02 August 2017

Even rainy days can shine: Indoor summer activities for kids

British summers are notoriously unpredictable and sometimes the sun likes to play hide and seek at short notice. 

Be prepared for unexpected rainy days, with fun things to do that will have your kids clamouring to turn off the TV—and they won't cost that much either.

Play at restaurants

That dinner has got to be made. The kids may not normally pay much interest in how their food gets on to their plates, but turn the process into a game and they'll want to get involved. Ask them to come with up a three-course menu, based on ingredients they can find in the kitchen; don the chef's hats made out of paper, and get them cooking.

Turn to putty

You've probably noticed that slime is the latest craze. There's no need to buy it though. Your children will have much more fun making it and all you need is cornflour. Put 100g of cornflour into a bowl, slowly add water until it is of a putty-like constituency, then jazz it up with food colouring. You can also add glitter (if they're old enough to know not to eat it).

Do extreme hide and seek

If you've lived in your home for more than a week, chances are your kids have scoped out all of the possible hiding places and a game of traditional hide-and-seek will last no longer than five minutes. Time to turn it up a gear. Get something small, like a teddy bear, a toy car, or a plastic dinosaur and take turns hiding it around the house. Help the seekers along with shouts of "hot", "warm" and "cold". You could enhance this game for older children by turning it into a treasure hunt.

Be crafty

Throw on some old clothes, pull out the paper, paints and glue, gather up all the empty boxes and toilet rolls that were on their way to the recycling bin and get the kids to use their art skills to turn them into something wonderful: masks; towers; boats or perhaps a shoebox diorama. If you're feeling really creative, you could make paper mache and let them have a go at making models.

Start a board game marathon

Now is the perfect time to play all those board games the kids have acquired over the years. Maybe invite the kids from next door over to create teams and draw up a leaderboard to keep track of who has won each game. You could also bring jigsaws into the mix, give each team a puzzle and see who can finish it first. Alternatively, start with Monopoly and there will be no time for anything else!

Let them build a den

This activity could get messy, but you won't mind tidying up at the end, because you'll have got hours of peace and quiet while your kids are at work building their den and then playing in it. There is something about creating their very own home within a home that every child loves. Start them off with a pile of duvets, bedsheets and cushions and let them busy themselves turning the sofa, the kitchen table or a corner of their bedroom into an architectural masterpiece.

Put on a performance

It's not for every child, but some kids like nothing more than putting on a show. Hold a little indoor theatre to give them an opportunity to recite their favourite poem, sing their most loved song, show off their latest dance, gymnastic or magic skills for you. They could even play a tune on a musical instrument or write and perform their own play.

Looking for more ideas? Entertain the kids this summer without blowing the budget

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