It’s the weekend. Your kids are up and barely three minutes into their first Peppa Pig/Kinder Egg unboxing Youtube video of the day the questions have started
“What are we doing today? Where are we going today? Are we doing fun things today? EXPLAIN YOUR PLANS FOR US. ENTERTAIN US, MOTHER.”
The only thing is that it’s pissing down, you’re skint and you would probably rather give yourself a bikini wax with Smart Price duct tape than endure the soft play (shudder).
So, if you’re like me, you figure you’ll be super proactive and smart and an all-around FANTASTIC mother and head to Pinterest to look for some fun DIY projects/crafts/science experiments that you’ll all enjoy and laugh and bond over, and life will just be wonderful.
What annoys me most about a lot of these Pinterest `”Rainy Day Activities” is that you can only do them if your house is the equivalent of a fucking B&Q/Wilko megastore.
‘For this fun activity for the little ones, you’ll need the following everyday household items –
5 sheets of MDF
A circular saw
Your Level 1 Joinery Qualification
The blood of thine enemies
Fortunately, over the years I’ve managed to find some that are cheap, easy to do, and have kept the boys entertained and happy on shitty weather days. Here are a list of my favourites!
Seriously. Who doesn’t love forts? If you have sheets, and you have pegs…you have a fort. If you have sheets and some chairs…you have a fort. I’ve seen me bust out a fort before the boys even wake up for the sole purpose of being able to drink an entire cup of coffee and scroll mindlessly through Instagram for a blissful half hour. Bonus points for keeping the fort up after they go to bed so you can drink wine in it. GLAMPING.
2. Shower painting.
I know, but bear with me here. This might sound like an unholy mess and an altogether regrettable decision, but it is 100% my favourite way of letting the boys paint. If you have the same set-up as we do which is the shower in the bath as opposed to a separate shower then you are sorted.
You’ll need paint (clearly), a roll of old wrapping paper/wallpaper/any giant roll of paper, and masking tape. Cover the walls surrounding the bath with the paper and tape it. Put pots of paint inside the bath. Throw your kids into said bath and proceed to watch them lose their shit as they cover the walls and themselves in paint in a furious, ecstatic manner. They’re making a mess, they’re fucking shit up, they’re LIVING THE DREAM. The magic is that when they’re finished painting, they’re already in the shower. They are CONTAINED. So, rip the paper off the walls, switch the shower on and hose down. Minimal cleaning, no paint all over your floors and walls as you try to drag them up for a shower…happy days.
3. Puffy paint
I saw the recipe for this on Pinterest and was sure it was going to be a disappointment, but it worked really well and the boys loved it! You only need self-raising flour, salt, water and a bit of food colouring (I used this tutorial from happyhooligans)
The boys painted their pictures, we shoved them in the microwave and, well, as the name suggests, they puff up. For some reason this was pure comedy GOLD for Ben “putting your pictures in the microwave HAHAHA” and any time we do this it keeps them entertained enough to not try to kill each other for ten minutes.
4. STAIR SLIDE
Ok, arguably the least simple out of the list because you do need a HUGE bit of cardboard. However, if you have one you are about to revert back to the child you once were and lose your shit because THERE’S A SLIDE IN YOUR HOUSE NOW. There isn’t really a need for a tutorial here; flatten out the cardboard and use heavy duct tape to tape it to the sides of the stairs. Put pillows at the bottom to land on if you’re just not really in the mood for a trip to A&E later. Then SLIDE. Bonus points if one of your children reacts like he’s being sent to his death.
So, these are some of my favourite ways to make the most of a shitty, rainy day. If all else fails, put another Youtube video on of some creepy-sounding man opening Kinder Eggs, dump all the toys out on the floor and go drink your tea in the hall.