The newspapers are full of dire warnings about excessive screen-time. And while those warnings might be a bit excessive, many people believe it’s good parenting to minimize screen time. Which is why many mothers find their heart sinking when the weather is bad.
But if keeping your kids entertained when you’re stuck indoors is a challenge, we have just the post for you. Read on for 8 fun ideas for rainy day activities!
1. Make Your Own Play Dough
Did you know that you can make your own play dough with just store cupboard ingredients? There are plenty of different recipes on the internet, but most of them use flour, salt, water, oil and cream of tartar. Once you’ve made the basic dough, you can color it with food coloring, or add in essential oils, food flavorings, beads, glitter and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Get out your rolling pin and cutters, and you can have a great time ‘making biscuits’. You can make a world for other toys to explore, or practice your ABC’s by making letters and words from the dough.
2. Cardboard Box Rainy Day Activities
You know how on Christmas morning, kids put the toy to one side and play with the packaging? That isn’t just a Christmas thing. Kids love to play in and with cardboard boxes. Boxes can be cars (Drive-in Movie), ships, castles and much more. For more ideas, take a look at this website.
3. Treasure Hunt
There are two forms of treasure hunt that are popular with kids. The first is the ‘scavenger hunt’ type, where you give them a list of items and they have to find them around the home.
The second is a clue-driven hunt. You give them the first clue, which when solved leads them to the location of the second and so on. Both of these need a little thought and preparation, but they can keep kids amused for ages.
Older kids might also want to set a treasure hunt for you in return. They’ll stay quiet while they set it, and be thrilled to see you trying to work your way through their puzzles.
Paints are one of the most versatile playthings available. You can use them for simple painting, or make a new activity, like blow painting, bubble painting, butterfly painting – and many more.
If you really want to slow down the pace, then drip painting is a great idea. You only need a sheet of paper towel and some watercolor paints. Then encourage your child to slowly drip paint onto the towel and watch the colors spread and merge. Magic.
And if paint is too messy for you, how about asking your kids to paint with plain water? A brush, a bucket, and a wall are all that is needed, as well as a healthy dose of imagination. Put a towel on the floor and let them paint away – the patio doors are another great location for this activity.
5. Staircase Racetrack
If you have a cardboard tube or a length of guttering then you can set up a staircase racetrack. Have your kids at the top, sending cars down the tube to land in a crash barrier of cushions below.
Not only is this great fun, but it burns off energy as your kids dash downstairs to pick up cars and take them back up to the top again. For an alternative, do the same activity with small balls such as ping-pong balls.
While you’re on the stairs, do you have a slinky? If so, get that out for a bit of retro fun!
6. Bathtub Fun
Getting in the tub is a great way to enjoy sensory play without having to worry about the mess. You can make your own bath paint using cornstarch, bubble bath, and food coloring, then give your kids a brush and let them paint the tiles and each other. Good clean fun!
Themed baths are a fun way to have them enjoy a soak. Use food coloring to set the atmosphere, and add in plastic toys to play with. Dark green water can be a Jurassic swamp while adding glitter to aqua or pink water creates a mermaid’s cove.
Tap a few holes in the lid of a soda bottle and you have a watering can. Take an assortment of pots, pans, and more into the bath and have a splashingly good sensory time.
If you have a mask and snorkel set, you can get your kids to search for treasure! Find some costume jewelry and drop it below the bubbly depths and let your kids go ‘diving’ to find it.
Being indoors doesn’t need to mean missing out on exercise, either for your kids or for yourself – fitness goals are important. There are plenty of fun ways you can let your kids burn off some steam, starting with an obstacle course. Build one from sofa cushions, blankets, chairs; anything that you can find in your home.
Or put an exercise video on. YouTube has hundreds that are free to watch. Kids love dancing, so try Zumba or something similar, and get your workout in while you’re having a good time with the kids. There are also plenty of exercise videos aimed at kids available.
8. Washi Tape Fun
Masking tape, or its more colorful cousin, Washi tape, are great for creating temporary play areas. Use it to create a hopscotch game on your carpet or wooden floor, and spend a few hours working on those motor skills.
Alternatively, use it to create a road layout for toy cars. You can be as simple or complex as you like, from a figure of 8 race track to a city with traffic lights, roundabouts and more.
And Many More
Whether it’s baking cookies in the kitchen, or snuggling up on the sofa to watch a family friendly movie, there are plenty of rainy day activities to keep little people entertained. You can burn off calories, or chill out completely, it’s entirely up to you!
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