Friday, 1 August 2014

Ten Frugal Ideas for Rainy Day Fun

We've been really lucky so far weather wise for the first couple of weeks of the school holidays, the sun has shone brightly and we've been able to have day's out, trips to the park, picnics in the countryside and lots of fun in the (grandparent's) garden...

There's barely been time to stop and rest never mind utter the word's 'I'm bored'. However as soon as the weather takes a turn for the worse and the rain starts pouring, it's can get harder to find fun activities to keep the children entertained especially if you are on a tight budget.

One thing I find particularly difficult to find are activities that will keep both my three year old and six year old entertained. So thought I would share with you some ideas for rainy day fun on a budget...

Disclaimer: I've included a few affiliate links to help you find some cheap bits to help with these activities.


Baking is great fun for children of any age. You can incorporate messy play, learning about weighing and measuring, taking turns and let their imaginations run wild with decorating. There's even a yummy treat to keep them entertained while you are cleaning up the mess! Even if you aren't keen on baking yourself you don't have to be Mary Berry to have fun with your kids in the kitchen. I use a really basic fairy cake recipe: 100g of unsalted butter, 100g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 100g of self raising flour and a dash of vanilla essence, mix it all together, divide it between 12 cake cases and pop in the over for 15 mins on gas mark 4 / 180C. Once they've cooled down let the children loose with some icing!

Crafty Fun

We have a craft box that I keep topped up with cheap art supplies when even I see them reduced in the supermarket and I also pop in any suitable packaging that we get such as ribbons, bubble wrap or tissue paper, a fun way of recycling it! Here's a Disney Frozen themed picture my three year old made using bits and bobs from our craft box this morning, can you tell who it is?

Going on a Welly Walk

Just because it's raining doesn't mean you can't venture outside! A the saying goes there's no such thing as bad weather just unsuitable clothing! Wrap up in waterproof and wellies and go on a Welly Walk around your local area! Find the best puddles and have a contest to see who can make the biggest splash!

Have a puppet Show

If your house is anything like mine you will have an abundance of odd socks around (Where do they go?!) Why not turn a few into some simple sock puppets and put on your own puppet show? We usually have some googly eyes in our craft box (you can buy a pack of 100 for less than £1) just add a couple to an odd sock and there you have a simple sock puppet ready to star in your puppet show! Why not treat Daddy to a show when he gets home from work?

Make your own Board Game

This is some thing that older child could do on their own and younger ones will enjoy with some help. Get a large piece of card or paper and using a ruler and pencil split it into squares. Then comes the fun bit! Think 'snakes and ladders' but encourage children to use their imagination! Maybe draw a princess with long hair you could climb up if you land at the end of it, or a dinosaur whose tail your would slide down! Once you've finished drawing, it's time to play! Either use coins as counters or cut some circles out of coloured card. Who will win?

Make a story Den

Making indoor dens was a favourite rainy day activity of my childhood, all you need is a couple of sheets or blankets and some chairs to drape them over and you have an exciting indoor den ready for adventures to start! We use the bookcase as one side of the den so that we have a special story den! Great for some quiet time when they start to get a little giddy too!

Have a Duck Race

You don't need a river to have a duck race! Why not get some cheap rubber ducks and fill a washing up bowl or even a baby bath with water (add a drop of blue food colouring if you want) then have some splashy fun? See who can make their duck win the race without actually touching it! They could splash the water behind it, blow really hard or just shout 'You can do it Ducky!' (You will probably want to do this one on the bathroom or kitchen floor so it's easier to clean up!

Make your own Pizza

Kids in the kitchen doesn't have to mean baking. Why not save yourself a job and get them to make lunch? My two love getting busy in the kitchen and pizza is one of their favourite things to make, it can be really cheap too! Check out this easy veggie Pizza that we made recently.

Choreograph a Dance Routine

We're always being told to keep our children active and one thing that never fails for mine in this area is dance. I fear they may have inherited my lack of co-ordination, but they make up for that with lots of enthusiasm! Getting children to make up their own mini dance routine and then perform it for you is a great way of encouraging team work and older children to teach simple moves to younger ones. Teach them some simple moves and watch how they put them together! You could even video it on your phone and make a dance video, could your family be the nest youtube hit?!

Make your own Jewellery

It would be hard not to mention Loom Bands in a post about budget rainy day fun ideas, but I did leave it to the end! Loom Bands are the latest craze for school aged children and they are really cheap to buy, You can buy a pack of about 600 multicoloured bands, a hook and some s clips in most pound shops or get full kit including the loom for around £10. The best way to get started is to check out some youtube tutorials and start experimenting!

I'd love to hear your rainy day activity ideas too...

Check out other fun play ideas on the #playtime linky:

Mummy of Two

All images in this post are my own please ask before using them, thanks.


  1. You can't beat a welly walk! We love making pizzas too, and the kids are obsessed with loom bands. Love the duck race idea.

  2. Oh they're all fab ideas. I wish I'd read this earlier I was so fed up before with the rain which seems daft after the run of sun we've had. I think thesun has made the rain worse though. I will print this off. Thank you :)

  3. Great ideas. I especially like the idea of a duck race!

  4. lots of ideas there, agree baking great way to pass the time. My kids cooked me a 2 course lunch today too!

  5. Brilliant ideas, we always get our wellies on when it's wet & get outside, I think my little girl enjoys the rain more than the sun !

  6. Some fab ideas! We often resort to baking or crafts when it is raining but I love the idea of making your own game! Thanks for linking up to #Playtime

  7. I love making pizza with the kids - I'm planning it tomorrow I think. The story den is a lovely idea too, dens are ace :)

  8. wonderful ideas - love the kids dancing

  9. what a fab round up! i will add this to my carnival post (live on 12th ) x


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