We all know those days when you go to draw the curtains, look outside and much to your dismay, it’s absolutely miserable out. The kind of miserable that would entail a military operation in rain jacket and welly application. Alas you must face the inevitable: you are spending the day at home, in the house, with the kids. How long until you hear the all too familiar chime of ‘I’m bored’? Or a physical brawl breaks out in the living room over the TV remote? Fear not my friends, as I have devised a comprehensive list of activities to do in just this situation. I promise minimum prep, guaranteed fun and most importantly, maximum peace for you! So here you have it, 8 Rainy Day Activities for Kids that they will actually really enjoy!
1. Masking Tape Race Course
This one is exactly what it says on the tin. Pick up some cheap rolls of masking tape from your local euro/pound shop. Occupy the children elsewhere for ten minutes. Run parallel lines of tape all over the sitting room. On the floor, up the walls, across furniture- don’t limit yourself. Actually the weirder the better. Grab some cars from a toy box. Round up the troops and let them at it. To keep them occupied for even longer (the ultimate goal, of course!), grab some paper sheets or a large roll of paper (thank you IKEA) and tape it to the floor. Get them to draw a map of a town or buildings that the cars can drive through. My boys, though relatively young, got hours out of this task.
2. Science Experiments
I picked up a set of test tubes and droppers from Amazon recently (not sure if I bought these for my own joy or the kids to be honest). They are fantastic and have yielded hours of fun to date. That said, you can just as easily use empty jars and jugs, measuring cups and spoons for these tasks. We kept things simple with 3 fun experiments using stuff from the kitchen cupboards:
- Baking Soda and Vinegar Mini Eruption
- Inflate the balloon – Covering the tube (filled with vinegar) with a balloon (filled with baking soda). Let them mix and watch the balloon inflate!
- Magic Potions – Mixing Colours (a.k.a magic potions). Some food colouring and water can work wonders.
3. Button Crafts
A great little activity for fine motor skills and concentration. It’s as simple as picking up a mixed bag of buttons (which you’ll find in a good craft shop), some wire or fine twine and off they go! Threading buttons is time consuming and satisfying. My 3 year old stuck at this for so much longer than I thought he would and enjoyed sorting and threading. The promise of a snazzy necklace or bracelet at the end is always good to keep them on task. Not the best for very little people on account of the choking hazard associated with tiny buttons! So I opted to use large beads and shoe laces to keep my younger boy involved in the task. Melissa & Doug do some great bead and string boxes.
4. Microbead Clay Crafts
I discovered these magic pots of goo in Flying Tiger recently. At a €1 a pop, they are well worth buying and putting away. I only say put away so you can maintain the novelty factor on days you need a quick fix for rain induced boredom! These keep really well once the containers are sealed properly, and we had loads of fun making shapes and animals using different colours.
5. Brick Stamping
This was another simple one, making full use of bits and pieces from around the house. I just grabbed a few bricks of different shapes and sizes. Squirted some paint into bowls. Gave out some paintbrushes. We painted the bricks and stamped the different shapes onto our pages. Hey presto! Simple, but fun and effective!
An oldie but a goodie. Do it at the kitchen table – enforce a no wandering with the play-doh rule and you’ll be fine.
7. Easy Baking & Cooking
You may look at this option and weep, but the reality is kids love baking! Kids also love cooking. It’s messy, it’s fun and often times delicious. The key to baking with kids is using simple no fuss recipes that don’t entail anything too crazy or complicated. Here are 3 recipes to try out that won’t break you!
8. Rock Painting
Over the summer we picked up some rocks on our travels for the purpose of painting. This was great fun and took hours as we had to let the coats of paint dry. We used regular water based poster point on account of my boys being younger and likely to eat paint when hungry! I pre-treated the rocks with a spray PVA so as to make sure the stones didn’t absorb too much of our paint! We came up with some lovely designs on our rocks and stones, which I then sealed with a spray varnish to make them weatherproof. We’ve scattered them around the garden and they look fantastic.
If you have any questions or suggestions about any of the above rainy day activities, let me know! I have tried and tested each of them over the last few weeks with my two lunatic boys aged 3 and 22months. Don’t see yourself stuck – stash away a few bits and pieces to save your sanity on a day you get trapped indoors with tiny terrorists!