At times recently the weather has been well and truly miserable! I know well how hard it is for children (and parents!) to be stuck in on a rainy day. It can be easy to give into the lure of the TV. However, I have come up with 10 creative, yet simple activities to occupy children of all ages, even babies. I hope you find them useful…
Give children some paper and crayons and they will be happy. It is also important for small children to practise holding a crayon/pencil/pen correctly in order to learn to write when they are older.
Children of all ages LOVE to dress-up! Dressing-up is not only fun but a good opportunity for kids to learn through role play. Dressing up clothes do not need to be elaborate. Some old clothes of yours will suffice. Hats, scarves and spectacles will always be a hit! Even small children love sunglasses and scarves to play peek-a-boo!
3) Make a scrap book
I have made several scrap books for my children. I made a ‘Memory Scrapbook’ with my son and included some of his artwork, a certificate he received from Sing and Sign, photos of interesting things, pictures of animals he has learnt about and postcards he had received. I also made a ‘Train Scrapbook’ with him when he went through his train phase, which he enjoyed. I have also made an alphabet scrapbook with my children, with a page for each letter of the alphabet and animals and objects starting with each letter, with the aim of teaching them phonics.
4) Dancing to music
An easy and non-messy activity for children of all ages. Even young children who are not yet walking can enjoy music. My little girl loves dancing and loves nothing more than me putting some music and dancing around with her in my arms!
A bit more messy than drawing but painting or sticking should keep children occupied for a while. It is a good opportunity to teach small children their colours and learn to think creatively. Pieces of cut-up old Christmas cards, bits of coloured paper and tissue paper are perfect. You don’t have to use paint brushes to paint, either, some cut-up pieces of sponge or cloth will keep children happy, or even better your child’s hands for hand printing! Paper plates are also fun to use in place of paper. And of course glitter is always a favourite.
6) Read your child a book
I am an avid reader and I believe this is because my parents always read to me when I was little. Because of this, I have always bought books for my children and read to them at every opportunity in the hope that they will grow up to, like myself, have a love of books. Our house is full of children’s books (though the lovely pop-up books I bought for my children are now no longer pop-up!).
7) Hide and Seek
Another non-mess yet creative activity and one that kids love. And they will enjoy this activity even more with you playing it with them!
Since my little son was little he has been helping me cook. In particular, he loves squeezing lemons, stirring, pouring and of course, eating whatever we are making. Cooking is great for helping kids develop their fine motor skills, co-ordination, and it is a great learning experience.
My son loves learning the names of different ingredients. Cooking does not need to be elaborate. Your child could even help you make your evening meal, for example. We often buy pizza bases, tomato puree, cheese and cans of sweetcorn, pineapple or tuna, for example, to make pizza.
Or, you could try bread decorating with food colouring! Your child simply paints or drips food colouring on bread to make patterns, then it just needs to be toasted and spread with butter or margarine before eating.
9) Making musical instruments
Elastic bands, empty plastic bottles, tin foil, plastic tubs with lids and dried pasta and rice are just some of the everyday items you could use to make music! For example, empty plastic bottles can be filled with dried rice to make simple rattles for babies and children and elastic bands can be used to make ‘twanging’ sounds.
10) Play Dough
Play dough is very good in helping children perfect their fine motor skills and of course, children of all ages love to get stuck in and hands-on and messy! You can even make your own play dough.
I hope my 10 ideas of creative activities to do with children on a rainy day inspire you and turn what could be a miserable day stuck inside into an enjoyable one instead! Do let me know how you get on 🙂
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