To dissuade your kids from flopping in front of the television or a video game, we have put together a list of top things for kids to do on a rainy day. Not only can they provide great entertainment and encourage creativity, they may even inspire children to take up a long-term hobby…
While some of the more sophisticated options on a digital camera might not be suitable for younger children, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy photography, even if you are stuck indoors. And if you’re reluctant to let younger children use your expensive camera, there are many durable, child-proof cameras that you can entrust into even the clumsiest hands. Why not try some of these activities?
- Colour/ letter challenge – Suggest a colour/letter to your children and encourage them to take photos of objects that match it.
- Name challenge – Following on from the letter challenge, if your child can spell/write their name, help them find items that begin with the letters in their name, or find the letters themselves to spell their name out.
- Inspire a story – Have your child take a photograph (or series of photos) of anything and then write a story about it. Encourage them to think creatively about the subject and see if it leads to an exciting tale!
- Scavenger hunt – Put together a list of 20 or so items that children need to search for in the house or around the garden. Make the hunt challenging by including objects that might not be so obvious to find, or by giving them a brainteaser to solve first before they know what to take a picture of.
- 52 week challenge – Either create a list of themes or look at some of the ‘project 52’ lists online, which will provide 52 inspirational themes for a photo to be taken every week. These themes might be obvious, like “sunset” or “green”, or may require more creative thinking such as “escape” or “beginnings”.
Cooking and baking are great activities, and even younger children can get involved with tasks such as stirring or cracking eggs. It helps children feel like they are part of a bigger project and gives them feelings of responsibility. Plus, you might get something yummy to eat at the end of it. But what are the other benefits of cooking with children?
- Builds self-esteem and self-confidence – Acknowledging that they can take part in – and contribute to – the adult world offers plenty of satisfaction, as well as feelings of pride and accomplishment that come from having made something.
- Encourages adventurous eating – pre-schoolers can be notoriously fussy about what they will or will not eat; but if they have played a hand in the creation of a dish, they are far more likely to at least try it. It can be a good way to introduce new foods, even if they just take a nibble on some of the ingredients!
- Builds basic skills – Cooking can be used as a method to hone basic counting skills, such as numbers of eggs or spoonfuls of flour, or can even introduce them to fractions. For example, is ½ a cup of sugar more than ¼ of a cup?
- Learn about the origins of food – Do your children think that pizza comes from a box, or that pasta sauce comes from a jar? Making bread, for example, can be a revelation to children who didn’t know what was entailed in the baking process.
Check out The Great Fairy Bake Off for some adorable fairy-themed recipes, including cupcakes, cookie and pies!
Introducing children to blogging and having their work published online is a good way to introduce them to the internet – it might even prove to be a learning experience for adults too! Even if you have no intention of anyone reading your blog, platforms such as WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr make the process easy, while platforms like Kidblog or Kidzworld are monitored sites with child users in mind. Blogging can also help children and young people to understand more about the internet, such as:
- Learning about online safety – While you may be concerned about the risks of young people using the internet, blogging can be a good way to instil some lessons about how to interact with others appropriately online, how much information you reveal about yourself and how to react to something that feels wrong to them. Make sure that you are able to monitor any communications, emails or content to a level you feel comfortable with
- An educational aspect – When creating a blog, there are plenty of ways that other family members can get involved. This could include checking spelling and grammar, designing logos or teaching how to upload photo galleries.
- Encourages a passion – You may find that blogging encourages an enthusiasm for writing, but it could also encourage an interest in a topic that they wish to research more, or a community that they might like to join.
Many children enjoy the opportunity to draw and paint – if only because it gives them an excuse to get messy! However, encouraging your children to explore their more creative side can have a number of other benefits, such as:
- Developing the whole brain – Art improves focus and increases attention span; develops hand-eye coordination; requires practice and patience, as well as interaction with the world through different tools and mediums.
- Builds emotional intelligence – Art allows children to express complex feelings in a way that they might not otherwise be able to articulate. It can help them to feel better about themselves and understand others by “seeing” what they have created.
- Awakens the senses – Art is a great way to fuel the imagination and experience the world in new ways. It can develop a greater appreciation of beauty, symbols, spirituality or storytelling.
Even on a rainy day, there is still the opportunity to take part in some sports. You may need to adjust things depending on your space and surroundings, but here are a few good ideas for indoor games that focus on skills rather than physical exertion:
- Bowling – A great sport that can be enjoyed by children of almost any age, and can be squeezed into even small hallways! Rather than heavy pins and bowling balls, try using empty plastic soda bottles and an inflatable beach ball or soft tennis ball to try and knock them down.
- Balloon volleyball – Move some furniture aside to define your pitch, making sure breakables are out of the way. Use a piece of string or clothesline to act as the net, about three feet from the ground. If the balloon goes over the net and touches the ground, your team scores a point!
- Miniature golf – This could be especially good for a rainy day, as plenty of time can be spent making tunnels and ramps as obstacles for your golf ball. Getting your ball (such as a small foam ball) into an old shoebox with a hole cut out can be your ultimate aim. Golf clubs can be made using building blocks, rolled up newspapers or thin tubes like those you might find with a roll of cling film or aluminium foil.
Share you fun ideas for indoor activities in the comments box below.
Check out part 2 of our list of activities for a rainy day here