January can be a tricky month, can’t it? There’s a bit of a post-Christmas slump; the toys have been played with, the weather’s a bit rubbish and boredom begins to set in. It can be challenging to occupy young children, so I’ve come up with a list of nine rainy day activities for kids that you can try to keep them entertained on those grey, January days!
Mud & Bloom Activity Box
Subscription activity boxes are growing in popularity as an easy, delivered-to-your-door way to keep kids busy, but this one from Mud & Bloom is lovely, as it not only encourages kids to be creative, but to get outdoors and learn more about nature too! I’ll be doing a full review on the blog in the near future, but for now, here’s a little peep at what’s in January’s box…
Inside the box is a packet of seeds, as well as a nature craft activity to do – this one is making a twig boat. Some of the materials are provided, others you need to go out and find. There are also beautifully-illustrated instruction cards on what to do with your seeds, and what else you could try growing, as well as a bird-spotting card for the month.
More information about the boxes and subscription can be found on the Mud & Bloom website. However, if you want to jump right in, Mud & Bloom have kindly offered my readers an amazing 50% discount! Just pop in the code ‘SCHOOLRUN50‘ at the checkout.
Most kids love painting, although in our case, it’s more the making a mess part that Small loves! She also tries to eat the paint, so I came up with a really simple edible paint activity so that she could eat it to her heart’s content if she wanted! You can see how I did it here…
Playdough is a timeless activity that kids love; it was always one of the most popular activities at all of the childcare settings I’ve worked in! It doesn’t have to be expensive either; there’s nothing worse than buying pricey pots of playdough only for the colours to get mixed up and have it dry out within days. Instead, you can easily and cheaply make your own, so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t last too long. I show you how to do it here…
Kids love puddles – fact. Mums, probably not so much. But, if they’re wearing the right clothes, puddle jumping is amazing fun and so worth the wet, muddiness to see the joy on their little faces. Just make sure you’re prepared with either waterproofs, or clothes you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, plus a good pair of wellies and a towel, go find some puddles (muddy ones are even more fun!) and get stuck in!
Puddle jumping: the ultimate rainy day activity!
Build a den
Did you build dens when you were a kid? We loved going to the woods and using anything we could find to make a hideout. But, if the weather isn’t the best, there’s always an indoor den, and they’re so easy to make! All you need are a couple of chairs and some large sheets or blankets, and maybe some cushions and fairy lights to pretty it up.
Even if you don’t have a lot of room, you could suspend some sheets over the sofa using a broom and a mop handle, like we have here! Or, perhaps you have a pop-up tent you could use? We put ours in the living room and pretend we’re camping – we use torches, read stories and drink hot chocolate! It’s a perfect rainy day activity – hide away from the weather and pretend you’re somewhere else!
Use your imaginations; a den could be a cave, a treehouse, a secret place – anything you want it to be!
Shaving foam play
Playing with shaving foam (or you could use squirty cream if you’re worried about it being eaten!) is such a simple, yet satisfying activity! Put plenty of foam on a large tray, or a tuff spot (affiliate link) if you have one. Wearing old clothes, (or even none), let your child explore the sensory feeling of the foam, making marks in it with their hands or different implements such as brushes or sticks. Add glitter and drops of food colouring to it and watch what happens – see if you can make a rainbow!
Draw around yourself
This is a lovely activity to help little ones learn about parts of the body. You’ll need a piece of paper large enough to lie a child on (you could use spare wallpaper or backing paper, or even spare wrapping paper) and a pen. Lie your child on the paper and draw around their body. Then it’s time to decorate!
You could use pens and crayons to draw on features and clothes, or you could use actual clothes – lie them on top of the body shape. Gather a pile of clothes for all seasons and see if your child can choose suitable clothes for the weather. For example, warm, woolly clothes for snow, or a swimming costume and sun hat for a sunny day at the beach.
I bet you’ve played Kim’s Game before, but you never knew it was called that? (It’s named after the character in the Kipling book.) You know the one – where you have a tray of random objects, and one person has thirty seconds to memorize them. Then the tray is covered, one item removed, and the person has to guess what’s missing. You can gradually increase the number of objects on the tray, and increase the number removed. Alternatively, for older children, keep the tray covered, and get them to list as many items on the tray as they can remember. A fun game for developing observation and memory skills.
Baking is such a lovely activity to do on a dreary day. There’s just something about the aroma of sweet treats cooking that feels so warm and cosy! I’m not very good at cakes, but these delicious cookies are so simple, and the kids love making a batch every so often (Small mainly so she can eat the remains of the cookie dough…).
If you still have loads of boxes, cards, and paper hanging around after Christmas, then what better way to put them to good use than a junk modelling session? Gather together some materials: boxes, tubes, yoghurt pots, butter tubs, materials, and glue, and let them loose! See who can create the tallest construction, or make buildings for other toys, such as a garage for the toy cars, or a bridge for the train set.
Do you have any favourite rainy day activities for kids?
If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try our edible slime recipe!