We’ve had a pretty awesome Summer so far so I don’t feel too miffed when we have the odd day of rain, but the Mini Mumblers still need entertaining somehow so here’s a few ideas…
1. Make Shadow Puppets
This website has STAR WARS shadow puppet ideas, but you can make anything you want really. The kids could have hours of fun making and playing with these – they can even put on a show for you!
2. Lazer Beams
Stick some cotton or string in a zig zag pattern across the hall or landing to create ‘lazer beams’ the kids have to climb through without touching to win some treasure on the other side.
3. Create A Time Capsule
Use a tupperware or old biscuit tin. The children can imagine who might find the time capsule in the future. They can write letters, draw pictures, find photos etc to let this person of the future know all about life as it is now for them.
4. Make A Den
Who doesn’t love a den? Get out some sheets and create a den behind the sofa or between some chairs. Fill with all kinds of things to keep them busy: Lego, reading and drawing activities, a torch, dress up clothes…and snacks of course!
So it might be a bit wet outside but this means there will be lots of puddles left for the kids to splash in. They can take toy boats to sail in the puddles, or make mud pies. Try the Nature Detectives website for some other fun outdoor rainy day ideas!
7. Make Your Own Playdough
You can create all kinds of colours if you’ve got some food colouring in your baking supplies. Here is a great playdough recipe that doesn’t require cooking! Try adding cinnamon, peppermint or vanilla to make your own ‘sensory’ playdough.
8. Make Your Own Invisible Ink
Write secret messages to each other in invisible ink. When the ink dries you can heat it over a light bulb (adult supervision required) to reveal your message.
9. Make Some Gloop
Warning: this can be messy! It’s lots of fun for little ones though and a great sensory activity. All you need is cornflour, water and food colouring (optional). Put some cornflour in a large shallow tub or tray, then add a little water at a time and mix until the desired consistency (you want it to be going solid when moulded together, but liquidy when released).
10. Build A Spaghetti And Marshmallow Tower
This is a good activity to keep older kids entertained and you can always use any left over marshmallows in hot chocolate when they’re finished.
11. Bang Goes The Theory Science Activities
The BBC website is full of lots of fun Science activities from this TV programme aimed at kids. Definitely worth a look if you’re struggling to keep the older ones entertained.
12. Hide And Seek
Always a good, easy game. If you start the kids off hunting for you at the top of the house you have just enough time to make a quick cup of tea for yourself in the kitchen before they ‘find you’.
13. Scavenger Hunt
Of course, this takes a little longer to set up than hide and seek but you might create enough time for yourself while they are engaged in this activity to actually drink that cup of tea. For ideas of what to put on the list for the scavenger hunt take a look here.
14. Box Modelling
This requires nothing other than a pile of recycling – boxes, plastic containers etc – and some glue or tape and paint (depending on how much mess you’re willing to create). This is an easy one, let the kids make anything they want from the materials available.
15. Ziplock Paintings
Painting without the mess! Put a piece of paper with blobs of paint into a ziplock bag and zip it up then use a finger or a paintbrush to move the paint around the paper from the outside!
16. Make Slime
There are loads of recipes for slime all over the internet, but a good friend has dutifully bought the ingredients, tried out some recipes and found the two recipes that definitely worked for them. This is what she said:
“The first is this one from Montessori Soul and requires just 4 ingredients (plus optional food colouring): PVA glue, shaving foam, bicarbonate of soda, and contact lens solution. The key thing is that the contact lens solution must contain boric acid, like this one, or the slime won’t come together. I also agree with the original blog that lemon and lime shaving foam makes it smell quite nice.
Results:this came together quite easily, I was probably mixing for 5-10 minutes (bear in mind I only used 2/3 cup of PVA glue – if I’d used larger quantities I would probably have been mixing for longer), and it came to a really nice consistency – nice and squidgy and easy to play with, but doesn’t stick to your fingers/clothes too much.
The second one was a simple two ingredient recipe – just PVA glue and Almat washing gel (the green one), which you can get from Aldi. You just add the Almat to the glue one teaspoon at a time, and mix until you get the right consistency.
Results: I’ve heard Aldi have changed Almat’s recipe recently so this one sometimes doesn’t work as well now, and it was definitely harder to make. I had to mix for nearly half an hour – not great if you’ve got impatient children, and the resulting slime didn’t smell as nice. However, it was definitely stickier (whether that’s a pro or not depends on what you’re looking for) and it stretched a lot further before breaking.”