- Baking – Kids LOVE cooking. Let them measure ingredients, mix things and check on the timer. We like to bake a banana cake, or cookies, or cupcakes. Best of all, let them lick everything before you stick it in suds.
- Board & card games – Mahjong, Twister, Old Maid, Snap, 500, Game of Life, Scrabble. Depending on the age of your kids there are lots to choose from. You can join in or sit them around the dining table and you can join in the fun from kitchen while you keep supplies up.
- Storytelling – One of our favourite storytelling games is to have everyone tell a little bit of the story and then tag the next person, who continues it on. It’s a hilarious enterprise as the end result is never what you might expect.
- Hide & Seek – If you don’t mind cupboards being messed up and beds being destroyed, this is a lot of fun for all concerned. Because we have limited space we like to set a time limit on how long the seeker has to find everyone.
- Bedspread cubby houses – Pull out all your old blankets and sheets and cushions and point at a table. The kids will spend a good hour setting it up and filling it with books and toys, and another hour playing in it. It’s worth the fifteen minutes it will take to pack it all up.
- Make their own puzzles – Give each kid some cardboard and colouring pencils and have them draw a picture and colour it in. Then have them cut it up into smaller pieces (or do it yourself if they’re deemed too young) and pass the whole thing to their sibling for them to reconstruct the puzzle.
- Pull out a box of stored toys – Because kids get so many toys these days they can become bored by choice; that is, they have so many to choose from, the can’t choose any. We pack up their toys into boxes and only bring out a few toys at a time. They’re always excited to see an old favourite again. A rainy day is a perfect time to change toy boxes.
- Relive some old memories – Grab out the old photo albums and go through them with the kids and a cup of tea. There’s always a laugh in those pages (“Look at Dad’s hair!”, “Nice dress, Mum!”). Our kids get a real kick out of watching our wedding video. I think they have doubts those two young, beautiful, well rested people are their parents.
- Run away. Kids going crazy inside the house, pulling out the entire contents of their wardrobes onto the floor and screaming blue murder? Send them to Grandma’s place and go out for a coffee. They were hounding you for years to produce some grandkids so they can share the joy.
- Playing in the rain! – Let’s not forget how much fun it is to stomp in puddles and catch raindrops in a cup. Why not wash the car? They’d get wet any how and the rain just makes it more fun.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’