So perhaps the weather may be a bit on the turn now, not quite as hot and sunny as it was!? I’m still optimistic for a return but in the meantime if you’re looking for some inspiration of things to do with young kids when the weather’s not great then here’s my top five:
Now my three year old is absolutely obsessed with the Cbeebies programme I Can Cook and as irritating as it is to have the “roll up your sleeves, give your hands a wash….” song stuck on permanent repeat in your head, this programme has actually been a bit of a Godsend. Roxy is a very fussy eater and most dinner times are an endless battle of whining and bribery but after watching an episode of I Can Cook Roxy asks if she can make the recipe too. Reluctantly I agreed to cook one of them with her (magic mini fishcakes!) and not only was it a really enjoyable activity to do together, she actually happily ate the thing too! So now we make at least one of their recipes every week and I can’t recommend it enough. Some of them were not so popular (the vegetable samosas didn’t go down all that well) but still her joy of seeing the outcome of our cooking is definitely worth it. If you can be bothered to prepare everything before hand and put all the ingredients in little person friendly pots then they can actually do everything themselves but if, like me, you’re a bit more lazy then just do everything together as you go along and if I don’t want too much mess to clean up after I tell her that there are some parts I need her to watch me do and that seems to work! You can find all the recipes on the Cbeebies website and the great thing about them is the quantities stated in the recipes make fairly small portions so if the kids don’t really like them you’re not left with loads of unwanted food!
2. Initial letter collages
Ok, I am still yet to actually do this activity but it is definitely at the top of my list for the next rainy day. All it basically involves is drawing a large letter on a piece of card (makes sense to use the first letter of their name for encouraging recognition) and then letting them stick items on to the letter in a collage. You could use ripped up bits of tissue paper, bottle lids, dried rice or pasta, cotton wool, foam shapes, stickers, the list is endless. Or my favourite idea incorporates a nature walk. Take your child and a bag/basket in to the woods, common, park or just the garden and let them collect all those annoying items that they usually want to pick up and insist you put in your handbag such as leaves, twigs, acorns, seed pods, daisies, etc and use those to stick on the collage.
3. Puddle jumping
I guess we all have Peppa Pig to thank for our children’s obsessions with muddy puddles but actually put the kids in one of those puddle jumpers or a raincoat and waterproof trousers and wellies and watch their joy as they splash about in the puddles! A sure-fire hit with most kids!
Let’s face it we all have the paints lurking at the back of the cupboard somewhere dreading that time when our child asks “can I do some painting?” Which always seems to be at the most inconvenient times: when you’ve just woken up and haven’t even had your first cup of tea, 5 minutes before you’re about to leave the house or while you’re cooking the tea so we say “not right now, maybe later..” and hope they forget about it! But actually if it’s a wet afternoon and you’ve got enough time to do it then I do recommend a bit of painting and our favourite ones are cutting a butterfly shape, painting one side of it then folding it in half so the paint is spread over the butterfly and painting one hand one colour, one hand another, rubbing hands together and seeing what colour the handprints are (yes, I did steal this idea from Cbeebies Time For School but still!!…)
5. Dried rice play
Word of warning – this one is a bit of a messy one so we actually cheat and play it at my friend’s house (sorry Becca!) All you need is a roasting tin full of dried rice (you can buy multicoloured rice apparently, which is pretty cool!) then just give the kids some spoons, little pots, etc. It’s even better if you have some little digger vehicles that they can brum round the rice and scoop it up in the scoops. You will need to do a bit of sweeping/hoovering afterwards but the kids seem to love it!
There you go, some rainy day activities to keep the little ones entertained!