6 Fun Rainy Day Activities

You wake up prepared to start your day only to discover it’s raining all over your parade. The last thing you want to do is slosh around outside, so what do you do?

6 Fun Rainy Day Activities in Your Apartment

You can give in to weather-induced boredom or try one of the following rainy day activities in your apartment.

Create a Spa Day

If you’re like most people, you’re in and out of the bathroom fast as you start your day. Whether you’re heading out to work, school or even just the grocery store, you probably don’t have as much time as you would like to pamper yourself.

Go ahead and indulge yourself when you’re stuck at home. Give yourself a facial; apply a mud mask; tweeze, pluck and shave wherever you’d like to be hair-free; and take some extra time with brushing, flossing and rinsing your teeth. Then, run a hot bubble bath or fill your tub with bath oils. Take a long soak, and follow up by applying some aromatherapy lotion to your still-damp skin.

This is also a good time to take care of things such as clipping, filing and maybe even painting your fingernails and toenails, if that’s your thing. Relax, and enjoy taking the time to really treat yourself.

Have a Movie Marathon

Rainy days are an excellent time to turn your living room into the ultimate comfy movie theater. Pick two or three of your favorite movies, pop some popcorn and grab your favorite beverage.

Rainy Day Activities - Movie Marathon

If you’re lucky enough to have some movie-style candy around, grab that too. If not, you may just decide it’s worth pulling on the galoshes to head to the store for some candy bars and licorice.

Then, kick back in front of the television and watch your movies back to back. Make sure you have a throw and a pillow handy, as rainy days make an excellent time for impromptu naps as well.

Host a Potluck

A rainy day is the right time to settle down with some good grub and chat with friends. Instead of eating leftovers when you’re stuck at home, call a few friends over and ask everyone to bring a dish. Prepare your own dish and set up your kitchen or dining room table for company.

Play music in the background to liven up the atmosphere and avoid turning the television on unless you plan to watch a sports event. Then dig in and enjoy being full, happy and surrounded by good company.

Create a Recipe Book

If you have a bunch of recipes scattered about, a rainy day is a good time to organize them. Rather than simply shoving them in a binder or file box, go ahead and make an artsy project out of it.

Rainy Day Activities - Recipe Scrapbook

Start with an empty scrapbook, colorful markers, stencils, and tape or glue, and put together your own recipe book.

If you have photos of your loved ones eating meals you’ve cooked, incorporate them as well. Don’t worry about food splatters, folds or small tears in your recipes. They will only add character!

Camp Indoors

Choose a room in your apartment (probably not the kitchen or bathroom) and move as much of the furniture out of the way as possible. Then, pop a tent in the middle of the room–and if you don’t have a tent, indulge your inner child and make a fort with chairs and blankets. Add sleeping bags, pillows and a couple of battery-operated lanterns to enjoy a day of camping out at home.

Host a Games Day

When was the last time you sat down to play games, besides the ones on your computer or smartphone? Rainy days are the perfect time to break out the old board games and get some friendly competition going. Keep up the fun until you get tired or the sun comes out to chase the clouds away.

Rainy Day Activities - Board Games

As an alternative, host a video game day and focus on games that allow a few players to join in the fun at the same time. You’ll have even more fun if you choose games that require you to move, such as dance or virtual sports games.

Don’t forget to prepare some party food too! Think finger foods, things that are quick and easy to heat up, chips, veggies and dip. With this sort of setup, you and your friends or family members can snack and play all day.

How do you keep busy and entertained on rainy days? Apartment Guide wants to hear from you! Share your great ideas in the comments or on Twitter.
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6 Fun Rainy Day Activities to Do in Your Apartment

Photo Credit: erin kelly, Ginny, peddhapati, Lovely Mess Blog

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Do your kids complain about being bored while you are busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner? You’re not alone! This year, instead of having the kids watch Thanksgiving specials on TV, put their creative minds to use and have them make the decorations.

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s using their creativity to contribute to the holidays. There are plenty of absorbing, easy craft ideas for kids that will not only keep them away from the hot oven, but really make them feel like part of the clan. Check out these awesome Thanksgiving crafts for kids, and let your little ones do the decorating this year.

