We all know how it goes – you’ve had your outdoors adventure day planned all week, but then all of a sudden the heavens open and you find yourself stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls – what’s a parent to do? Here are some of our favourite rainy day activities to keep the little monsters entertained when it’s tipping it down outside.
Singing and Dancing
Make your own X Factor or Strictly series indoors by singing and dancing to your favourite pop songs with the kids. Make flash cards with numbers to hold up your scores for each other and offer ‘constructive criticism’ of your dance moves and tunes.
Create a colourful tea light holder
A great gift for Grandma or Aunty, take some plasticine and set out a selection of buttons, beads, sequins and paints. Your child can learn to mould the plasticine to fit around the light’s base, then push the decorations into the sides to make a pretty present.
Make a simple cake
One of the easiest early cooking lessons – but still delicious – is Rice Krispies cakes. Melt some chocolate in the microwave or a bowl on top of a pan of simmering water (grown ups only for this bit, please), put it in a bowl and pour in the cereal. Kids can mix it to coat each little crispy rice kernel, then spoon into pretty cake cases and decorate with sweets or sugar strands. Try it with cornflakes, too!
Play with your food
Daz modelling clay is great for using with kids, as it needs nothing more than to be left in the air to dry. Make sausages, eggs, fruit and vegetables out of clay and leave them to dry. The next day, paint them realistic colours using poster paints. Hey presto – you now have pretend food so that you are ready to play restaurants on another wet day!
Papier Mâché Piñata
Have you got a birthday coming up? Get the kids to help to make a piñata using simple materials you should have around the house. Blow up a balloon (from the last party?), tie a string to the knot and then tear old newspapers into strips. With watered down PVA glue, paint the paper and stick all over the balloon. Use several layers and leave to dry. Then make a small opening in the top and add treats. Finally, paint and decorate it. When it’s time for the party, hang it high in a tree and you can all take turns to give it a bash to release the treats! Alternatively, you can always buy a Piñata-making kit, like this cute and colourful owl from Hobbycraft (left).
Get out their favourite book, sit in a corner of the room on some big, comfy cushions and read together. This rainy day activity works really well if you have a lamp on behind you but the rest of the room is quite dark. It’s also a great help to calm the kids down before their dinner or bed time.