Saturday, 22 February 2014

Rainy Day Fun

Water, water everywhere, but not a thing to do…that’s how rainy days so often feel in our house. But given the recent weather, we’ve been trying to be creative and inventive when it comes to rainy-day activities. Rather than diving in to the muddiest of puddles (Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for), my children have been honing their building, making and cooking skills. Here are a few fun ideas you could try next time the day’s a washout (i.e. tomorrow!).

1. Building A Den

Building a den2

There is something about cardboard boxes, suspended sheets and confined spaces that hold a mystical quality for children like no other. My two have spent many an afternoon happily ensconced in a cardboard box, pulling each other around the kitchen. We’ve stepped things up a gear in recent weeks, by building a den.

The easiest way to do this us to hang a bed sheet over two chairs, facing away from each other. Scatter cushions, or use a duvet on the floor inside to make it extra cosy, and pull out the fairy lights from your Christmas decoration box. You will have a guaranteed hour of peace, while they happily sit quietly under a sheet. Cardboard boxes can be used for tunnels and connecting corridors (we used a particularly large one as a princess castle, which was coloured in to pink perfection). For an extra treat, make a picnic and eat it in the tent. Something that always goes down well are “toasted” marshmallows (ordinary ones on chopsticks in our case). My two love them.

2. Homemade Popcorn

Homemade popcorn

I love cooking, and think its so important to get kids involved with it from a young age. However, I do find that my two get bored after a few minutes, especially if there are lots of things they can’t do (knives, hot pans etc). So, homemade popcorn is a brilliant option. It’s far more nutritious than cakes or biscuits, quick to make and, best of all, lots of fun. There are lots if varieties of popcorn available, from bags that you put in the microwave, to blue-corn kernels, which you heat in a lightly oiled pan until popped. Once you’ve popped the corn, the world is your oyster in terms of flavours. Melt some butter (I use about 25g for every 100g of popcorn kernels), and add sugar for a caramel flavour, peanut butter for a nutty taste, or some chia and flax seeds with a squeeze of honey for a healthier treat. For a fun option, a drop of food colouring in the butter will make the popcorn any colour you choose.

3. Paper chains

Paper chains

Barely a day goes by without one of my children giving me a “work of art”, normally a scribble on a piece of paper. They love being creative, and it keeps them busy and happy, so it works for me, too. But, rather than just painting or colouring, we have been making lovely decorations for their bedrooms. Seeing their proud faces as we hang paper chains and bunting up in their rooms is the icing on the cake.

Paper chains are great for younger children, as they are really simple and don’t involve anything too messy. You can buy ready-glued strips, which you just lick and stick, but if you feel a bit more adventurous, and want some prettier chains, scraps of wallpaper work brilliantly, and you can match the chains to your child’s bedroom decor. Simply use glue or sticky tape to make the interlocking loops. For bunting, again wallpaper scraps work brilliantly, or any paper. Cut out diamond shapes. Fold them in half, and use sticky tape (or staples) to secure some ribbon or string inside the triangles, in the fold. You can then decorate the bunting with their names or anything your children can come up with. The White Company Princess finger painting kit went down very well with my daughter.

2 comments:

  1. lovd going thru thw whole post.. and awesoome pictures these are :)

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