Day 1 of the school holidays. Rain. I recall what it was like with three young sons at home… wondering what would I do all day until Daddy got home at 6pm! ARGH!
Wet weather days, especially during winter, can be a mothers’ worst nightmare. Being cooped up inside all day at home with children is no fun, especially if your kids are of the active type. You don’t want them glued to screens all day and you know deep down that it’s best for everyone to get out and about. This can be tricky though, especially if you’re trying not to break the bank.
So, what does one do on wet days, to avoid going stir crazy?
Above all, it’s worthwhile writing up a general daily schedule for each day. This helps you feel better, more motivated and like you’ve achieved something. In addition, your kids have an idea of what’s happening next (so they stop asking, ‘What are we doing NOW, Mum?’). Your schedule doesn’t have to be complicated and can include mundane things like getting up, having an afternoon nap, and when mealtimes are.
It’s then important to plan activities that you can do together each day. Maybe a long list of possible ideas, including some suggestions from the kids, that can be crossed off once completed!
Here is a starting list of some at home, indoor, activities that you might consider doing with the cherubs:
1. Have a movie afternoon, with popcorn, choc tops, and a favourite family film. Get cushions and warm throws to snuggle into!
2. Have a picnic in the living room, complete with picnic basket, picnic rug and some yummy food!
3. Let the kids make a fort, or a cubby, out of your couch cushions and any blankets you have, or make it under the dining table. Yes, I know, this may end up in chaos but it can result in HOURS of entertainment! You can then have a special morning tea in the cubby, or a reading session complete with torches, or they can sleep in there overnight!
4. Do some baking together and give the cookies to the neighbours or grandparents, or a sick friend.
5. Empty the Lego out!
6. Play a board game.
7. Do a jigsaw puzzle together.
8. Join a Toy Library, and bring some new toys into your house (including ones that you would/could never purchase).
Getting outside, even if it is wet, is a lot of fun! Purchase some gumboots and go splashing in mud and puddles. Have spare clothes that are for muddy and wet days. Let your kids ride their bikes through puddles! Jump on your trampoline in the rain! Walk to your local shops for a hot chocolate. Or walk the pram around the block. Rug up and get on out!
Other low cost or free activities that are out of the house include visiting the library (especially if they have story time), a museum or art gallery, an indoor play centre, trampoline centre or skate park, your local shopping centre to do some window shopping or to have a sweet treat, or your local indoor pool.
Check out if your local council or children’s art centre is running school holiday activities for kids.
It’s also good to meet up with friends. Go to other people’s homes – you can have some adult conversation over a cuppa whilst the kids play together (and their toys are different to yours!).
I hope these ideas springboard you into planning some fun wet day activities!
VIC State Leader