When it’s too wet or cold to go outside, don’t let boredom get you and the kids down. There are lots of cheap and easy ways to keep them busy – some of these activities will even help you get your chores done!
Cook up a storm
Children love playing house and if they join in cooking their meals it usually makes them more enthusiastic eaters, too. Try our 5 family fun recipes for kids. Or why not bake a cake? Use food colouring to create a rainbow cake decoration, or leave the sponge to cool and carefully cut out pieces to build a castle, a boat or a house. (Chocolate buttons make brilliant roof tiles or Viking shields!)
Make BIG art
Use a large roll of paper, spread out on the table, and choose a theme:
superheroes, zoo animals, Christmas morning or Cinderella. Then help your child illustrate the theme in any way possible, such as painting, drawing, cutting and pasting images from old magazines, using stickers – whatever you have at hand. If you have more than one child, this kind of ‘mural art’ is great because they can all get busy at the same time. For more inspiration, check out Create instant art for your walls.
Explore your family history
Going through family photos is always a lot of fun, but how about teaching your kids their family history? Make a little poster together – help them choose pictures, add relatives’ names and explain the family links. No need to make it too much hard research work – even just going back to their grandparents’ generation usually produces a pretty impressive tree! This is a really nice project for older children, as are these 10 activities for teenagers.
Tell a great story
Ask your kids to pick a book or a tale they love, and help them recreate the story either in their own homemade book or by making it into a play. Your kids can draw the characters, dress up as their favourite superheroes and even compose a little song to serve as a soundtrack. Not only will they have fun, it will also develop their imagination and creativity. Here are some more ideas for How to make reading fun.
Throw a party
You don’t need to wait for birthdays or special events to have a great time. Inflate balloons, put the kids in fancy dress, paint their faces and choreograph an uplifting song and dance routine. Try a few introducing them to a few Old-fashioned games they’ll love, too. Make it a rainy day to remember.
Set up camp
Get out a few bed sheets, pillows and cushions to cover the table, and let the kids create their own kingdom in the living room. Keep an eye on them (to make sure they don’t accidentally pull chairs or vases etc on top of themselves, for example) but once they’re settled, give them a little tin of cookies, a torch and let them play house with their teddies. And when they’re ready to try something different, check out our other Rainy day ideas.