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Making the Thanksgiving centerpiece is not the easiest craft idea, but it is perhaps the most coveted of all tasks. This is the sort of craft that takes dedication and planning, which is perfect for older children. Your kids can either work together on this project or create several centerpieces that will have a prominent position on the dining table.

If the notion of a Thanksgiving centerpiece is new to your child, explain its significance. In most households, the centerpiece reflects the spirit of the holiday in an artistic way. Give examples to make the project more clear–a cornucopia filled with fruits and vegetables, a pilgrim side-by-side with a native American, a plate full of squash and gourds with a giant turkey on top.

Younger children can use Play-Doh, paper and crayons, while older children can be a bit more creative. If you like, you can design the foundation of the centerpiece so your younger kids aren’t confused about what to make.

Thanksgiving Storybooks

Thanksgiving storybooks are high on the list of easy craft ideas–all this project takes is paper, crayons and a bit of research. Challenge your kids to write their own versions of the story of the first Thanksgiving, complete with illustrations.

Of course, they may prefer to come up with a new story if this doesn’t pique their interest. Either way, the kids can use several sheets of folded paper to write their stories and create their drawings. When the stories are finished, staple the pages together at the center fold.

Let them read their stories out loud to the dinner guests, or the more ambitious children may enjoy acting out their stories with sock puppets.

Holiday Banner

What party is complete without a holiday banner? There are many ways to approach this Thanksgiving craft, but all of them are equally fun. Depending on the age of the children and your available craft supplies, the kids can either design a banner freehand on several sheets of paper, draw one up and print it on the computer, or use a combination of computer graphics, freehand drawing and coloring, construction paper cut-outs, glue and sparkles.

“Happy Thanksgiving” contains a lot of letters, so make sure you have enough paper for a large banner. When the finished product is dry and ready, hang it up on existing curtain or picture hooks to avoid making new holes in the walls or stripping paint off with tape.

“What I’m Thankful For” Box

Many families take the time on Thanksgiving to think about what they are truly thankful for. Why not let the kids make a special box to collect all the proclamations of gratitude? The “What I’m Thankful For” box can be as complicated or as simple as you like.

An empty Kleenex box covered with construction paper is aPaper, cardboard and scissors are needed for this children’s holiday craft. You’ll also need some comment cards for guests to fill out and stuff into the box — consider letting an older child take the lead on the box while a younger one handles the comment cards.

More Than Just Thanksgiving Crafts

Thanksgiving is a day of celebration. For families, it is about togetherness and being part of a clan. That feeling of being needed, of participating, is perhaps more important for children than it is for the adults in the family. When you take the time to help your children create something as part of the Thanksgiving Day dinner and celebration, you are doing far more than distracting them while you make sure dinner is top-notch. You’re helping them create great holiday memories and explore their creative side.

Let us know all about your kids’ Thanksgiving crafts by tagging Apartment Guide on Twitter.

Photo Credit: terren in Virginia

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Kids love Halloween–and why wouldn’t they? They get to dress up as anything they want and end the night with a bag full of candy. As a parent, Halloween can be a bit more stressful: There are people out causing trouble and playing pranks; you’re taking your children to strangers’ homes; and your kids end up with a bag full of candy, which you need to make sure hasn’t been tampered with. Not to mention the sugar rush.

Trick or Treat Safety Tips

Make sure your family stays safe during this ghoulish time of the year with these trick-or-treating safety tips.

Pick the Right Costumes

The best outfits for your little creatures are ones that they enjoy, of course. But for safety’s sake, there are a a few things to consider when choosing your children’s Halloween costumes:

  • The outfit should be flame-resistant. If the costume is a popular classic, you can usually find review of it at online shopping sites like Amazon.
  • Make sure the outfit is short enough to prevent tripping and tight enough to avoid getting tangled.
  • Avoid masks that can make it difficult to see, breathe, or hear.
  • Make sure everyone, including chaperones, wears comfortable shoes.
  • Try to pick outfits that don’t include weapons because these can easily be misinterpreted at night. The only thing that should be in your trick-or-treaters hand is a candy bag and a light. Adding a prop in the other hand may make it difficult for him or her to juggle everything in tiny hands while holding onto you.

Meet the Residents

Before Halloween night, schedule a meeting among interested neighbors to find out who wants to entertain trick-or-treaters that night. By confining the evening’s festivities to your apartment complex, you’ll know everyone on the other side of the door.

