With spring around the corner the days are getting lighter and the sun has started to break through after a long, cold few months. This means when your little ones are on school breaks or at evenings and weekends, there’s so much more to do. From bike rides and hikes to games in the garden, trips to farms, zoos and theme parks and so much more. It’s wonderful to get out of the house again, and spend some quality bonding time together.
However as we all know, the weather is unreliable and even during the warm late spring and summer time, there are always those days or weekends that are positively gloomy, stormy or pouring with rain. It’s these days we can struggle as parents to keep our kids entertained, it’s not nice for them (or us!) when they’re moping around bored. When the weather is bad over the spring and summer, here are a few ways you can keep children entertained
Bake and Cook Together
Baking is a worthwhile skill to teach to children. It teaches precision and patience, and shows that if they follow a recipe exactly then their baked goods will come out perfectly every time. Choose simple, child-friendly recipes like cookies or cupcakes. If you just wanted to skip right to the decorating part, you could buy some decorations, icing and other ingredients and have them assemble them on ready made cakes (or cakes you have baked yourself!). Cooking is another one you could try together, and can actually encourage kids to eat more healthily. If they have had a helping hand in preparing a meal, they can be more open to trying it. You could get some ready made pizza bases, and fill a selection of bowls with chopped ingredients like mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers along with some sweetcorn and other healthy bits. Have them assemble their own pizza, and add a sprinkling of low fat mozzarella on top and you have a reasonably healthy lunch with plenty of veggies. Once you’re finished, you of course get to eat whatever you have made too which is always good!
Try Out Some Crafts
If you’re a lover of Pinterest you’ll know the site is crammed with ideas for crafts that are appropriate for all ages and skill levels. It can be worth investing in a bumper pack of fun craft materials, paper, pens, sequins, feathers, pipe cleaners, paints and more. That way you have lots of materials that can be used for crafting and can be brought out when the weather is bad. You can also buy kits that you could stock up on and put away for rainy days. Painting by numbers, mosaic makers, sew your own teddy bear and much more are the kinds of things you’ll find in any craft store. They’re not too expensive and can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to keeping kids busy on a rainy day.
Have a Gaming or Movie Afternoon
As parents, we spend a significant amount of time policing our children’s internet, gaming and TV time. What this does mean is an afternoon spent watching TV and movies or playing games like Final Fantasy 15 is a real treat. It will keep them occupied for a good while as it’s not something they’re allowed to do all the time. On a rainy afternoon, it can be nice to just kill a few hours and do something fun even if it’s not majorly productive. Record some shows or movies on your digital box so you have some things ready to watch on a rainy day. Gaming consoles like the Wii are family friendly and it’s something you could play together. Otherwise, they could have a bit of internet time chatting with their friends and playing on apps.
Have Their Friends Over
There are few things more exciting when you’re little than having a friend or two over to play. If you have loved ones with children of a similar age, or you’re close to any of the parents at school, why not give them a call and arrange a playdate at home? For little ones you could get out a selection of toys for them to play with, if they’re a bit older you could put out some board games and puzzles and a selection of magazines. Provide them with some snacks and drinks, and with a bit of luck they will all play nicely and keep each other entertained! It’s a great way for your child to socialise outside of school, and stops them from being bored on their own. If you’re feeling really brave, you could even organize a sleepover! It’s a fantastic way for your kids to make memories, setting it up and keeping a group of kids entertained could take some effort on your part but it’s sure to be appreciated.
Do Some Indoor Activities Out of The House
Just because it’s a rainy day doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be stuck in the house. If you go somewhere indoors it stops you from getting cabin fever at home, and something like a gallery or museum can be very educational too. Often there are exhibits just for kids which are fun and interactive so it’s worth seeing what’s on. Encouraging an interest and curiosity in these kinds of things is always worthwhile in children, it’s a great way for them to learn outside of the classroom. Best of all, museums and galleries are often free so it’s perfect if you’re on a budget. You could grab some lunch in a café afterwards, or pack up a picnic to eat in the car. Ice skating, the cinema, trampoline parks, sea life centers and other kinds of activities are all indoors too, you could write down a list of places to go and tick them off every time you have a dull day with the weather.
What kinds of things does your family get up to on a rainy weekend?