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Rainy day play ideas

Here are some wallet-friendly activities that will keep your little ones entertained on wet days

1. Get indoor active

Preschoolers have a lot of energy and they still need to burn it off when it’s chucking it down outside. Most kids love dancing, so try dancing games, for example copying your moves or performing actions to classic nursery rhymes.

Enjoy a day at your local indoor swimming pool – try phoning ahead to see if they have set times where they put inflatables out for extra fun. Or you can go to an indoor soft play area. With climbing frames and ball pits, it’s the perfect environment for using up excess energy – and they’ll sleep well!

2. Make a rainy day box

For the days where the weather is being typically British, make an emergency rainy day box that’s bursting with good, old-fashioned activities. The options of what to pop in your box are endless – from board games, puzzles and colouring books to old magazines for papier-mâché or collages. Make sure you top it up occasionally with new activities.

3. Create a sand and water tray

Another great alternative would be to make a sand and water tray – put it on newspapers or plastic sheeting to stop the floor getting messy. Your little one will love scooping up different materials with their hands or with plastic containers, while learning some basic science. Why not try and hide objects inside the sand tray to encourage their thinking skills too?

4. Get musical

Have a go at making your own kitchen orchestra – bang wooden spoons on saucepans, fill plastic bottles with rice or use a spoon to tap jam jars half-filled with water as a homemade xylophone.

5. Build a den

Create a magical indoor den by draping sheets over a couple of chairs, and hiding inside with torches. “It creates a little world that’s great for telling stories or making shadow puppets,” says child development and play expert Amanda Gummer, founder of Fundamentally Children.

6. Time for a picnic

Embracing the wet weather and making a good cuppa are what Brits do best, so why not combine the two to make a yummy indoor picnic? Place a blanket on the floor and you invite their favourite teddies and toys to join in. Get your child involved in preparing the picnic, washing the fruit and veg, and laying out the picnic rug and crockery. And you might find that you won’t have to be a guest at the picnic for long. “Kids can enjoy playing make-believe for hours so don’t feel pressure to constantly entertain your child,” says Amanda.

7. Go back to basics

Sometimes the old games are the best. From treasure hunts complete with clues to playing Simon says and Hide and seek, they’re a great way to keep your child busy – and also learn important developmental skills – on the dampest of days. And when the rain stops, you’ll be back outside. Best of luck!

Liked this feature? Find out more about helping to develop your preschool child’s imagination

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