Sunshine on a rainy day… Don’t get the holiday blues just because the weather forecast isn’t looking great. The kids still have a couple of weeks off in much of the UK and the weather seems against us all in the coming days. So, let’s have a think about what we could do to entertain the family without spending a small fortune:
1. Pizza party
Lay out pizza bases (pitta bread or naan bread also make easy pizza bases too) plus lots of ingredients and ask your kids and their friends to decorate them… They’ll love choosing their own toppings too.
Once they’ve finished, pop them in the oven and get the kids to make their own indoor picnic area some paper plates and cups while they wait.
2. Movie afternoon
Bad weather is a really good excuse to cosy up together and enjoy a film (or two!). Why not make a huge bowl of popcorn, then sit back and relax… Cushions, pillows, blankets and duvets all make for a fun lounge around!
3. Cook up a storm
Have a dig around in the kitchen cupboards for ingredients that need using up and getting baking! Make gingerbread men, cupcakes, traybakes… and the best thing is that you and the kids get to devour all the goodies at the end.
4. Theatre afternoon
Kids love nothing more than losing themselves in a little world created by their own imaginations, so get them to put on a little show. They can make up their own story, raid the dressing-up box for costumes, make tickets for the their audience and perhaps even sell ice creams; and then let the show begin!
5. Rainy day walks
Who says you need sunshine to enjoy a good walk?.. In fact kids are all the more likely to enjoy it without sunshine beating down on them and wearing them out. Get the wellies out and have a fun splashy walk in the rain; let them jump in the biggest puddles they can find and burn off some energy (and home baking)!
6. Making and decorating cress heads
When you’re baking, keep the egg shells as intact as possible and tell the kids why… they can then use colouring pens to create funny faces on the surface. Fill the shells with damp cotton wool and cress seeds and pop them on a window-sill (hopefully the sun will return again soon). Over the next few days watch their crazy cress hair start to grow!
7. Make a magazine
Dig out old magazines and help your child cut out their favourite pictures. They can stick them on a large sheet of card to make a collage of their favourite things, or even design their own scrapbook. You could take this activity and use different eye/face/hair/body cut-outs and mix them up to make crazy faces.
8. Hit the seaside
Well, you’re gonna wet wet anyway, and the chances are it will be a lot quieter than normal if the weather isn’t the best. The kids will find it crazy fun.
9. Shoebox scenes
Make shoebox scenes. This works eaily well for boys and girls… From miniature dolls’ houses, train stations and bird boxes to airports, swimming pools and zoos, there are stacks of ideas that will make great projects – all you need are some crafts materials, plasticine, paints and glue. You might even find that older siblings suddenly have an urge to join in with the fun and relive some nostalgia.
10. Make some puppets
You can make puppets out of loads of things – wooden spoons, odd socks or gloves; even washing-up gloves!
11. Old drawing games
The likes of ‘hangman’, ‘battleships’, ‘noughts and crosses’ and ‘dot to dot’ might be associated with boring car journeys but on rainy afternoons, they make perfect activities. All you need is a pad and a couple of pens and you’re ready to start.
You’ll be amazed how competitive a simple round of naughts and crosses games can get; and the fun really starts with hangman when the younger kids misspell the word they are trying for haha.
12. A midnight feast (but try it at 9pm!)
Midnight feasts can be huge fun – there’s something inherently naughty about eating food late at night and children love the change in routine.
Let them stay up a little later than usual, perhaps build an indoor den, and then put a variety of treats out.
If you want to add to the midnight theme, you can use torches to light up the room and keep the television off so it feels like a genuine night-time treat.
A word of warning though; sugary treats may mean they’ll want to stay up at night, so it’s probably best to stick to sandwiches, savoury snacks, carrot sticks and fruit if you want to avoid an all-night party.