Cold, rainy weather is the perfect excuse for comfort food. So why not get the children involved? It’s a win-win in my book. You get yummy treats and the children are occupied and happy. Cakes are often the easiest as you can add ingredients in one at a time (each child taking turns) and, unless you are doing a meringue component or something tricky, cakes usually aren’t time sensitive so you don’t need to worry if they take ages to do things. If they accidentally dump all the eggs in at once, that’s ok too. Cakes can be more forgiving that you think. I love Margaret Fulton for my baking needs. If your children are under two, or not patient enough to cope with all those ingredients, consider a packet mix. I know it sounds like cheating, and they often don’t taste as nice as when you bake from ‘scratch’, but with Donna Hay and Adriano Zumbo producing their own packet products – it’s not too bad and let’s keep in mind, this isn’t a display of your baking skills. It’s a ‘keep the kids entertained’ activity.
No matter what their age, puzzles are great. From the two piece puzzles for under 2s to the puzzles that take up the entire bedroom floor when they get older. Another great thing about puzzles, is that they can be done with other children.
Spread your table with a tablecloth you don’t care about, or an old sheet, and let their creative juices flow. You can stock up on coloured paper, glue, coloured matchstick, glitter, scissors, etc at Costco or dollar stores. This week we made flowers with origami paper bases and patty cases. My daughter loves to make cards and put them in the post. If you’re stuck for ideas – have a quick look at pintrest! Often I just let my daughter go. She is much more creative than I am and I don’t want to hold her back.
Plant some indoor colour. Gardening stores are full of cheap and cheerful plants. We picked ours up for $2 per plant. Then the next days activity is giving them a water and taking off any dead leaves or flowers – it’s the activity that just keeps going!
Rug Up and Walk!
I know this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have a Peppa Pig fan – live out those jumping in muddy puddles episodes. Trust me, it’s great fun! You are likely to end up cold and wet, so make sure you run a hot bath before you go, so you just need to top it up with some more hot water. That way you can get them straight into the bath. There’s also something appealing and fun about having a bath at the ‘wrong’ time.
Speaking of baths… Check out the washable crayons that they can use to draw all over themselves, or the coloured bubble blowing mixtures, and the continually broadening array of bubble baths – you’ll just have to resist the temptation to jump in with them. Or not! Depending on how big your bath is!
Now this depends on your house and how you cope with messy activities. We plonk a paint sheet on the tiles so we don’t have to worry about getting paint on the floor (tiles wipe easily but the grout doesn’t). We also invested in an easel which has made life a whole lot easier. The paint pots have a dedicated tray with holders so they don’t tip over and the paper is clipped onto the board. If you are really adventurous and have a thermomix, you can even make your own paint! That’s a whole other activity in itself.
Some of my fondest memories are when my cousins and I raided my grandmother’s linen cupboard and built cubby houses that went from one room to the next. If you need some inspiration, check out these amazing cubby houses from a previous post.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas to keep your children occupied in the cold, wet weather we’ve been having. If you have a favourite rainy weather activity that I haven’t covered, feel free to share it.