We all know that BST- 'British Summer Time' will inevitably have a fair few off days. So how do you make the most of having the kids at home in horrid weather?
It's no fun being stuck indoors when the summer decides that it's just not going to play ball. So what do you do? We've found some fun (and importantly, simple) rainy day ideas to keep your family going. So put down the remote, drag the children off the games console and let's get creative!
Make a blanket den
Rainy days are the perfect excuse to create a cosy blanket den, so get the covers out and help the kids make their own little hideaway! Remember the joy as a kid bedding down in a den? It was like the whole world had dissapeared and you had your very own little universe. We often think of den building as a winter activity, but there's no reason we can't take advantage of the blustery weather to make a cosy hideaway!
You don't have to do this in the front room, so if you're in the mood for a little breathing space then encourage den building in the bedroom- as long as they have enough books (and possibly a few reading snacks), you'll be good to go!
Remember to use big hair clips if you need to keep the whole thing upright, or tuck the edges into other parts of the bed. If you're lucky with space, then chairs with books as weights make the ideal den foundations.
Top tip: If the weather is muggy, use sheets instead of full covers and hang fairy lights for an extra magical effect. Why not have a Zoom den sleepover for your little ones and their friends? You could organise a group bedtime story for all the den builders together.
Get some serious Den inspiration with Family Days tried and tested den making here
Create a board game
Board games are fun to play- but have you ever made one yourself? An ideal project for slightly older kids (we'd say 6/7+), get your children to research board games before they start making: which board games do they like? Which elements are fun? Then you can get them to start thinking about how they're going to create theirs.
Get them to make a set of instructions and rules, thinking about things like how many players they'll have, any challenges or forfeits involved.
Now comes the really fun part- making the board and the pieces! Plain old paper will do- you might want to put a few bits together to make a larger board. Make sure that you draw all of the spaces before you move on to colouring, or you could end up with no space! Don't feel like you have to use straight lines; winding lines, zig zags or even individual bubbles will all look great. You can either create pieces from more paper, or small toys lying around the house
Top Tip: If you want an extra sturdy board, glue your finished design to a spare piece of box cardboard.
Get some brilliant game design ideas from Geek Gear Galore
Make Recycled crafts
There's two great things about making crafts from raiding your recycling; 1) As long as you have some glue and some sellotape, you don't generally need to leave the house to make something, and 2) You're actually reusing something- hooray!
The world really is your oyster when it comes to turning your recycling trash into treasure, but if you're not too confident then start with anything cardboard toilet roll inner or egg carton based- they are pretty hard to mess up, and the porous cardboard is incredibly forgiving when it comes to any level of painting or colouring in. Be careful of anything involving a glue gun- when they heat up they really do get hot, and the boiling glue can easily get everywhere. Personally we would recommend anything with a good old prit stick!
Top Tip: Invest in a little 'craft box' for any art activities, with some poster paints, child friendly scissors, glue, sellotape, masking tape, coloured/tissue paper and pens and pencils. Having it all in one place lessens the chance of being caught out and having to do a shop run all the time!
Learn some magic!
Okay, so you may not thank us for this one the fifteenth time your child insists on showing you the 'coin trick', but learning magic is a brilliant way to pass the time on a blustery day. Not only can magic easily be learnt from hundreds of youtube videos, tutorials or books, but it also encourages hand-eye coordination and logical thinking techniques- so technically, it's educational too!
Don't be put off by thinking you need a lot of fancy props, either- you can find loads of videos which just need paper plates, a few pennies and lots of imagination and showmanship!
If you find that your kids really get into it, why not encourage them to make a little stage (a cardboard box and some material is always a good place to start), and put on a show later? You could even invite the whole family around via Zoom!
Top Tip: Try and encourage your kids to make their own magic props, rather than buy them; not only is it much more environmentally friendly, but if it does turn out to be a bit of a 'flash in the pan' then you haven't spent tons of money on expensive toy shop magic props!
You can find some great magic tutorial videos from Wayne the Magician here
Make a flip book!
Remember these? Turns out they're still around- with a newer, cooler makeover. An amazing activity for any ability, making a flipbook is a great pastime because it can be as simple or as advanced as you want to make it. You can choose any of your favourite characters, and it's also a brilliant way to develop short storytelling abilities- you've got to learn how to build a visual narrative across a very small space of time!
You will need to do some prep to make this work; make sure you've got wads of paper, holepunched or stapled together, or an old excercise book you no longer use for the flipbook itself. Don't forget to get the kids to do the initial drawings in pencil, or there will be trouble later on!
Oh yeah, and we know this is a super fun craft to do, so try and let the kids have a go now and again, okay? ;)
Top Tip: Get several plain flipbooks ready of different lengths, so if the kids finish one little project they can move straight on to the next one.
We hope you enjoyed our rainy day ideas- you're going to need them over the British Summer, guaranteed!
For more great ideas and activities, don't forget to check out the Poppy's Parties Youtube and Facebook pages, where you'll find loads of videos, content and ideas to keep your little ones entertained!
How did your rainy day activities go? Have you got any ideas too? Comment below!