5 'oh crap, it's raining again' ideas

Monday, 10 August 2015

Ah, British summer time. An unpredictable hybrid of sun, sand, wellies, despair and cabin fever.

As I type, I'm staring out the window at what can only be described as a monsoon. I guess I shouldn't moan though. We did have a whole day of summer on Saturday.

So, here I am again, faced with the prospect of joining every other desperate parent at our local soul-sapping, germ-infused soft play. Or grit my teeth and brave the stay-at-home option. Not for the faint-hearted, if you're running with this option you're going to need preparation, steely determination and patience. Patience in spades.

After a minor melt-down over what he deemed a premature bed time yesterday (it wasn't premature), Dylan had his Xbox taken away, so there's no relying on video games to occupy the monkeys today. As if rainy days in the summer holidays weren't difficult enough!

So here you have it. My top five rainy day, get-you-all-to-bedtime-in-one-piece, activities. Slap on your best CBeebies presenter grin and lets do this!

Hot lava floor (and other ridiculous games involving soft furnishings). My kids love games that involve using cushions and blankets as other imaginary stuff. It's unbelievable. Slap a few pillows on the floor, pretend they're surrounded by lava, nominate a lava monster to try and pull people in and, bob's your uncle, you have at least 11 minutes of imaginative play right there.

Baking. I'm a bit of a control freak in the kitchen, so this doesn't come easily to me ("carefully with the flour... crack the eggs into the bowl... no, we need to cover the mixer before we beat the butter and icing sugar!"). But there's no denying that this is one of Meryn's favourite things to do on a rainy day. Especially if whatever we've made requires decorating afterwards. She'll spend ages icing and topping just one cupcake so, give her a dozen, and that's most of the day sorted.

Lego organisation. This is more for my benefit than theirs, but they don't know that. We spent a good three hours last week wading through our giant tub of Lego, separating out all the minifigures, reuniting them with their heads/arms/hair/weapons and attempting to rebuild some of the broken sets. Imagine my despair when Ayden decided to tip the new tub of pristine minifigures back into the Lego abyss before the day was out. Sigh.

Treasure hunt. You might think this would be more hassle than it's worth. And you'd be right. But at least it helps to while away a few hours and give you all a bit of fun in the process. Just scribble a few clues on some pieces of paper, hide some stuff around the house, equip each child with a tool (magnifying glass, backpack, scroll, labrador...) and send them on their way. Sit back with a cuppa and listen to utter chaos unfold.

Craft. Oh, craft. A wonderful, imaginative and traumatising activity in equal measure. In all honesty, I love nothing more than watching my three children sat around the kitchen table making models, drawing amazing pictures and inventing new things. They'll happily spend hours sat there. But, dear god, the mess. Meryn discovered my craft drawer recently and now nothing is sacred. Yesterday I found her decorating an Amazon box with my favourite Paperchase washi tape and emptying my hole-punch onto the table to use the contents in a home-made party popper. It's impressive how far those tiny circles can travel, when fired through the air from a balloon-covered empty toilet roll. 

What are your fail-safe rainy-day activities? I'd love to hear them :) 

And to those of you in the thick of it today... we've got this!


  1. Great ideas! I'm always looking to add to the 'stuck inside' list! Can't wait for G to get a bit older for 'proper' crafts, rather than paint smearing contests :D

  2. Great ideas. I used to love playing hot larva games in my room as a kid too x

  3. Love this post!! We used to play the hot lava game, or a version of anyway... We used to create mini islands with pillows and cushions and then one of us would be a shark and have to try and catch each other. Hours of fun!! Sometimes with my three year old I find the best thing is to just leave her to it so she can make her own own fun. Today she has her best buddy round and though some people might think I'm mad at 37 weeks pregnant they have just played constantly together all morning... With no direction from me... Blissful! Xxx

  4. Great ideas! I love the idea of playing games like this with Aria when she is older, especially the baking. In reality I'll probably be a right control freak and try and take over because she isn't doing it right haha!

  5. Some great ideas, it's always handy to have some easy activities to keep them busy on wet days :) we like den building and even puddle walks x

  6. Love the hot lava game and the treasure hunt ideas. Currently Caitlin is off baking with her granddad and Ieuan is mooching - I can't get him to do anything!

  7. I love this! My daughter is forever sticking stuff with my favourite washi tape too!! Noooo!!! My OCD tendencies would love a little lego organisation too!

  8. I love this! My daughter is forever sticking stuff with my favourite washi tape too!! Noooo!!! My OCD tendencies would love a little lego organisation too!

  9. Love this post, it has rained buckets in Ireland this summer too. I have picked the cushions up from the floor so many times. Never thought of a treasure hunt...maybe tomorrow, i'll just wash todays glitter off first!!

  10. Great ideas - I am SICK of the rain. I SO feel your Lego pain since Pickle discovered it! Kaz x

  11. Great idea's! LEGO and baking are favourites here too. We also like getting our boots on and jumping in a few puddles or getting in our pjs and watching some dvds! xx

  12. Great ideas. I'm so annoyed at this weather as we had planned to do so many outdoor activities. It great to see that there at least some things that we can do indoors for fun. Baking is my fav as it means I get food at the end!