Although the summer is vast approaching, the British weather doesn’t always cooperate, and this often means there is a rainy day or two. Children require stimulation and with the absence of education for six weeks, it can be a little too lengthy. This is especially the case when there are multiple days of poor weather because they actually start to climb the walls.
In this article, I discuss multiple ways that can hopefully entertain them during the drizzly and gloomy days. It may even bring a smile to their faces and brighten up the day, even if the sun doesn’t make an appearance. Checking the weekly forecast and groaning at the thought of how to keep them occupied and tearing your hair out could well be a thing of the past.
Build a Den:
Children thrive in spaces they can hide in, away from parents especially. Sometimes this can be because they have done something mischievous, but there are times when it’s purely for entertainment purposes. Though some children love to have company in the makeshift den and it’s a perfect cosy little place to have a snuggle with them. The concept of reading a book underneath the blankets seems like heaven. It can also help them calm down and have some downtime, away from everything.
You can make the hidden space by using chairs and tables. These items can help support the blankets and sheets that are draped over them. For the smaller sections of the den, you could incorporate cardboard boxes too.
From experience as a child, I would often temporarily borrow the clothes airer and throw bedding over it. It would definitely make it spacious and high enough to sit under. Pegs are also a great way to keep the material in place, and a safe method too.
Broom handles and brushes with extended handles can be used to make the outer frame of the den too and provide some altitude.
Once the den is complete you can place cushions inside and even a carpet to make it look a lot more homely. Children enjoy soft items and teddies are often a comfort item for that reason. The imagination purposes of the den are endless, as they can turn the space into a magic cave and create some magic tricks! On the other hand, they may kit it out, so it appears to look more like a dungeon too. Though, there are children who simply just thrive on making the den rather than using it for playtime purposes.
Also don't feel limited to indoor den's. If the weather is permitting, and you have outdoor space at home, why not go on a hunt for twigs and logs, and make you're very own hidden den in the woods!
Make a Balloon Car:
This activity is eco-friendly in terms of recycling old materials to create something new and exciting for children. It is fairly simple to make, and it can also provide brain stimulation. You can even make a few of them and race them against one another. The possibilities are in fact endless.
Things you will need:
Two round sticks (wooden BBQ skewers).
Four bottle lids of the same size.
Cut the cardboard into the length and width you wish to have for the overall size of the car – as this will be the base.
Create a hole in the bottle lids.
Place the skewers into the holes you created in the lids, making sure a lid is on each end of the skewer. It should look like four individual wheels.
Tape/Glue a balloon to the top of the car. The balloon will become the wind-powered engine. Though, do make sure you can access the balloon once it’s in place as you’ll need to blow it up, using either a pump or straw for assistance.
Blow up the balloon, using an assistance method if desired. – Save your lungs.
Place the car on a flat surface and then let go of the balloon. The airpower should be more than enough to help the car go.
*If your child thoroughly enjoyed this engineering activity, then there is another one that is quite simple, a homemade lava lamp. You can watch a YouTube tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh30TxceUIQ. The host explains the method in a fun manner, as well as the scientific purpose of the experiment too.
(Photo credit: https://www.mamaofmonsters.com/post/how-to-make-a-balloon-car)
I used to love board games as a child, the few favourites being snakes and ladders, buckaroo, frustration and later in life, scrabble. Though, I do love the Catchphrase board game too. Children bask in activities they can become involved in or have a chance of winning. It develops their brain stimulation as well as attention span. If they sadly lose, it also teaches them valuable life skills ‘you win some, you lose some.’
If you are quite the crafter, you can make your own board games. There are a few to choose from on Pinterest. The application is free to join too, https://www.pinterest.co.uk/younghosannas/homemade-board-games/.
Why are board games so beneficial?
Board games can help with motor skills, especially in the likes of buckaroo, as they have to balance the objects. A good game for balance and patience can also be, Jenga. That really gets your heart thumping, desperate not to knock all the blocks off and your brain constantly ticks over, deciding which brick is the safest to pull. Some have explained that board games help soothe anxiety and calm situations down. It helps the child begin to focus on something else, something else usually being hopeful about winning. Language skills are highly important to a child’s development process and these activities can help in doing so, especially if they have to communicate their next movements or ask questions and such forth. A further benefit is understanding the importance of teamwork. In all walks of life, we encounter others, interact with them on different levels and that includes working as a team or understanding the concept of it. A child who learns these aspects early on has a better understanding of the adequate skills, ones that can set them up for years to come.
Let us know in the comments below if any of these ideas helped fight boredom at your house! And please comment if you have some great ideas you'd love to share.