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MAIN Arrow to EducationEducation Arrow to Summer VacationSummer Fun Guide

Summer Vacation Boredom Busters
Rainy Day Activities for Kids

There is nothing worse than a rainy day in the middle of the school holidays, when children are cooped up inside, you have nothing planned, and the inevitable cries of "I'm bored" are not far away! Keep this list of these and other rainy day activities ready for just such a day. Older children may enjoy choosing from the list themselves.

hand puppets1. Rummage through the toy chest:
It's surprising how much fun this can be! Get everyone together and aim to clear one shelf or drawer. You will probably find that old treasures are rediscovered, odd pieces can be thrown away, and some things will be ready to be passed down or sold. If you are not sure whether to get rid of some of the toys, try packing them away in a box and hiding them in a dark corner of the cupboard for a few months. When they come out again they will either cause a sensation, or not - which will make it easy to decide on their fate!

2. Record the sounds around you:
Make a project out of recording everyday sounds. Try water running in the bath, someone ringing the bell and opening the door, or flushing the toilet! It certainly makes you think about things a little differently than usual. Suggest that some friends or neighbors do the same thing and then get together to see if you can identify each other's sounds!

3. Create an audio story:
Grab that audio recorder, find a story you enjoy, and make your own story! Each child can read for a while, or can take on the part of a particular character. Make the appropriate noises too! You will probably have to practice a few times to get the hang of it, and be prepared for lots and lots of giggles! Tip: a homemade audio makes a great present for a child who has to go to hospital or is bedridden for a time.

jigsaw puzzle pieces4. Have a jigsaw afternoon:
Get out all your jigsaws and invite some friends around with theirs too! Clear plenty of space and have a marathon jigsaw session. Some libraries have jigsaws you can borrow too, and you can often find jigsaws for sale very cheaply at thrift stores and garage sales. Tip: if you buy your jigsaws second-hand and the box has seen better days, cut out the picture and store it in a re-sealable bag with all the pieces.

5. Have a mammoth junk modelling session with friends:
Invite a few families around and ask them to bring their craft-cupboard junk with them -- boxes, containers, and other bits and pieces. You provide glue, sticky-tape, scissors, and encouragement. You could make houses, or creatures, or boats, or modern art — or you could all combine together to make one giant model!

6. Make a card house:
If you don't know any good card games or haven't anyone to play with, try building a card house! Start by balancing two cards against each other so that they stand up in an inverted V-shape. Take it from there!

7. Make an indoor obstacle course:
Check with an adult that this is OK first! Use easily movable furniture (kitchen chairs, coffee tables) to mark out a course. Create a tunnel to crawl through with a blanket draped over low tables, or space cushions around the room to use as stepping-stones. You will have lots more ideas!

8. Practice balancing:
Balancing is fun! Try walking the length of the room with a book on your head. When you can do that, try balancing two or three — then add a cuddly toy to the very top!

9. Create an indoor den:
A few blankets and tablecloths can create the most wonderful indoor den. Drape blankets between sofas and chairs, over stepladders and clothes-dryers, or tie the ends to cupboard knobs and door handles. Once the den is created find some special snacks, coloring pages and pencils, a flashlight or two, and camp out for a while!

ball of string10. Play with string:
Older children can create some wonderful inventions with a ball of string and their imagination! A toilet roll and a sloping length of string make a great message chute or rocket. Get some action toys involved too: try making them an elevator out of a box or a basket and hoist them up! Adults should supervise constantly if there are younger kids around.

Have fun!

About the Author...
Lindsay Small - Activity Village

also see related feature -> Summer Indoor Game Ideas

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