Wet weather can end in disaster for families with bored children trapped inside. Here are a few tips to help keep the kids entertained (and you sane!).
Rainy days with young children can be hard work for us grown-ups. To help alleviate boredom and raise the fun factor, I like to keep a ‘Rainy Day Box’ on hand.
A Rainy Day Box contains pieces of paper with an activity written on each. Start with 10, but feel free to add more if you're game-making whiz. Pick blindly out of the box and let the choice dictate your next activity - guaranteed fun and inspiration!
Here are my top picks for games to play on a rainy day:
1. Going on a treasure hunt
You can put as much or as little as you want into this game. The ‘treasure’ doesn’t have to be particularly fancy or expensive as the fun is in the hunt itself. Extra points for dressing up like a pirate!
2. Get baking
My kids love baking almost as much as they love eating their delights at the end! Having basic cake ingredients in the cupboard can come in handy if there are kids regularly visiting, or living in, your home. Remember, baking with children is all about the fun (and often messy) recipe process, and not how the cake turns out.
3. Make a den
Everyone loves making dens or cubby homes, but how often do you go all out and build something special? If you're going to be stuck inside all day, you may as well build the best darn den the kids have ever seen! Use tables, chairs, blankets, cushions, doonas and fairy lights - all of these help to make the best cubby ever.
4. Act out story books
I like to make story time an integral part of any rainy day, but sometimes you can mix things up and make it more energetic than cuddling on the sofa. Picking a favourite book and acting it out either with or to the kids in your house, can be an hilarious way to spend an afternoon. You don’t need lots of amazing props - the sillier the better!
5. Get creative with Play Doh
Another oldie but a goodie. Play Doh keeps kids entertained for hours on end. Making your own Play Doh adds to the fun, and the kids can choose whichever colour they want. Yes, it gets messy, but messy = fun for kids!
6. Master masking tape roads
Most boys and a lot of girls are into cars, and creating handmade roads for them to drive on can really open up their imagination. Pop some masking tape in your Rainy Day Box and the possibilities are endless. You can make roads that go up the wall or over the sofa, and you construct car parking spaces and a village. Just in case, you may want to have an extra roll of tape.
7. Do a watercolour painting
Some of us aren’t fans of getting really messy, but we also don’t want to hinder the fun either. Having a set of watercolour paints is a great way of letting kids get loose with their creativity, and the mess is minimal.
8. Make your own jet packs
Having a craft day when it’s raining is so much fun. And being able to play with what you’ve made afterwards, is even better. Making a jet packs will adventure, and feed the imagination. All you need is an old cereal box, toilet rolls, coloured paper and pens, and let their imaginations create the rest.
9. Create an obstacle course
Devise a game where you have to get from room to room, without touching the ground! This is so much fun, and it forces the kids to work as a team and problem solve. Get as creative as possible – stepping-stone cushions, table tunnels, bed trampolines, doona slides, blanket rivers – anything can become part of the fun.
10. Get out in the rain!
If all else fails and the kids are getting itchy, cover up, get your gumboots on and play! There are some great all–in–one suits, and over pants brand out there like PoshGrotz, that allow kids to get as messy and wet as they like. This can be quite magical to watch.