The Summer holidays have arrived, which is fantastic! However typically the day that they arrived for us down here in Cornwall, the rain also arrived. Some gale force winds have also been added into the mix today, to make it feel less Summery than I had hoped. Hence the title of this post today ‘5 Things to do With Children when it’s Raining’.
I could add at the end of this ‘so that they don’t get bored and try to kill each other, destroy the house or generally drive you insane’. Instead I will give you five ideas of ways to keep all of your sanity, that have worked for me in the past.
Number 1: Play cinemas
A DVD day may not sound that exciting to a child, and they may guess that you are using it to keep them still for 2 hours whilst you sneakily cat nap. However, if you make it more interesting for them they will go (fall) for it. Turn it into a game by playing cinema. If you are really keen you can get them to make popcorn holders out of old cereal boxes, all it takes is scissors, sellotape and possibly some pens for decoration.
Turn the lights out and use a torch to show them to their seats, bribe them with sweets or popcorn and for the younger ones make them pretend cinema tickets to hand to you as they come in. If you have play pretend money, let them buy tickets from you for the film. If they have real money, it may be considered slightly unethical and mean to charge them for watching the film.
Number 2: Play ‘I can do what you do’
We have played this countless times over the years and it is basically a mimic game. Take it in turns to be the leader, and whatever the leader does or says the rest of you must copy. They may want you to make animal sounds, do star jumps, tell the World you have smelly feet or as they get older say slightly ruder things about yourself which I won’t repeat, but which makes for a hysterical game even for those supposedly too ‘cool’ to play games now.
The beauty of this game is you need nothing more than your imagination to play – well other than other people, as playing it without others is actually just talking to yourself.
Number 3: Make a puppet show
The boys loved it when we did this a while ago. All you really need is a cardboard box of whatever size you can find, ice lolly sticks (or use pencils if you don’t have any), paper of any colour for making your cardboard box prettier – but you could just keep it as it is, scissors for cutting a hole to poke your ‘puppets’ through.
In the picture you may note that our hole for this was in the bottom of the box, but sensible people may like to make one in the top so that they don’t have to hold the ‘puppet stage’ up in the air for their children the whole time! Since my boys are older and not always so keen to play with me (sob) I made the puppet show idea more fun and grown up for them.
We printed out the faces of some of our family and friends, YouTubers that they like,and of course Minecraft characters, to make in to the puppets. They had a whale of a time making the Simon puppet say all sorts of stuff when they did a show for Si and some of the things they came out with were hysterical. I laughed almost as much as they did.
You could also print our characters from your child’s favourite television show or book. It’s such a simple idea, but it will keep them amused for hours as they choose characters, make the puppet theatre and act out different shows.
Please excuse the awful quality of the photo, this was done before I started blogging and I suspect was taken by one of the boys!
Number 4: Cheat bake
I am a self-confessed and often informed by others, disaster in the kitchen. I have certain meals that I cook very well and everyone loves, but when I go off of the usual meals or attempt some baking it all goes wrong. However if like me you aren’t a Pinterest Mum (i.e can cook something others won’t laugh at when they see on there) then there is still hope for you to feel like a Pinterest Mum by ‘baking’ with your children.
My favourite way of baking is through cheating and using packet mixes where there is no risk of getting the measurements wrong. It’s also a lot less messy, and the kids can help you easily. Nine times out of Ten even I can manage to get good results from packet mix baking, therefore anyone can.
Want to cheat even more?! Buy ready-made plain buns from the local supermarket and just do the decorating bit with the kids. In truth this is the bit they most enjoy anyway, and you can get so many different type of decorations at not much cost that it’s a fun and not overly expensive activity to do with them. Plus you get to eat buns or cake if you buy a plain cake to decorate! I mean really, you wouldn’t want to offend your children by not stuffing your face at their request!
Number 5: Colouring sheets and activity sheets
Google ‘printable colouring sheets’ or ‘printable activity sheets’ and you will get a huge amount of choice to print out to keep your children amused. Add who ever their favourite cartoon/computer game/book character is, and the chances are you will find results as well. All this takes is a computer, printer, paper and some pencils to buy you a few hours peace.
You may be forced to do your own colouring, but did you know you get results when you type in ‘Hugh Jackman colouring sheets’? Search for YOUR favourite um ‘character’ and being forced to colour in might not be so bad for a change.