Rainy Days Are Coming! Five things to do with the kids when you can’t go outside….

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Most parents rely on getting their children out of the house at least once each day. One parent, who shall remain nameless, has said that “kids are like puppies. You have to exercise them or they go crazy.” So what’s a parent to do when it’s so rainy outside that a trip out anywhere becomes impossible? If this year gives us a repeat of last year’s torrential downpours then these suggestions for indoor activities will come in handy…

1. Baking…but not more cakes!

Kids love baking, but many parents want to cut down on their kids’ sugar intake, or just don’t want any more cake around the house…so how about bread? Bread is easy and fun, especially because kids can get involved with kneading and shaping the dough – make rolls, breadsticks, round loaves or long ones…there are so many possibilities and the whole family can enjoy what you make.

2. Write a letter to Grandma (or Great Aunt Maud)

Writing letters is a great way to give slightly older children some writing practice, and they can illustrate them too. Younger children could make postcards, or greetings cards, and when the rain stops there can be a trip to the post office to send them to their lucky recipient.

3. Set up a treasure hunt

Rather than a traditional game of hide and seek, why not try a treasure hunt? Children and parents can take it in turns to hide things, say dolls or teddies, around the house, and then let the others find them. You could make it more interesting by seeing who can find all the items the quickest.

4. Changing rooms

Parents can test their children’s observational skills and have some fun with this game. A parent, or a child, sends everyone else out of the room for five minutes, and in that time they must change five things in the room they are in. The others, when they are let back in, have to spot the changes. They can be really obvious, for the younger ones, or really subtle to give the older ones a challenge.

5. Daytime disco

Close the curtains, put some music on, and just let loose. Parents can make it more fun by including lots of accessories – use ribbons and scarves ties to wrists to make patterns while the children dance, use torches or glowsticks (if you have any), or find some instruments like maracas and drums to make even more noise. It might annoy the neighbours, but at least it’ll let everyone burn some energy before bedtime.

About Author

Olivia Spencer is a writer and researcher living in London with her husband and two children. Previously a Philosophy graduate and chartered accountant, Olivia now blogs for the Huffington Post and writes for other sites and magazines with a special interest in parenting and mental health. She has written a book about postnatal depression in dads - Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers (Free Association Books, Sept 2014).

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