In addition, you won’t have far to walk to hit several homes. Plan a route to the participating apartments that confines the kids to well-lit pedestrian pathways and avoids the parking lots and driveways. Set a start time and end time for all the trick or treating, preferably before the sun goes down.

Ask all the participating renters to leave their entry lights on and to put out a Halloween decoration, so the kids will know where to go that night–but warn against using candles or open flames, which can be dangerous. Recommend that they clear their outdoor entry areas so groups of kids can easily gather in front of their doors without hurting themselves or damaging property. Advise the adults to pass out only factory-wrapped candy or small toys.

Accompany the Kids

Even within the relative safety of the complex, a responsible adult should accompany the kids while trick-or-treating. If you have lots of children going, divide them into several groups, with each group headed up by two or three adult chaperones. Older kids may want to wander on their own, so make sure there is at least one fully-charged cell phone with them. They should also remain in a group the entire night.

Stagger group routes among the participating apartments to avoid inundating one place with too many people. As an added safety measure, make sure each kid and adult carries a flashlight, even if the complex is well-lit. There may be patches of dark that make it hard to see who is walking there.

Inspect the Goods

Tell your kids not to eat anything until you’ve had a chance to check it out. They may have gathered their bounty not only from the complex, but from school or from any business that might have been visited that day. Eliminate anything that is not in an original factory wrapper, such as baked goods, or in a wrapper that may have been tampered with. You’ll also want to watch how much candy your kids eat, or there may be some tummy aches in the morning.

Sponsor an After-Party

Ask your apartment property manager if you can throw a post-trick-or-treating party either in the community room or in an outdoor common area. Make the gathering a potluck and ask those who would have given home-cooked goods to trick-or-treaters to bring the edibles to the party instead. You can even have a costume parade and offer prizes to those wearing the most interesting costumes.

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Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Photo Credit: Dave Malkoff

5 Ways to Baby-Proof and Puppy-Proof at the Same Time

Babies and puppies have more in common than you might think. Both are curious, can get into trouble very quickly, and need a safe environment to play and grow. When you baby-proof and puppy-proof your apartment, you’ll need to think about the endless curiosity both babies and puppies have, and strive to stay one step ahead of those little feet, hands and paws.

5 Ways to Baby-Proof and Puppy-Proof

Here are five tips you can use to baby-proof and puppy-proof your apartment to provide a safe environment for all of the little ones in your life:

1. Use Barricades

Puppies and babies find lots of things that might hurt them—like garbage cans, cabinet doors, dishes, food, pots/pans and shoes. Although some of those items might seem harmless, other items, such as household chemicals, cleaners and some houseplants, are harmful or even fatal to puppies and babies if swallowed.

Barricading some parts of your apartment is a crucial step that will keep a baby or puppy from wandering into a dangerous area. A childproof gate can be attached to any doorway or hallway to keep the baby and the puppy out of a room that contains harmful substances.

A baby gate will also effectively cut off access to stairways. Like babies, puppies are also still developing good motor ans can inadvertently take a spill down an open stairway, which could prove dangerous or fatal. Fortunately, gates and barriers are sold at baby department and pet supply stores.

Remember to get your landlord’s approval before attaching anything with screws to the doorframe of your apartment. Some apartment complexes have rules and regulations that govern what you can do to the walls and doorways of your home, and not following the rules could mean losing your security deposit.

2. Provide a Safe Play Area

Containment is an excellent way to baby-proof and puppy-proof your rental without having to worry about putting screws in the apartment’s walls. You can put your puppy into a dog crate or a dog exercise pen with a few dog and chew toys. Of course, you would never place your baby in a dog crate, but a baby playpen provides a safe place for your baby to play with his/her favorite toys.

3. Make Bathroom Safety a Priority

A puppy or baby can easily fall into in a toilet bowl or bathtub. Attaching a child latch to the lid of the toilet will keep not only your baby out of the toilet bowl; it will also keep your puppy out of the dirty water. Standing water in sinks or tubs can pose a danger to both puppies and babies. Always make sure you drain the bathtub so neither your puppy nor baby can inadvertently fall into it. If the bathtub or sink drains slowly, call your apartment complex’s maintenance department and ask them to check for a possible clog in the pipes.

