How typical of the Great British Summer Time, just as half term arrives so do the clouds and rain. Can you remember the last time spring half term graced us with blue skies and sunshine to fulfil our yearnings to get outside with the kids and enjoy some fresh air? I for one can’t, so we need some rainy day activities to keep us occupied.
So here we are, racking our brains for some fun activities to keep the children entertained that don’t involve looking at a screen. Well, a problem shared is a problem halved; here are my top 5 family activities for a rainy half term.
1. Create an indoor obstacle course
Using whatever materials you can find around the house from pillows to sheets, paper plates, skipping ropes, tinned cans, balloons and balls. Building an obstacle course is a great team activity to get siblings playing together or perfect for a play date too. They’ll learn skills about team work, brainstorming ideas, being resourceful and creative with what they have available.
Plus they’ll learn some great skills which will help them back at school during their PE lessons! From balance, to crawl, jump, pull, reach, weave and coordination, there’s plenty of challenges you can develop.
Some of my ideas include:
- – Crawling under a row of chairs
- – A Sack Race
- – Skip in one place or jump up and down on a Pogo Stick whilst reciting a song
- – Newspaper Walk
- – Build a Fort to crawl through
2. Set up a play restaurant
This was one of my favourite games as a little girl, my sister and I would spend hours setting up a restaurant in the conservatory. Laying the table, preparing a menu, creating a colourful salad and taking turns being the waitress and customer.
This is such a simple role play game, which you can set up without any need for extra equipment. You just need a table, chairs, plastic plates and cutlery, some condiments and pretend food (or the real thing!). If you’re kids are lucky enough to have a play kitchen then they can also be busy pretending to be chopping, boiling and baking. You can have your own chef, waiting staff and customers!
This is a great way to get the children interested in food too, with planning a menu and selecting interesting and new foods. Plus they’ll get a chance to practice their dining etiquette in restaurants too! They’ll also learn some very handy skills for laying the table – one less job for the parents.
As you know GLTC are passionate about role play and the benefits it has for children’s development, creativity, imagination and confidence. Introducing elements of real life such as dining, chores, taking turns and cooking with a game will give your kids a great start in life (as well as a distraction on a rainy day).
3. Build a den or put a tent up in side
Whether you have a pop up tent or wigwam or not, building a den is an all-time classic – as long as you have the space! You don’t always have to put a tent up in the garden, and there are plenty of activities to be enjoyed inside them too from a reading corner to a teddy bears’ picnic.
Mummy blogger Ghostwritermummy.co.uk has plenty of inspirational ways to play with a wigwam from setting up a sensory den to a magic potion shop. Her GLTC Wigwam has provided hours of entertainment both inside and out this spring.
Like building an obstacle course, setting up camp in the living room is a great activity to help children develop skills in working together, being creative and building things.
4. Themed role play day
For one day (or afternoon) everyone gets into character and gets their creative juices running. A themed day could incorporate all sorts of games, from dressing up, to role play games, themed food and crafts. You could pick a country or culture, or maybe something from the past; there are lots of themes to choose which will help teach kids about history, geography, cultures or telling stories.
Themed days could include:
- – Mexican Wednesday: Learn a little about Hispanic culture, from speaking a little Spanish to Mexico’s Independence Day or delicious Mexican recipes. You can get crafty & make a Pinata whilst listening to Hipsanic Music.
- – Safari Day: Dress up as animals and write a story about being on safari. Encouraging the children to put together fact cards on their animal and present to each other.
- – Science Day: Dress up as some crazy scientists and conduct experiments, collect bugs and learn about how the body works.
5. Make a Rain Catcher
If it’s going to rain constantly, then we may as well make the most of it! When I came across this blog post by RainyDayMum I loved her idea for a rain catcher. All you need is a large bottle, scissors, PVA glue, paint, a marker and tape.
It’s a great craft activity and children will enjoy recording the rain fall and recording rain levels. It’s a fun way to learn numbers and measurements too. We’d recommend you head over to RainyDayMum for her guide on making a rain catcher and more ideas for rainy days.
Share your ideas for rainy day activities with us and who knows with all this planning maybe the weather will changes its mind!