It’s sod’s law really isn’t it, that as soon as the school summer holidays start the skies cloud over and the rain sets in.
I have to be honest though, I quite like rainy days.
The sound of rain falling is so soothing, and you can’t beat the smell of rain when it falls on the parched ground. If you have busy children at home with you though, rainy days can be challenging.
So here are 12 ideas for things to do on rainy days to stop everyone going completely stir-crazy.
1. Feed the birds
Depending on what bits and pieces you have at home you can have a go at a few different ideas.
The lovely thing with these ideas is that once they’re made you can spend time watching to see what birds then come and visit your garden.
2. Do some junk modelling
Go through your recycling and dig out all the boxes, toilet paper tubes, and plastic tubs that you can find. Then add some glue, pipe cleaners and paint and see what creations your children can come up with.
If you need some inspiration then Rainy Day Mum has got a post with 30 recycled materials and junk modelling crafts that are perfect for children of all ages.
3. Go on a treasure hunt
You don’t need to go outside to go on a treasure hunting adventure.
Hide your treasure somewhere in the house, then draw up a map and write out some clues about where it’s hidden. You can do this for your children, or they can do it for each other if they’re old enough.
You can also hide various things around the house for younger children to find. We’ve got a set of colourful plastic eggs that we use to do egg hunts all year round.
4. Get painting
Dig out the paints and get creative.
If you want to do something a bit different then try blow painting, where you water down your paint a little bit, put a blob on the paper then use a straw to blow it around. You can then make the shapes you’ve created into monsters by drawing on eyes and limbs.
You could also try marble painting and see what patterns you can make.
5. Make fairy cakes
Baking together is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon at home. The children learn all sorts of skills and you all get something yummy to enjoy at the end of it.
My simple 2-4-4-4 fairy cakes recipe has never failed us yet and always produces really tasty cakes.
6. Make your own playdough
Playing with playdough is another classic rainy day activity. And you can mix things up by making your own dough.
Using different colours, scents and textures can make this into a brilliant sensory experience for both young and older children.
7. Get the kids to make lunch
Get some ready made pizza bases and let them have fun creating their own pizzas for lunch.
If you don’t have pizza bases and don’t want to head out to the shops then you can use pitta breads or tortillas, or even just do it like a extended version of cheese on toast.
Another simple meal you can teach them to make with you is scrambled eggs on toast. You can do the eggs in a pan on the hob, or in a mug in the microwave, and let them see how the eggs change in colour and texture as they cook.
8. Make a time capsule
Find a suitable box and get the children to fill it up with things that sum up their lives at the moment.
They can write lists of their favourite foods, books and toys. They can write about their friends at school and the games they like to play together. Then add in clippings from newspapers and magazines, as well as a few photos from recent days out.
Then seal the box up and hide it somewhere together, to be opened up at some point in the future.
9. Create an obstacle course
For children that need to be physically active and burn off energy an obstacle course is great fun. You can use cushions as stepping stones, make tunnels from blankets draped over chairs, and put a strip of masking tape down on floor for them to walk along, practising their balance.
10. Record a story tape
When my sister and I were younger we used to record our own radio shows on our fisher price tape recorder. Who else had one of those brown beauties back in the 80s?!
I’m guessing not that many people still have tape recorders now, but you can set up your camera, phone, or tablet though, and let your children record themselves reading their favourite book. Or they could make up a story of their own and act it out.
11. Play some card games
Pull out the playing cards and teach the children a few different card games.
12. Embrace the rain
There’s no rule that says you have to stay inside on rainy days.
If it’s chilly then put your wellies and raincoats on and head outside for a walk and a splash in the puddles.
On warm but rainy days you can let the children head out barefoot in the garden for a fun sensory experience.
What do you and your children like to do on rainy days?
Which of these ideas do you think your children will enjoy the most the next time it starts to tip it down?