With the kids off for midterm soon and the weather forecast looking more bleak than ever, we can sometimes find ourselves at a loss as to what to do with them for the whole week off. We want them to have fun and enjoy this time off together, but when the outdoors becomes off limits, our pool of options is suddenly much smaller.
We want to keep them off screens as much as we can and get them to engage their creative sides, so we’ve put together some fun stuff you can do and see on those rainy midterm days when you’re all at a loose end. Save these ideas for when you’re stuck!
This one is great because it works for all ages. Whether you're finger painting or a Monet-wannabe, this one will keep everyone entertained for hours. Even more fun if you're all trying to paint the same thing and get to see how everyone interprets its differently! My favourite is self-portraits or portraits of whoever is opposite you.
Visit a museum
We all have significantly more options this midterm than we did for the February one. We have more freedom of movement, there are lots of places open now that weren’t and we all feel safe getting out and about again. Somewhere like Dublin’s natural history museum or Dublinia that’s kid-friendly and interesting is always a great option to keep their attention and maybe help them learn something along the way!
Go all out for an evening! Choose somewhere to 'travel’ to, say Greece, and make some food from that country like gyros, deck out the sitting room in the flag and any other decorations, play traditional music and have everyone pick a topic from that country - history, holidays, food - and have them give a little presentation! It's a fun, different and informative way to pass an evening.
Go to the library
It’s always a good time to sign your kids up to the local library, but there’s something about having a great stack of books to make your way through on a rainy day! Get them their own card and give them the freedom to wander the kids section, practicing their independence by selecting their own stories!
Make your house - out of lego!
Why just stop at your house? Let them make the tallest building in the world, the smallest city or craziest robot. The great thing about Lego is that it truly is only as limited as the user's imagination.
A bucket, a chair, a skipping rope - whatever you can get your hands on! Let the get creative with it. A great way to get some exercise, set them up with some things and let them off. Incorporate a sports day element to it, adding a three-legged race, a sprint after spinning five times, whatever they want!
Go to the swimming pool
An active activity that can still be done indoors, booking into your local pool is a great way to burn off some of that excess rainy day energy.
Play a board game
It's always fun to learn something new, and you never know- someone might uncover a hidden talent for scrabble! It's a great way to all sit down together and bond in a way that's not over dinner. it can encourage creativity, and once they know the rules, they can try it themselves with siblings or friends.
Make a new recipe together
A great one for slightly older kids, learning how to cook is a wonderful life skill and the sooner they start, the better they’ll be when the time comes to actually cook for themselves. Starting simple, like scrambled eggs for the very young ones or omelettes for slightly older kids is a great way to pique their interest and see who might have a talent for it.
There's loads of dance videos and kids Zumba classes online these days, so there's plenty out there to get them bopping. Or even just let them browse your Spotify to see what they like and make up their own routine! Teach it to cousins on Zoom, or teach it to Mum and Dad.
Have a cinema night
Yes, we know, it’s screens, but a more sociable version. Do a movie marathon of you and your partner’s favourite childhood films to introduce them to something new and you’ll all have something new to bond over!
Build a clubhouse
Or a den, or a blanket fort or whatever they want to call it! As long as it's their space, they won't care. Let them stash a few snacks, steal a few sheets, maybe even help string up a few fairy lights. Yes, it's messy, but it's a little fun and novelty and the perfect rainy day activity.
Put on a play
One of my favourite childhood memories is putting on silly little plays with my cousins whenever we visited. The eldest child was always 'the director', and often they were just garbled silly versions of our favourite fairytales. Have them base it on a book or a TV show - it doesn't particularly matter; the fun is in the dressing up and learning lines and making up a story. Play is so important for children and this is a great way to spark their imagination.
Again, a little messy but great just to see the looks of wonder on their faces. A great way to pass an afternoon and learn a little, we compiled a few experiments to try out here.
Either you make one for them or let thm make one for the parents! Either way it's gas watching each other trying to figure out clues. Make it themed or do easy hints like 'Where you fall asleep at night', 'Where you wash your hands' 'Where your toys go to sleep at night' etc are simple and familiar. Have them all be on the same team so that the prize can be split afterwards.
A timeless classic, if you need a little quiet time, a jigsaw is always a good shout. Set them up at the kitchen table with a puzzle or two and tell them you want to see their progress when you get back.
Fun and yummy too! Aside from being a fun activity, it's a great way to introduce them to cooking and maybe even sparking a lifelong passion. Starting out with something simple like fairy cakes is a good shout, as you can get creative with icing, food colouring and toppings afterwards if you feel like getting a little creative.
Write a letter
Writing to a friend, a beloved auntie or uncle or lonely grandparents not only sneakily gets them to practice their letters and writing, but also can give a real boost to the letter's recipient. Adding stickers, drawings and notes are fun way to get creative with it.
'Review' a book
Either by writing or drawing, have them tell the plot of the latest story they read. Why did they like it? Why did they not like it? Would they want to be the main character? Who was their favourite in the book?