Guardian Childcare & Education

Things to do With Children on Rainy Days

3rd May 2017

Things to do in rainy days for children

Although your park dates might be washed out, rainy days can actually offer an opportunity for some grass roots family fun.

Finding something that entertains your children and burns enough energy to stave off cabin fever doesn’t have to be the stuff of nightmares. Nor does it mean eight solid hours of television. In fact, we’ve got a full strategy for keeping the children cutting, sticking, baking, building, and exploring well after the clouds have cleared.

DIY fun

Put together a rainy day box of craft activities for everyone to get into when the sun doesn’t shine. This can include stickers, pipe cleaners, paints and the usual lineup of scissors, glue and coloured paper. You can also raid your recycling bin for boxes and whatnot from which to build some fine structures. There can even be prizes for the most dazzling creation.

If you can stand the mess, cooking is a great way to entertain and engage children. Whether you’re making sweet treats like bliss balls and cookies, or mixing your own play dough with this easy recipe, children just love being in the kitchen.

Recipe ideas: Try making your own mini Hawaiian pizzas or super fruit smoothies.

Day at the museum

Museums offer a good dose of indoor culture for your children. Around Australia, every major city has a range of spaces for all ages and interests. It might be helpful to look past the major museums at the smaller science, police and justice, historical, interactive or even transport museums in your area Our favourites include the Questacon in Canberra, Sydney’s Justice and Police Museum, the Old Melbourne Gaol, and National Automobile Museum in Tasmania.

When it rains… go swimming

It might seem counter intuitive to don your swimmers on rainy days but indoor aquatic centres are a fabulous way to have fun and get active. Most centres have at least one heated pool in their complex so this is a great option even into the colder months.

Shopping centres with killer indoor play areas

Indoor play areas in shopping centres are easy, free, and out of this world fun for children. What’s more, these beacons of pleasure are often strategically situated just next to a cafe, which means you can sip coffee and eat cake while your children go wild in heavily padded climbing structures. It’s brilliant! And hey, if Swedish meatballs are your thing, Ikea stores even offer a supervised play land complete with ball pit.

Showtime!

When you’re tired of cutting and pasting, when the play dough has glitter in it and you’ve endured all the play centres you can handle, perhaps it’s time for a bit of family movie time. Maybe you can make some fun snacks like chocolate popcorn or (secretly healthy) nachos and all snuggle into your previously constructed fort for a flick.

Other (slightly pricier) ideas for rainy days

  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Ice-skating
  • Art and craft centres, such as plaster painting studios or Build a Bear
  • Mums and Bubs sessions at the movies
  • Bowling
  • Indoor mini golf

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