I am sick, sick, sick of everyone moaning on about the rubbish summer weather we are having. Really, did we expect anything else? We may have – quite rightly – got our hopes up when June looked like such a promising start, but you’d think by now, and especially after last year’s dismal performance by the sun, that we would know to have our raincoats and wellies on high alert at all times.
As a stay at home mum, I find it tough coming up with things to keep little minds occupied when faced with yet another rain-filled day. It feels as though things would be so much easier if we could just have a pleasant picnic tea in the garden, or go for a stroll to get an ice cream. However, the weather has no sympathy for frazzled parents who are verging on the edge of cabin fever.
More often than not, the rain sends us running to the nearest indoor play centre which, although guaranteed to be a hit with the wee ones, is not the most credit-crunch friendly of options day in, day out. So, it’s time to get resourceful!
In a concerted effort to turn a negative into a positive, I recently sat down and wrote a list of ideas for simple rainy day activities. Most, you will be familiar with, but may have forgotten about. Some may only keep the little ones busy for 10-15 minutes (but that’s long enough to grab a much needed cuppa and a jaffa cake)! Most will result in a mess, but hopefully all the ideas will help to see you through the wettest and rainiest of the remaining days of summer 2009 (September 21st sees the official end of the summer, so start counting!).
Rainy Day Activities
- Indoor Teddy Bears Picnic – grab the un-used picnic blanket, get the children to gather up their teddies and have a pretend picnic on the kitchen floor, or make a few sandwiches and have a picnic lunch.
- Hide and Seek – always a winner.
- Musical bumps/statues – also a great excuse to play the new CD you haven’t got round to listening to yet (if the kids will let you play your own music!)
- Dressing Up – no need for fancy Sportacus or Snow White outfits. Just grab some of your own clothes and shoes, beads, hats etc. and let their imaginations run wild!
- Bake some cupcakes – surprisingly quick and simple to make. If you can’t face the thought of actually baking with children in the kitchen at the same time (!), bake some on an evening and let the kids decorate them the next day.
- Washing Up – fill the sink with water, bubbles, plenty of plastic bowls, cups and plates and let them get stuck in!
- Sticking, painting, colouring – cut up old magazines, find some scrap paper and let them at it. Print colouring pages of your children’s favourite characters from the relevant website.
- If all else fails, put on the raincoats and wellies and go and find the biggest puddles you can. The children will love this but do have dry clothes on stand-by for the minute you walk back through the front foor!
If you’re looking for more ideas, The Toddler’s Busy Book and The Pre-Schooler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner are full of great activity ideas for children.
So, no more reasons to complain about the rain. Let’s face it, we’d only be complaining about the heat and wasp stings if the real summer weather had arrived!