4. Secure Cabinets and Windows

Childproof locks should be installed on all cabinets within baby or puppy reach. Some childproof locks require screws, but others attach with double-stick tape. Puppies can easily get into kitchen cabinets that may contain food or other desirable treats.

Apartments that are located on the second, third, or higher floors are extremely dangerous for both puppies and babies. An open window—even one with a screen—is attractive to puppies and babies alike. These young ones can push the screen out of the window and lose their balance. Affixing window barriers or window locks to the window itself will protect both your baby and your pet from a possibly fatal fall.

5. Cover Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets that are usually located close to the floor pose a serious danger to crawling babies and puppies. If your loved one sticks a tongue, finger, or toe into an electrical outlet, he or she could receive a strong electrical shock. Covering outlets will protect the baby and also the inquisitive puppy. Most of the covers simply pop on over the outlets for quick and convenient installation.

Here is a quick checklist to help you remember what to baby-proof and puppy-proof in your apartment rental:

  • Harmful chemicals
  • Water that poses a drowning hazard
  • Open stairwells
  • Open windows
  • Electrical outlets

If you have any more ideas about how to baby-proof and puppy-proof an apartment, we would love to hear from you @AptGuide.

 

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5 Ways to Baby-Proof and Puppy-Proof at the Same Time

 

Photo Credit: Lance McCord

In-Laws Visiting? 15 Ways to Tidy Up in No Time

how to clean up in a hurryLet’s start off by saying that if your in-laws give ample notice before they step on your welcome mat, you’re in pretty good shape. In many families, in-laws are notorious for popping up at a moment’s notice, but that’s another topic for another day.

It doesn’t matter if your mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) are arriving in two hours or two days, you surely want to do all you can to make sure your apartment is as presentable as possible. Do you worry about what your spouse’s mother will say if the cleanliness of your space isn’t up to her standards? Does she have the audacity to conduct a sneaky dust test with her fingertip as she slyly strolls through the apartment?

We understand that your place might never be spotless from top to bottom. And honestly, who has time for that? But if you’re focused on doing at least a little tidying up before the ‘rents make their debut, here’s some crafty and creative ways to quickly get your pad in better shape.

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How to Deal with Annoying Family Members This Holiday Season

how to deal with family drama during the holidaysYou’re in the homestretch. The holiday season halfway over. You’ve almost made it. All you have to do is get through the end of December. You love your family dearly, we know that. But sitting around the fireplace and pretending to be excited about grandma’s hand-knit holiday sweater that you technically only have 15 more hours to wear isn’t exactly your idea of a joyous holiday.

Not only that, the people you have to deal with are a pain! But they’re your family, so slap on a smile and read on to find out how to deal with your most difficult relatives over the next couple of weeks.

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No Thanks: 4 Logical Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving Alone

choosing to spend Thanksgiving aloneWhen you think of Thanksgiving, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Cheesy thoughts of an overly happy family gathered around a perfectly golden turkey and heaping mounds of mashed potatoes is probably what you imagine.

But that’s not the case for everyone. Believe it or not, some people do choose to spend Thanksgiving without their friends and family.

But why?

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Make Room for Baby: Prepare Your Small Apartment for a Little One

living in an apartment with kidsIf there’s anything we know here at Apartment Guide it’s this: you do not need to buy a house in order to make a home. This is still true when your duo turns into a trio!

A lot of expecting moms and dads panic when they find out that a new baby is on the way. Their small apartment suddenly seems tinier than Barbie’s dream house. And it doesn’t help when friends and family are constantly bombarding you with the question of the year: “So… when are you moving?!”

News flash: You can raise a happy and healthy child in a small apartment. It’ll take a bit of creativity, but it can be done!

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Happy Together? The Rise of Multigenerational Home Living

Consider the challenges and great advantages of living with an extended family.

Consider the challenges and great advantages of living with an extended family.

Is your apartment home to a diverse household where parents, kids and grandparents all live together?

Multigenerational apartment living gives new meaning to the phrase “one big, happy family.”

While this is not a unique phenomenon for today, changing and often uncertain economic conditions do set the stage for the benefits and challenges of multigenerational living under one roof.

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