So it rains, and it rains and it rains! Not just dripping either, but full on, heavy rain! Cabin fever is quickly approaching and everyone is itching to do something.

Rainy days can be very frustrating, especially if they come during the holidays or at the weekend, but really they need not have such a bad reputation! There are lots of fun things to do when it rains – even outdoors for the slightly nutty and brave!

My children asked me the other day – when it rains is it because God is watering his plants or having a wee or is it a cloud crying? Had to smile…. They also think clouds are made in factories after seeing a huge chimney spitting out smoke….don’t I wish that was true!

The truth about rain is that warm air turns the water from rivers, lakes, and oceans into water vapor that rises into the air forming clouds – clouds are not made in factories but essentially formed by millions of tiny drops of water clinging to one another! As these rise higher and higher, the air gets colder and colder. When the water vapor in the cloud becomes too heavy, it falls back to the ground as rain (or snow if it is really cold!). Eventually the sun comes out and makes the rain evapourate into the air again, only to come back again on a cold day as rain! Cycle complete.

Apart from what rain is, think of its benefits! When you are next staring out at the rain, your children bouncing off the walls, imagine a world with no rain! No showers, no swimming, no drinking and no eating! No grass to lie on, no veggies to grow… Appreciate it for what it is and if you can’t beat it, join it!

When I was little, rainy days were special and there was no such thing as bad weather; simply inappropriate clothing!. I do not really remember what we did but I remember the feeling they gave me. Warm, cosy and together. That memory is part of who I am today and it is a feeling I am keen to pass on.

Children don’t require much. If you think about it, all they really want is your full attention. Anything you then do, as long as you are with them, will be wonderful. It is about being present in the moments you spend together. So, if it is raining try to devote an afternoon to them, or a morning. If this feels hard, how about two hours? Start off small and you will probably find yourself wanting more as you let the moment take you over!

Wonderful activities you can do on rainy days include:

  • get your wellies and gear on and go hunt for big puddles! Nothing better than splashing! If you have a lovely park nearby you can end the rainy walk with a lovely cup of something warm
  • place a bowl or cup in the garden and see how much it rains – if you have a proper rain catcher even better!
  • make hot chocolate and draw popcorn onto string to make lovely necklaces
  • make cards together from paper cuttings – thank you cards, invitations…
  • puzzling! get out all the puzzles you have at home and lay them out on the floor.
  • write a letter to someone – maybe Santa? Maybe Granny or Grandad?
  • make a home video – let your children take over the video camera or Iphone if you have these) and make a video. When it is completed, sit down and watch it together and have a real good laugh!
  • make a puppet show! With a big cardboard box (if you do not have you can get these in most supermarkets if you ask) create the stage. The puppets can be made using paper, glue and wooden sticks. The story is all about creativity. Let the children write it up and act it out!
  • snuggle up on your sofa, get under the blankets and watch a great film. Disney for the youngest, Batman or Cowboy and Indians for the slightly older maybe? Sound of Music?
  • clear out the children’s toys! It can be fun and lots of memories will be stirred up. You will probably all start playing with forgotten bits and at the end of the session you can sell the items you no longer need on Ebay, at car boot sales or give to charity or friends.
  • make a den! Blankets and pillows and chairs! Get out books and torches and read a story in it.
  • wax drippings! Take a glass, fill half way with water and place a string into the glass before you begin dripping to  create an ornament that can be hung in the window. Add glitter and buttons into the water if you like. Drip different colored candles into a glass of water, creating an attractive, dribbly piece of wax. Once cold, turn out over the sink and hang in your home or in the children’s rooms.
  • make cookies or cakes and decorate them – and eat them!
  • play cards and games – there are so many of these and for every age group.
  • make play dough or air dry clay and spend hours of fun modelling
  • have a drawing competition – give the children something to draw. Maybe paint if you are brave. The results could make lovely gifts if done on canvas or framed.
  • read a story and let children act out the characters. Dressing up of course! Pick a story the children are familiar with and give them each a character. Read it through once and give them ideas as to how they can act out the different scenes. Once ready, dress them up and start reading – you will laugh lots! This is a great one to do when friends are over too.

Instead of letting yourself get bored, instead of giving in to the rain, embrace it. There is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong attitude or the wrong clothing! So gear up, prepare your mind and use it as a lovely excuse to spend time with those you love.

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