Monday, May 21, 2012

3 Rainy Day Activities to Keep the Kids from Complaining

Image by: Todd Baker

With all this horrendous weather we’ve been having this April it’s getting to a point where us mums and dads just don’t know what to do with the kids anymore.

You’ve pulled the Lego out of the toy cupboard and seen endless houses/castles/farms/towns built and knocked down again, and you’ve done the Lego-embedded-in-foot dance more than once.

You’ve played hide and seek a million times and found your 3 year old child in your wardrobe every time. You’ve resorted to letting Dora the Explorer mind the little ones more times than you’d like to admit.

It’s time for drastic measures.

Here are three ideas for rainy day activities that will keep the kids entertained for at least a few hours (I promise!).

1. DIY board game

Start with an old cereal box, slit down the seams to turn it inside out, and glue back together – the top of this will become the board, and you can store any counters, cards etc inside. Once you’ve got your base, let your kids go wild with the paint, felt tips, stickers – maybe they’ll invent a hybrid of snakes and ladders and Monopoly, maybe it’ll be a superhero/princess themed game – who knows?

It’s best to supervise a little with this so the outcome is something they can actually play. Get them to create the board, make counters, make cards...etc.

When this is all done - game on!

2. Salt dough animals

These are great to make as they have the 3 stages – moulding, painting and playing – which keeps little ones occupied for nearly a whole day.

Start by making the dough. All of the measurements are in cups, so it’s easy for kids to do (just make sure there’s no nibbling going on – this does not taste good).

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 ½ cups hot tap water
2 tsp vegetable oil

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, and add the hot water (careful with little fingers!) and vegetable oil, mixing until the dough is elastic. Now, let them mould! Keeping with the spring theme, they could make farm animals – sheep, pigs, cows – but if there’s a hippo or two in there, let it slide.

When they’re all done, pop them on a baking tray and bake at 200C until hard. Let them cool, and then get the poster paints out – roll on the pink sheep! Dry, and then let them play.

3. Pet rescue

Don’t worry - no animals were hurt during the making of this game.

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll have close to a thousand cuddly animals, and a doctor’s kit complete with stethoscope and knee hammer (no, I don’t get it either..).

Spend 10 minutes hiding the cuddly toys around the house – get the kids to set up the “vets practice” on a table in the front room while you do this. There could be a horse trapped on a mountainside (the stairs) or a bunny stuck in a swimming pool (bath), whatever your kids imagination says.

The aim of the game is to find and rescue all the animals and take them back to the vets practice to heal any injuries – use newspaper strips as bandages, and make beds for the animals with cushions.

The great thing about this game is you can keep it going for as long as the kids do – just keep hiding more toys!

The rainy days might seem never ending, but they’re a great opportunity to keep your kids’ minds active and to get some crafts going with them.

I know it’s tempting but don’t fall into the trap of letting them stare at the TV or computer all day!

3 Rainy Day Activities to Keep the Kids from Complaining is a guest post by Jasmine Ayres:

Jasmine Ayres is a mum of two under 5 year olds. She seems to spend most of her day trying to keep them occupied. But in rare free moments she blogs for Kids Island, a specialist in outdoor toys and electric scooters for kids.

Technorati Tags: