When the weather turns grey and miserable, it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways of entertaining the kids. There seem to be so few options available, especially cheap ones. However, with a bit of imagination and a positive attitude, you will be amazed at the sheer volume of activities you can do at home – and most of them are free!
If your children are feeling a little jaded by the weather then ask them what their favourite holiday destination would be. Would it have sunshine, palm trees, wild animals? Encourage them to think up the most weird and wonderful scenarios, aided with holiday brochures or magazines, and get them to design a postcard, pretending it is from that place. Once they have created it, get them to write out the postcard, describing what they have seen, heard, tasted etc.
If your children are a little less creative and more active then build an obstacle course around the house. Have them hopping along the hallway, jumping over cushions, doing forward rolls into beanbags. If you can think it, you can create it out of everyday household objects. So much fun and hours of entertainment if you add new challenges as you go along.
If the weather improves slightly then there is no reason why you can’t don your mac and wellies and venture outdoors. Make it more fun by building boats out of margarine tubs beforehand. Use lolly sticks, straws, fabric or plastic bags to make a sail for your boat. Find the nearest puddle and see if your boat floats. You can add items to it and see if it stays afloat. If there is a little stream nearby, you could even race them.
Craft afternoons are a great way to spend a few hours. All Round Fun has a range of indoor activities to keep children entertained. You can even make your own: Playdough is a brilliant way to fuel the creative minds of children, but it isn’t cheap – so why not experiment with this recipe:
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- food coloring
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
Mix everything together, except the cornflour and flour. Add these in gradually until you have a dough-like consistency. Add food colouring or even essential oils to add colour and a nice scent and store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Get some old shoe boxes and ask your children to create scenes from their favourite films or cartoons using their toys and playdough creations. Cutting a hole in the lid of the shoebox and placing the box on its side will give the impression that it is a television or cinema screen.
Treasure hunts are an exciting way to pass the time in wet weather. Create separate clues for each player. They can be anything from picture clues (drawn or cut out of magazines) to rhymes or riddles that the children have to figure out. Seal them in envelopes and dot them about the house and/or garden (depending on how wet it actually is!) The prize doesn’t have to cost much as the fun bit is working out the clues anyway. A small toy, IOU for a film or just some chocolate coins will suffice.
Classic word and picture games never stop being fun. Hangman, dot to dot and noughts and crosses can be hours of fun. If you do the first few to get them started, they can then continue themselves and think up more weird and wonderful words, pictures and tactics to fool each other…..and you!
See, rainy days can be just as much fun as sunny days and your kids won’t even notice the weather once they get stuck in!
There is a great post on role play over at Emma and 3 if you fancy a read