I live in Northern Ireland. The weather can be split into 2 main categories…rain and warmer rain lol. Ok. That’s a bit unfair, we did have an ok Summer this year… it was on a Thursday about mid June if I remember correctly 🤔……
This weekend (and probably most weekends for the foreseeable future) I think it’s gonna be wet and some times it’s just nice to chill in the house and play with the kids! I’m all for tv and tablet time (within reason) but I know MJ likes it when I join in. I’ve put my foot down with watching kids pranking their Dad by throwing an old laptop into the pool (if you don’t know what I’m on about then I salute you… it’s worse than the kinder egg opening videos 🤦♀️).
So first off one of my favourite things to use to occupy kids: Cardboard boxes!!!
You know the age old adage that kids end up having more fun with the box rather than the expensive toy that came in it? Well even I get sucked into this activity! When MJ was younger I used to put her in a box with coloured pens and pencils and let her work away (this sounds so bad but the box was only like 18cm high and she could get out lol). She used to draw round her feet, draw (what were apparently) steering wheels and then decorate the outside as some sort of fairy car- unicorn- house hybrid. We used different sized boxes and even kitchen roll tubes to make houses and other stuff (I say stuff, I was scared to assume what some things were for fear of offending the boss 😂😂😂)!
A word of advice though: don’t forget these are classed as art, toys and crap so you will want to throw them away at some point… don’t get caught!!!
Next up, old school board games!
Board games are fun. And let’s be honest. You never realise how fun til you’re actually playing them. Unfortunately I’m competitive and this has rubbed off onto MJ (I’m banned for playing Pictionary at Mum and dads due to an unfortunate incident about 16 years ago… we don’t talk about it though…. it was a dark time!!!).
We have some random board games which we play and the ones based more on chance as opposed to strategy are definitely the best. Snakes and ladders is a personal favourite. Although saying that, I still have nightmares about getting put back to square 97 five times and then losing to a 5 year old…..! Bit games of chance are good because I’m not tempted to let her win (lmao. As if I would anyway!!).
We did have a Pop-up Pirate games night a while ago but poor MJ was having no luck and John was accused of cheating. It all descended into chaos and an Internet search to prove that John was innocent and in fact we were just pulling the wrong swords (there were YouTube videos involved..it was a very heated discussion! 😂😂😂).
Another fun thing to try is making your own playdough!
There’s plenty of recipes for salt dough online but it’s needs a bit of prep, although I think the prep is part of the fun (even if it is messy lmao) sometimes I just can’t be bothered with that level of work! Personally I prefer the cornflour and conditioner mix. It smells lovely and it’s easy to do. (Unlike my previous slime adventure!!). It also feels nicer than the salt dough and doesn’t “go off” as fast.
One I’m sure everyone has heard of is an Indoor obstacle course.
This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. We have a long hallway and use that, there’s paper plates used as stepping stones, dressing gown cords used as balancing beams and wool bluetacked to the walls so mj can go over/under it. The wool also works if you put loads up like a huge spiders web- perfect for Halloween themes play too! (just use common sense with regards to health and safety).
I love the fact that I can time her (or when she was younger just pluck a random number out of the air) and then she has to beat that time! . And mj can change things round, make the mat somewhere to do jumping jacks or to spin around on etc. The only limitation is her imagination!
Balloon tennis is great for kids (even big kids)
I loved loved loved this when I was a kid. You know the drill: using your hand to hit the balloon to each other. Obviously playing donkey with it works too, (I loved that ball game when I was young too! Ah memories!!) and then keepy-Uppy… there are loads of ball games that can be adapted for indoors using a balloon to minimise the risk of damage!
Get creative and make misfit characters
I bet you remember these as a kid. Folding a page in 3. Someone draws the head, then you swap and someone else draws the body and then swap again and draw the legs and you open them up and you have you very own Misfit! More time can be spent colouring them in after the big reveal. Lots of giggles and laughs when we see what type of weird character we have made!!! Clothes, shoes, hats, the weirder the better, or do monsters for Halloween! A vampires head with a mummies bodily and witches legs…sounds good to me!!
There’s loads of things to do when the weather is rubbish but these are some of your favourites. I like adding seasonal themes where possible so they are a little bit different.
What’s some of your go to ideas for things to do at home when the weather is horrible and going outside isn’t an option? Please feel free to let us all know by leaving a comment below.