$5 Friday — Rainy Day Fun

This is what we woke up to this morning…

When it is raining and you don’t know what to do with the kids, a wise person once told me “Never underestimate the power of the indoor fort”. I could not agree more. It is part hide-out, part reading nook, and part playhouse all rolled into one! 
To make your own indoor teepee, you will need 4 bamboo garden stakes (about 5 feet long), some blankets, a rubber band, and some clothes pins. Wrap the rubber band around the stakes, and spread out the opposite ends. Lay blankets over the stakes, and clip with clothes pins. Add some pillows, blankets, a flashlight, and some good books inside the teepee!
Next, we did an indoor marble run made completely from recyclables! This is a fabulous way to sneak in a great physics lesson with kids, and watch them troubleshoot to find ways to get the marble to the end.
To make your own marble run, you will need boxes of various sizes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, some masking tape, and a marble or bouncy ball. Cut some tubes in half length-wise to make the track even longer. Emily seemed to enjoy watching the ball make its way through the track and sometimes disappear into a toilet paper tunnel and come back out the other end. Attach with masking tape, and lay on top of boxes to get the proper height.

Roll your marble through and see if it works, if not ask your child if he can figure out what is wrong and try to fix it!

Educational and fun!
Here’s the breakdown of how we spent our entertainment money today:
garden stakes — $2.19 for a package of 6
rubber band — free (from broccoli)
blankets — free (gift from my dear friend Allison, thank you!!)
books — free (from library)
marble run  — free (from recyclables)
bouncy ball — 25 cents
For Snack:
pretzels — $1.79
Jell-O — 35 cents for one box  (four servings)
Total spent = $4.58 !!
This is my 200th post! *phew* Thanks to everyone for visiting, commenting, following, subscribing to the feed, and/or linking to me. Your kind words really make my day, and I love hearing about the great stories and ideas you all seem to have! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  1. MaryAnne says

    Congrats on your 200th post!

    I love the tent and the marble run – we had a rainy day here too and will probably have many more, so it’s great to learn about activities like these!

  2. That is a fun rainy day. My kids love making forts, so the Teepee would be a hit.

    I made a race track similiar to the marble track, and it was fun.
    Great inexpensive ideas, thanks for linking.

  3. Awesome, awesome, awesome! What a great day. Love the teepee and the marble run – perfect rainy day fun.

  4. BranFlakes says

    my kiddos would love the marble run!

  5. Thank you! I love how the entire marble run just went into the recycling bin when we were done… easy clean up!

  6. Bernadete says

    Thanks for the great idea!

  7. Hi Valerie – thanks for stopping by the blog! Here I am to visit and I read about your cardboard marble run – FUN! I love cardboard. Like, manic love. And that teepee is so clever! I must remember that when the kids next want to play Princess Castle. Glad the pantyhose potatoes made you laugh, too! I have to say, though, that I am slightly regretting calling them that in that post, because it’s turning up in all sorts of weird searches not suitable for children. Ick.

    I shall come back and visit often! There are some fabulous ideas here! Thank you for sharing them!

  8. Welcome, LiEr, it is great to see you stopped by and your comment has made my day! Hope to see you again soon, and I’ll be stopping by your blog again to see what other great ideas you’ve come up with!

  9. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    This is going in my craft-a-day box Christmas gift for my nieces – thanks! (And I SO can't wait to stop collecting TP tubes . . .) :>)