Rainy days at home with the kids can be testing at the best of times, but trying to entertain older kids alongside a new baby is a real challenge. It's really tough when you first bring your newborn baby home, you are tired, emotional and your body needs to rest and heal. Meeting the needs of this new person is exhausting, throw in a couple of older siblings and it's like running a domestic marathon every single day. One of the most fantastic gifts you can offer a new mum with older children is to entertain the bigger ones for a couple of hours, so we here at Babyblooms have put together our top five rainy day activities for older children to help you give mum some much needed help:
1) Den building is always a winner in our house. Dig out some old blankets and duvet covers, grab a couple of dining chairs, a few clothes pegs and a handful of hair bobbles (brilliant for attaching blankets to the top of a chair) and you have a cave, rocket, submarine, café or house, the only limit is the kids imaginations! If they do run out of ideas then you could suggest the den becomes a stage set for a play, they can create the storyline, raid the dressing up for costumes and sell tickets. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the performance.
2) If you are feeling brave you can get the paints out. Cover everything you can with newspaper, put the kids in old clothes and let their creative juices flow. If they need a bit of direction, blow paint aliens are great fun and easy for little ones to manage. Water down some paint, grab a straw and get them to blow the paint over the paper. Add some eyes and you have created some crazy alien beings.
3) Another firm favourite is creating your own fantasy house or world on paper. All you need for this is some large sheets of paper, a glue stick and a copy of something like an old Argos catalogue. Get the kids to cut out all their favourite things from the catalogue and arrange them however they like on the paper, this leads to hours of fun! If they get bored with this you can get them to make their own snap cards by choosing two of various items and sticking them onto some old playing cards. The two items do not need to be identical as you can help your child recognise the comparisons by writing on the bottom of each card (i.e. dog, cat, man, lady), great for little ones who are learning to read.
4) Another great activity is constructing your own marble run. Raid the recycling bin for cereal packets, loo rolls, cardboard boxes and the like, create a sturdy base and then build away, testing with marbles as you go. The beauty of this activity is several children can build at the same time with a shared end result.
5) Finally a great one to end the day with, a tidying competition! Set a timer, select some prizes (in our house it's chocolate buttons!) and set them to work. With prizes for the tidiest room and quickest tidier, hopefully your house will be back to normal in no time.