PARENTS

Rainy Day? How To Entertain The Kids At Home (No iPad Required)

27/11/2015 10:09 GMT | Updated 09/02/2016 15:59 GMT

The prospect of spending a rainy day cooped up indoors with the kids can be enough to have even the most resourceful parent reaching for the tablet or TV remote.

indoor camping children

But whether you’re dealing with tempestuous toddlers, restless pre-schoolers or bored teens, there are plenty of indoor activities you can do to keep cabin fever at bay – without reneging on those screen-time rules.

"The key is to try not to let your default activity become screen time,” says Liat Hughes Joshi, author of 'How To Unplug Your Child' and 'New Old Fashioned Parenting'.

“Of course there's nothing wrong with children using gadgets and watching some TV - indeed some screen activities are positive and educational - but it's about getting the balance right.”

When it comes to rainy days, a little advanced preparation goes a long way, according to Hughes Joshi, who suggests having age-appropriate survival kits ready in waiting.

“For younger children, I recommend a treasure basket of interesting things to rummage around in that you keep for rainy days – or for slightly older ones, a special craft kit.”

One of the biggest challenges for parents when it comes to home-based activities, is finding a way for your kids to expend all that pent-up energy in a limited space. But Hughes Joshi points out that children can still get active - even in the smallest of spaces.

“For sporty types suffering from cabin fever - who might otherwise head to the games console - there are plenty of indoor games you can play with a soft ball in the hallway. Or how about paper aeroplane races or den building? It does require a little more imagination but your children will appreciate it and you're less likely to hear 'I'm bored' quite as many times.”

When you're home all day, it's easy to feel that you're in sole charge of the day's entertainment but don't forget that it's important for children to learn to make their own fun.

"Do try and ensure that they are used to entertaining themselves rather than expecting you to provide activities at all times," says Hughes Joshi. "You could introduce a reward-based scheme if your children are not yet good at this - perhaps you play alone for an hour with the LEGO and then we will play a board game for thirty minutes...'

Below is our pick of the best indoor activity ideas that will have your children praying for rain...

Indoor Activities For Kids