughters got some enjoyment out of the fabric she gave me. If you don’t have fabric scraps around your house, you can get them cheaply at most any fabric store. The key for vacationers is just to plan ahead to bring a few items like these along on your trip so that you have them when the mood (or the lightening) strikes.
You’ll be glad you did because, when it rains at the beach, a deck of cards will only get you so far, especially with young children. And any local can tell you that nothing generates crowds at the movie theatre and outlet malls faster than a rain storm. So earn your smart parent points by bringing along a simple craft or two. Find one you like on Pinterest, like I did, and have fun with it.
With just a little planning and simple crafts, surviving the first world problem of rainfall in paradise is easy. It may be just what you need to keep your family and your sanity in tact until the sunshine returns.