10 Ways to keep your kids entertained if it rains all summer
School's out for the summer — and it looks like it's going to be a wet one. We're still holding out for a heatwave but in the meantime all parents should have a few tricks up their sleeves for those long rainy days.
1. Bake cookies
Baking is the perfect rainy day activity. A how-to video aimed at kids is great because it keeps instructions easy to follow. If you're ready for your kitchen to look like a bomb site, and everything within reach (including your children) to be covered in cookie dough, baking cookies is the perfect way to pass a morning. With a big, tasty reward at the end of it.
Video credit: The CookinKids's channel/YouTube
2. Build a den
Forget hot, crowded, expensive soft play centres and help your kids build their own den at home. It's definitely worth doing your research first — an amazing blanket fort consists of more than, well, a blanket. But we promise it will be worth the effort. Do it right and your kids won't want to be anywhere else for the rest of day, which means you might get a few precious hours of peace.
Video credit: nothinghappening/YouTube
3. Make salt dough
Salt dough is easy to make and can be used for a huge variety of craft projects, making it a great family activity for children of all ages. Little ones can make handprints in salt dough and older kids can try something more advanced, like an ornament or sculpture.
Video credit: ShannonSkelcher/YouTube
4. Have a cinema day
The cinema is a great rainy day activity but it doesn't come cheap. A low-cost alternative is a cinema day at home. Let each of your kids choose a favourite film and make popcorn and hot dogs for an authentic home-cinema experience. Depending on the age of your children, this could be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to some of the classic films you enjoyed when you were young. These classics might not have the CGI of the latest releases but old favourites are timeless.
Video credit: Clevver Movies/YouTube
5. Make playlists
It can be tough to keep older kids off the computer on a rainy day. If you can't beat them, join them. Encourage them to take a break from gaming to create their own personal playlists. They'll get a kick out of building their own music libraries. You can provide some structure by suggesting playlists for specific occasions, such as a sleepover or birthday party.
Video credit: DavidWalsh Online/YouTube
6. Get arty — with a difference
Colouring books and pencils will only keep kids occupied for so long. With an ever-increasing supply of online art tutorials at our fingertips, there's no excuse for playing it safe. You'll be surprised at what you can create with a few basic supplies. And the guidance of arty experts, of course.
Video credit: Maggy Woodley/YouTube
7. Customise T-shirts
If you have a budding fashionista at home, you'll have great fun transforming plain T-shirts into unique pieces. Think tie dye, cut-outs and iron-on transfers and give your child and her imagination free reign.
Video credit: ShannonSorensenDesigns/YouTube
8. Create an indoor obstacle course
Being stuck indoors doesn't mean your kids can't be active. Make it fun by creating an obstacle course: cushions become stepping stones, tablecloths become cargo nets and skipping ropes become high jumps. Your house will become a complete mess, of course, but the kids will have a ball.
Video credit: netmumschannel/YouTube
9. Choreograph a dance routine
A fun physical challenge burns off excess energy and adds structure to the day. Children of all ages can take an at-home dance class — with you as choreographer, of course. Unless you're a qualified dance instructor start off with an online tutorial aimed at children.
Video credit: The Starfactory — Dancetutorials — Saskia's Dansschool/YouTube
10. Make summer treats
Who says you can't have ice lollies on a rainy day? They're super simple to make and, while they're freezing, you can turn your hand to other tasty summer treats: cupcakes, rainbow jelly and child-friendly fruity punch.
Video credit: Annabel Karmel/YouTube