Updated: Sep 11, 2021
So you’d planned to have a picnic in the park, a bike ride or even just a walk to the shops and the heavens have opened. Now you’ve got your under 7’s in the house and it’s like, what do I do now? Well Mummy, don’t despair here is a list of things you can do to turn a grey day to a great day.
Baking: It’s not as daunting as you may think. Especially when you work with the KISS (Kiss It Simple Stupid) method. Simple things like eggless cookies, cupcakes (there’s even some good microwave mug cake recipes), crumble or even making jelly. Yes I know that’s not really baking but it’s a ting. You can see some of our favourite kid friendly recipes here. Even if you don’t have the skills/resources to bake you could do biscuit decorations instead. Hit a pound shop grab some plain biscuits like a Rich Tea (you can Google your country’s alternative) get some icing pens and away you go!
Arts and crafts: Gotta love a bit of cutting and sticking. It’s one of the few times when there’s minimal rules and absolutely no formula. Just sit and let ‘em cut, glue, draw, paint and stick ‘til their heart’s content. You have to get involved though, it’s through this freedom that you can get a good sense of your child’s personality, their fine motor-skill abilities and their creative eye. I mean, don’t turn it into a psychology session where you start thinking that you’re raising a serial killer because they’re creation is chaotic or all in red and black. It’s more of a well-being session, they’ve spent the week at school with regime and rules, you may have done the same, being at work or getting all the things done whilst the kids are at school it’s a good cathartic release for all concerned. Daddy should get involved too!!!
Board & Card Games: As a kid I loved playing uno, and bought a set of the cards so that I could play with my kids. It’s such fun and is basically child friendly Black Jack (not the casino kind I’m talking the one where the Ace changes suit and you felt like a boss when you had both a black and red jack). Then there’s the classics’; snakes and ladders, ludo, frustrations. You could even make up your own game, don’t have counters use buttons, coins, Lego pieces. No Dice? Almost everyone has a phone and there are apps for everything these days, just search ‘Dice roller online’ and you’re on.
Movie Day/Night: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+…stream services galore are at our fingertips and there’s a surprising number of films that are for free too. Don’t be afraid to put on something that you’ve never seen or even heard of sometimes they’re the best ones!!! It’s a great time to introduce the classics to the kids, or even re-watch something and help them understand the moral of the story. Maybe your child is struggling with something, you could find a character that has a similar issue and show them the breakthrough. For instance, Lilo struggled with the loss of her mum and dad that’s why she made friends with the alien, she didn’t have a traditional family but she had a sister who loved her dearly and an alien who learned about love and was totally loyal. This story is a great example of strength, love, acceptance and grief management.
Pamper Day: Boy Mum’s please don’t turn away, this can be done with all genders. During lockdown we had a zoom pamper session. We mixed our own pamper products using household ingredients, put on some relaxation music (YouTube, Spotify is your friend here) and gloriously loved on ourselves. Face scrub/mask, hand massage, foot treatment, these are all things that can be simply and safely done with your kids, who will in turn learn how to treat themselves well, gain some inner peace and understand ways in which to lift their own spirits when the occasion calls. What a way to teach self-love
Floor Fun: The amazing world of Lego creations, Mega Blocks towers and wooden block castles is just so attention grabbing that after a while you won’t even notice the rain anymore. You could even start a competition. I was taught by my children how to build and play Beyblades with Lego and it’s soooo much fun. Then there’s that puzzle someone bought for their birthday that’s still wrapped in the original plastic or the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) related set e.g. Meccano, Magbuilder etc. Obviously we can’t forget about cars, dolls, imaginary play, even a colouring book. The minute an adult is willing to get down on the floor with them, the kids come alive. When you’re kids are laughing it’s uplifting, but when you are laughing with them it’s a game changer.
Ok. Sooooo. I know quite a few – if not all – of you thought you were going to be in for a long list of indoor activities but come on, this is about the kids really isn’t it? So let’s look at some outdoor wet day activities.
Go for a walk/hike: “Ah hell no.” I hear you say. “Yes, yes, yes!” I tell you, especially if you have a high energy kid(s). Get them welly boots on, grab the rain coat and step out. Let them splash in some puddles, view the world through a damp lens, smell the difference in the air. Not only will it wear them out, you can come home dry yourselves off and have some hot chocolate or a sweet treat (maybe one you made earlier). You all will have had some fresh air, (great for a good night’s sleep), some exercise (great for your physical health) and you get to break up the monotony of the day (great for mental well-being).
External Indoor Play: This will be finding a soft play, go kart or trampoline place, pay the money (sorry I don’t know of any free ones but feel free to share in the comments if you know of any) and let the kids run wild. If you’re anything like me, I like to climb through the soft play and do the slides with them but there’s no harm in grabbing a drink and a snack and spending the time catching up with OY. Looking for something a bit quieter, what about the library or a pottery creation place?
Museums: Now there’s plenty of these for free and they can be more fun than you realise. Also educational and provides an opportunity to open up a great dialogue between you and the kid(s). Museums are a great place to temper the curiosity of children, they ask so many questions and you probably won’t even need Google to help you answer them. In a museum they’ll generally have the answers attached to a plaque somewhere or a little booklet. If you have a child that’s used to being in the car, you could get public transport and this alone is an adventure in and of itself.
Bus hopping: Ever wondered where that number 3 bus goes? Well why not find out. Wrap up some sandwiches, fill some bottles with some juice, grab some fruits, chuck it all in a rucksack and head on your way. Obviously it’s important to remember that your safety is paramount. So make sure; your phone is fully charged, you know the cost of multiple journeys and that you remain aware of times for return. It’s no good ending up in the countryside at 7:30 pm but the last bus back was at 7:15 pm.
And finally, to wrap up what has been a great if exhausting day (trust me the energy kids have far outweighs our own).
Ideas for your next holiday: No one is saying it’s going to be tomorrow, or even next year but we all want to go on holiday and kids are no different. Spend some time with them talking about where they want to go, what they want to do and why. Please try to avoid statements such as “them people don’t like black people” or “Black people don’t do that”, remember we are raising the next generation of Kings and Queens who can and will change the world on their own merits and not the merits they’re allowed to have based on the opinions of others.