Well, whether it’s a rainy summer or a rainy weekend, one of the joys of wild wet weather is the fun of doing nothing. Yeah, let’s all cwtch up, eat snacks and watch movies all day – with no guilt at all! The only problem with this is that when you have children, they don’t always have the same ideas of you …
Indeed, while you may get them to all cuddle up for one movie (or half a movie :)), you soon find they’re moaning that they’re bored or they’re trying to kill themselves when you’re not looking (hey, let’s get on a rocking horse down the stairs).
So, here are some ideas to help you have fun in the rain!
1) An indoor treasure hunt. You can write up some clues quickly or (if they’re learning to read) write down the letter phonics they’re learning at school and hide them around the house. This should keep them busy for about ten minutes anyway! If you are really prepared, you could even have one of these to use!
2) Scavenger hunt. This is a quick alternative to a treasure hunt and takes a lot less planning. Simply, write (or draw depending on your little one) a list of ten things they have to find and get them to go hunting. If you’re brave, you can always do this in the rain, if you are clever you could include things you thought you had lost! 🙂
3) Play bath. Throw in extra bubbles and lots of plastic toys that are usually ‘illegal’ in the bath. Then, sit to the side and read a book, while they act out new bath time adventures.
4) Dens, dens and more dens! Seriously, we all loved dens when we were younger (I still do!). Get out all the blankets (and spare duvet covers) and let the kids go wild with their imaginations. My top tip for making this little adventure last longer, would be to get them to make ‘Keep Out’ signs and decide on their own special picnic first. Also, give them plenty of time to go cushion hunting too! If you want to take this one step further, you could always invest in this kit, which makes the building take just as long as the playing afterwards
5) Get baking! We’ve all usually got a cake or cookie making kit stashed away somewhere, but if you’re stuck, here’s a link to my favourite shortbread biscuit recipe, No scales? No problem, the ingredients can be broke down into this: 2oz (4 level tablespoons) sugar, 2oz (8 level tablespoons) butter, and 3oz (18 level tablespoons) flour. Not enough ingredients? No worries, just half them!
6) Puddle hunting! Yes, they’re going to get messy and wet, but hey they’ll be exhausted afterwards. Dress up warm and get those wellies on (if you’re super organised you can take a whiteboard or pen and paper to count the puddles but this really isn’t overly necessary) and get out and go puddle counting. Then, come home, drink hot chocolates and cwtch up!
7) Become indoor detectives or spies! Move something in the house (the sofa, the tv etc) or hide their favourite toy or a ‘special’ necklace. Preparation: get your little ones to practise their spying techniques by writing them messages in code to help them find the missing toy or the culprit of the ‘crime’. The clues don’t have to be complicated. They could be pictures that lead the way to the missing item or could be parts of a picture that when placed together ffor the face of the ‘guilty’ person (toy or even a pet). You could also try writing the message in reverse and seeing if they can work out what the message says by using a mirror. Alternatively, (if you’re super cool), you could even write your own code sheet that they could use to translate or you could copy something like this or this . Alternatively, write in invisible ink (lemon juice is a fantastic substitute for for this), then get your little ones to hold the paper up to a light to read. Once you’re ready, get in the mood with binoculars, walkie talkies and a note book. Time to solve the mystery!
8) Craft day. The best way to keep the kids totally occupied with this is to make it a project. A family scrapbook, planning the next holiday (cut up those free holiday brochures and then, even use the sofa boat to help you get there!), a photo frame, a photo album, a recipe book, table decorations, decorations for an upcoming event or create rain sticks (gather up a paper towel tube, tinfoil, masking tape, dry rice, and a long pipe cleaner. Fasten tinfoil to one end with masking tape, fill the cardboard tube up with the rice and the pipe cleaner and place tinfoil and tape at the other end). For extra ideas, please look here or here.
9) Board games. Yes, you might all end up arguing but hey, they’re great fun for a while! Alternatively, you could get your little ones to make their own games first. This could be as simple as drawing (or printing off) a board with a grid of 50 boxes on it, then getting your little ones to add the numbers, snakes and ladders. Or you could get super fancy and try one of these .
10) Make a shop! If you’ve got play doh, get them to make the goods first. If not, just hunt through all those toys and books (or get out snacks to sell) and decide what kind of shop you want to be. Then, get the to make some shop signs, price labels and money – hey presto, a shop!
11) Indoor cinema. I know I said that this doesn’t always work. But, if you really want it to (hey, sometimes it’s really necessary), try moving sofas, putting up a tent (or setting up their den by the tv), blacking out the windows and setting up some snacks right in front of your television. Who knows you might even get to watch a whole movie…
However, if you need to get out (we’ve all been there). Here’s a list of some places to go to in The Big Philly!
1) The award winning The Winding House.
2) Your local library. Let’s face it we’ve got some awesome ones in the borough!
4) Check out your local leisure centre for some sporting fun!
5) Blackwood cinema (so much cheaper than the alternatives)
6) Check out events in The Big Phill!