Want to keep the kids entertained whatever the weather? Hanna Prince offers some suggestions with these family-friendly indoor activities
Bad weather doesn’t have to mean tears, tantrums and fights over the remote. Here’s how to beat the rainy-day blues and keep kids of all ages off the couch.
BAKE FOR A BETTER WORLD
The smell of rising cake wafting from the oven can brighten up even the gloomiest of days – and all that mixing, whisking, shaking and bowl-licking offers hours of entertainment as well. If you’re wondering what to do with the surplus cakes and biscuits, why not try baking for friends and family and asking for a donation to raise funds for your favourite charity? Alternatively, get involved with Free Cakes for Kids (www.freecakesforkids.org.uk), which pairs baking-mad volunteers with families unable to provide a birthday cake for their child.
BRILLIANT BOARD GAMES
There’s a reason why board games are the go-to option for rainy days with the family. If you’ve worked your way through everything in the games cupboard, why not get creative and make your own? Simply choose a style, sketch it out, build the board out of old cardboard packaging and make the pieces from card, wood or modelling clay. If you want to get competitive about it, ask everybody in the family to design a game and vote on which is the most fun to play.
BUILD A DEN
When the woods are too wet for den-building, move the fun inside. Use a large blanket to transform space under a bunkbed or a table into an instant den, then have fun filling it with pillows, toys and other treasured items. Large cardboard boxes make perfect dens, particularly if you decorate them first with paints or pens. Or why not built a pirate ship den? Up-end a cardboard box, use a long stick and a sheet for a sail, and make a paper pirate flag for decoration. The possibilities are endless…
HUNT FOR HIDDEN TREASURE
All kids love treasure hunts – particularly if there’s a treat waiting at the end. Give their brains and their legs a workout with a scavenger hunt that leads them around every corner of the house. Either list household items they have to locate to win a prize or create clues that lead to hidden treasure. Not in the mood for dreaming up endless clues? There are template scavenger hunt sheets online that you can print out for instant treasure trail fun.
PLAY MAD SCIENTISTS
Science experiments are the older kids’ equivalent of messy play. Try mixing liquids such as olive oil, syrup and food-dyed water to watch the layers develop, creating your own bubbles with different shaped homemade wire wands or exploring how salt crystals react with water by making patterns in wet paint. Turn your kitchen into a science laboratory for the day and you’ll barely even notice the bad weather.