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How To Keep Your Kids Entertained When It's Pouring

The trouble with Irish weather, is that sometimes it's a bit too 'Irish', sunny one minute, and bucketing it down with rain the next.

So what do you do to keep the kids entertained, when you can't rely on the weather?

We've got some tips to help keep you going:

1. Create a wet weather box

Sometimes when you want to go out there seem to be distractions everywhere; but when you're suddenly trapped indoors, there's nothing for the kids to do. So keep a Wet Weather Box of fun, ingredients for crafts and hands-on activities; that only come out when the weather is grey.

Really you can include whatever you like; it's a great time to get creative with scraps of coloured card, or odd bits of fabric, as well as games.

Here are some fun ideas for your box:

  • Scrap material, felt, buttons, and pipe-cleaners
  • Cheap art and craft supplies, including scissors.
  • New colouring and activity books.
  • Pencils, crayons and chalk.
  • Face paints
  • Jigsaw puzzles.
  • Old magazines for papier-mâché or collages.
  • Glitter, glitter glue, and pva
  • Balloons, left over party decorations, and party bag toys
  • A deck of cards.
  • Family board games.

2. Get all the family involved

Though some of the time obviously you want to distract your little ones in order to get other things done; wet weather can be a great opportunity for family time. Why not have a 'competition' for writing poems, drawing, or colouring. If people need more details you could draw something specific (real or imagined), write a poem about a specific subject, or write a poem including certain words.

If you're worried about sore feelings, avoid having an overall winner; instead using individual categories: Best use of colour, Best word, Most original design, Best rhyme, etc. so everyone has something they can be proud of (mom and dad included!)

3. Put on the wellies, and make it an adventure

Of course we might dream of wearing T-shirts all summer; but somehow that never quite happens. So particularly if there is particularly bad weather for a period of time; make it a specific feature.

Dress up in all your best wet weather gear, and go out on an adventure. Allow your little ones to splash in all the puddles they want; try to catch raindrops in your hands; watch rain land on the water, or on leaves etc; or if you're near the beach, see how close you can get the edge of the water without your feet getting wet: running out of the way whenever a wave approaches.

Then go home, dry everyone off, put muddy clothes in the washing machine, and have a well-deserved hot chocolate.

4. Cosy Time

Cosy time is a moment to make the most of sitting together, and focusing on one thing. Sit on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet or blanket; and for the length of reading one story, or listening to one story on tape, just sit quietly without being distracted by anything else. Too long and little ones might get fidgety so it has to be well-timed; but done right, cosy time can be a lovely moment of bonding for parents or grandparents.

5. Make a new recipe from scratch together

Whether you want to bake and decorate some cookies, or get your children to help cook lunch for the family; it can be great to have the time for getting them really involved in cooking (and can set them up for life!) Read through the recipe together, or flick through books to find one; line up all the ingredients, and enjoy the process of teaching them something new (and possibly learning a new recipe yourself), and making some tasty treats. 

6. Have a sing along 

Many children have trouble sitting and concentrating on a film; or have can't stop themselves from telling you what happens at the end, and speaking every line as it happens.

So every once in a while, why not have a special 'sing along' viewing of a film; where they can get up and dance, each time a song comes along; act special moments out; and sing along to all the words they know? But then in between songs, they sit and watch quietly. This will not only give you a few moments of quiet; but should help let out some of that energy; and keep them focused, as they wait for the next tune to start!

7. Indoor Camping

With some blankets, towels or sheets, some clothes pegs, and a bit of string; you can quickly create a castle/fort/camp, around tables, chairs and beds. Wherever possible, allow your children to come up with ideas on how to build the camp, even if they need you to clip the higher bits together. Once erected it can be whatever they want it to be; and can be great for playtime, stories, picnics, or even sleep overs.

Do you have any suggestions you'd like to add? We'd love to hear!

Read Next (indoors): What To Do With The Dreaded Words 'I'm Bored'
Read Next (outdoors): How To Instill Your Kids With A Love Of Nature

About the Author

Emily is a writer, editor, blogger, and our Digital Content Assistant. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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