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So far, this summer has been a bit of a washout. Who knows, blue skies and summer sunshine may be only a short way away. Until we see evidence of this, though, the prospect of facing the schools’ six week summer holiday behind rain-streaked windowpanes is becoming a real threat. Finding indoor activities to keep the kids occupied is one thing, but finding indoor activities that avoid sitting them in front of the television or computer for hours on end is another. If you happen to be stumped for ideas, we’ve put together contingency plan, so that if the heavens do open, you’ve got something up your sleeve to both occupy the children and preserve your sanity.

Dry Play

Young children enjoy wet play in the bath or at the sink, but if you don’t fancy getting as wet inside as it is outside, dry play is a good alternative. Fill a washing up tub or roasting tin with dry beans, rice or pasta and stock with scoops, funnels spoons etc. Keep the hoover close by when it comes to tidying up!


Challenge the children to put on a stage play or talent show. Alternatively dig out some CDs and encourage them to choreograph a routine, then film it with your camera or phone.

Paper Planes

You can string out this activity by encouraging your children to make, name and decorate a fleet of paper planes, before taking them to the top of the stairs (or end of the room/hallway in a flat) and racing them against one another.

Great Big Box

Source a large cardboard box from a supermarket, appliance shop or department store and let the children’s imagination run wild transforming it into a spaceship, wendy house or sports car.

Books, Puzzles, Games

These are old favourites but for good reason. A puzzle can keep your children amused for hours. If the budget is tight, charity shops usually have plenty of puzzles and board games in stock. Visit the library or your local independent book supplier for a wide choice of books. Audio books are also a great option.

Other ideas:

  • Make your own wordsearch, comic or storybook
  • Plan a treasure hunt
  • Build a tepee or tent
  • Transform the sofa into a Pirate ship or Viking longboat
  • Print out colouring sheets from popular websites
  • Make play dough
  • Bake a cake
  • Dress up
  • Face paint
  • Lego
  • Make and write a postcard
  • Make roads for toy cars using masking tape


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