Whether the rain has washed out your plans or you’ve got kiddos hanging around at home over school holidays, here are 10 tried and tested activities to keep kiddos active and having fun
Rain and Singapore go hand in hand! So you planned a lovely fun filled day out and the rain managed to wash away all your plans (pun intended)? Don’t let the device monsters (think iPads and iPhones) take over the little ones! The rain can be a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to “disconnect to connect”.
Here are some of my go-to, sure-to-please ideas for keeping kiddos engaged whether they’re on school holidays or simply rained out:
- Indoor Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are always a crowd pleaser! Make a set of clues that lead to the next set, numbering them, to keep their curiosity and motivation going. The child to find the treasure first gets to keep it! It can be anything from a small toy, to a movie ticket, to chocolates!
- Homegrown Film Festival
Enlist the kids to make a list of their favourite movies, add in some old classics, pop some corn, pull out some light blankets to snuggle under, and you’re good to go!
- Play DJ
Encourage the kids to make a playlist, in the process introducing them to new genres or to old-school favourites. You could even take it up a notch and ask everyone to dress up in their Sunday best, draw the curtains, turn down the lights and dance, dance, dance!
- Make a time capsule
You know the feeling when you’re clearing up some spaces and something unexpected turns up, bringing with it fond memories? Well, then how about making a time capsule? You could take a sturdy box, a cookie jar or even a Ziploc bag and include artwork, school reports, maybe a note to future self, a small favourite toy, an article from that day’s newspaper, the sports heroes of the day, the most recent grocery bill… really anything, you get the drift! And because we’re in oh-so-humid Singapore, don’t forget to add a couple of small packs of silica gel! Decide upon a date to open it and store it away in a cool, dark space!
- Bring back the lost art of writing letters
The hardest part of being an expat parent is the guilt of living far away from children’s doting grandparents. Keep up the connection by helping the grandkids write letters to their grandparents, telling them about their life here. You can also include artworks, which they can proudly display on their fridges! If a birthday is coming up, maybe make a card. Just imagine how happy the grandmas and grandpas will be!
- Upcycle everyday objects into toys
Upcycling is the new mantra as it’s more energy efficient, creating less waste and reducing your carbon footprint. Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration, like milk cartons into cars, cereal boxes into doll houses, or plastic soda bottles into a rain gauge! Or let the children come up with their own creative ideas.
- Bubble wrap print
Use bubble wrap to create fun and colourful prints on paper. It’s easy to set up and fun for all age groups. Like pictured above, cut out the fruit and vegetables shapes on card paper, put readymade kids’ paint on the bubble wrap, and let them print the cutout shapes onto paper. Let your and the kids imagination run wild and come up with your projects!
- Baking up a batch of cookies
Nothing cheers kids up faster than a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies! Oh, the aroma! Dunk them in milk or eat them right out of the oven.
- Paint clay pots
Always keep a few spare small, reasonably priced clay pots from Ikea on hand. With the help of painter’s tape (another reasonable and easily available item), make patterns and designs and let them paint. And voila! You’ll have yourself some personalised one-of-a-kind claypots! You can even do the same with the plain white file holders available at Ikea—and few scribbles and doodles here and there make them oh-so-adorable!
- Unleash your child’s inner author/poet
If you’d like some downtime (to enjoy the aforementioned chocolate chip cookies with a cuppa, for instance!), encourage kiddos to make a “storyboard” and write a story, or if they are so inclined, a poem even. Afterwards, consider publishing in the school yearbook or send it back home to share with loved ones.