With Halloween and Bonfire Night all behind us, winter is well and truly on the way, and many of the children have already set their eyes on the festivities ahead. That said, and despite the multitude of Christmas-themed adverts, there is still quite a few weeks to go before we lose ourselves in a flurry of red and green. Here in Devon, we are surrounded by a plethora of activities to do outside, but inspiration can sometimes be lacking for inside activities. We’ve created a list featuring some of our favourite wet-weather activities, for when the driving rain is truly unforgiving.
Go Puddle Jumping
While you can’t control the weather around you, you can control your attitude towards it, and putting on your waterproofs, a pair of wellingtons and heading out into the wild weather sets a fantastic example for your children. Something like puddle-jumping is usually forbidden when caught in an unexpected downpour and no one likes having soggy feet whilst out and about, but when you’re prepared for the persistent rain showers, you’ll soon discover that it can actually be just as fun as the dry weather activity you had planned in the first place! Hot chocolates and baths all round upon returning home, and chances are you’ll have yourself some very worn out children!
Visit a Library
Most public libraries offer workshops, lessons and tutorials for children at the weekends and during school holidays, all of which are as fun as they are educational. Children can perfect their reading abilities or even learn a new skill, with many offering IT lessons in an area that’s sure to assist their studies in the future. If classes are full or the timings don’t quite work, head to the library anyway and let your children choose a new book for them to snuggle down with, either there or at home. For inspiration, check out 12 Books for Children to Read at Primary School.
Play A Board Game
Dust off the old board games and settle down for an afternoon of gaming, as you prepare for the inevitable arguments and upset ahead. That said, the good times will usually outweigh the bad ones, while the entire family will appreciate the quality time spent together. Many board games are as educational as they are fun and competitive and teach various transferrable skills that will assist your child in the class room. For example, if you think your child needs a little more practice for maths, opt for Monopoly and select them as the banker; they’ll practise their mental arithmetic throughout the game and, when it comes to giving siblings change, they’re likely to be as thorough and accurate as they can!
There’s something lovely about creating culinary delights in the kitchen whilst the rain droplets race down the windows outside. Dust off your recipe books and see what tasty treats you can create and enjoy, ensuring the children are involved in the entire process from selecting and measuring ingredients to taking the baking out of the oven and letting it cool. You could also bake cupcakes and create a cake-decorating station later in the afternoon, encouraging children to be as creative as they like!
Play Hide and Seek
An age-old classic that works every time, children of all ages will enjoy hiding and seeking for hours, with the places getting more and more imaginative as the game progresses! Younger children will love it if mum and dad get involved, so why not spare thirty minutes to join in?
Visit a Museum
Most museums are free, donation-only or require just a small admission fee but can provide a full day of entertainment and educational fun with a roof over your head. We’re all guilty of not visiting the local attractions during peak-season, so why not make the most of the lack of crowds during the off-season? Either head to the museum in the town nearest to you, wherever that may be, or, if you suspect rain is on the way, then plan ahead for a longer trip to somewhere further afield.
Hold a Movie Marathon
While this might seem like the easy way out, there’s nothing better than some time for rest and recuperation, particularly if a child has had a difficult week, be it with sports fixtures, exams or something else. A film is also a good way of incentivising a child to read the book version first, suggesting that they can watch the film as soon as they have finished. Plan hot chocolates – with all the trimmings – for a half-time break, or consider making homemade pizzas for the ultimate night in.
Try a New Sport
When the clouds open, any outdoor activity is usually ruled out for the rest of the day, but for those with children who are bursting with energy, there’s no reason you can’t head to your local leisure centre to try something new. Badminton, tennis, squash and table tennis are all inside sports whereby both courts and equipment can be rented out, making for the perfect rainy-day activity that might see you or your children discover a hidden talent.
That concludes our list of rainy-day recommendations that we hope will inspire you this winter. If you have any ideas yourself or think of anything specifically related to our corner of the world, don’t hesitate to share them with us and other parents of pupils at our private school in Devon via the comments on social media.