Free Things To Do With Children When it’s Raining

The wonderful British Summer is doing it’s usual trick of fooling us with one or two lovely sunny days, and then dumping a bucket-load of rain on us.  So what do you get up to with your children when it’s raining and you’re stuck inside?

Here are a few ideas to keep you all busy, and that won’t break the bank either:

1. Try a treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player (try rhyming the clues for fun), each clue leading to the next one and, finally, to the treasure. Put them in envelopes marked with a clue number (i.e., 2/7, or “two of seven”) and hide them around the house.  The numbered clues will help the treasure hunters keep track and let them know when they have nearly found the treasure! Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure—a small toy, a choice of their favourite dinners, maybe a cache of coins (regular or chocolate)—is the winner. Any prize will do.  Maybe your kids can play as a team to solve the clues—and uncover the treasure—together.  Try getting them to invent a treasure hunt for the grownups once they have finished theirs.

2. Den building can be something which keeps kids busy for an afternoon. Who says tents have to stay outside? If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it’s easy to set up camp for your kids indoors. If not, you can create tents by draping sheets over the sofa or a clothes airer. Make them comfy with airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags, then follow through with an indoor picnic to be eaten “under canvas.” As a special treat they can sleep there for the night.

3. Play games together. If you have very little ones, it is the oldest child’s job to help themthink of what comes next.

One-word story: Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on a genre in advance―fairy tale, ghost story, etc.―and go from there.

Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it’s up to you to find the rhyme.

Yes, and…monster! Invent an imaginary monster, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person’s monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and…” and build on what has already been described.

4. Dance! Put on some cds or a music channel and dance together. Nothing gets rid of energy like a good boogie.  You could add a game like musical statues or musical bumps, or keep it simple and get everyone moving.

5. Do some baking.  Kids love baking. Keep it simple and make something like flapjack or cookies, or get really creative.  Maybe allow each child to choose an extra ingredient to add (maybe give them a choice instead of allowing them free rein!) and then eat the results.  Baking is so rewarding for children, even more so when they can indulge in the final result.

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