10 rainy-day activities to inspire creativity

Children have an unlimited amount of energy – be it at 7 am or 7 pm – and it’s important parents channel this energy in the correct way. Kids need to be able to expel this energy both physically (through outside play) and mentally (through education and creative activities). It’s all well during school days, but what about on the weekends, and during school holidays, or when the weather is too cold or wet? And as we all experienced the past year, during extended lockdowns? 

If there is no stimulation or other creative outlet, kids will eventually resort to screen-time (and there’s nothing wrong with that – everyone needs some down-time and chill-time), but there still has to be some limits. So, as a parent of a single child (as much as siblings fight with one another, they are also great company for one another) who has spent the better part of the past year ‘stuck at home’ in lockdown after lockdown, I had to put my thinking cap on and roll out the creativity carpet. Here’s my list of 10 lockdown (or rainy-day) activities to inspire creativity…

1. Pretend-play

Nothing sparks the imagination of a child more than pretend-play. And while you might look at dressing-up as a superhero or hosting a pretend tea-party as nonsensical play, your child is actually learning through play! By pretending to be that character or be in that situation, he or she is imitating, enacting and imagining.

If getting your child to study is a task, then why not do pretend-play school? Take turns in being the teacher and the student, and your little one will be so caught up in the game that he or she won’t even realise there is actual learning taking place as well!

2. Build stuff

Irrespective of whether your child has dreams of becoming an architect or designer, building and making things is a great creative tool and also an essential life-skill (think making IKEA flatpack furniture!). Of course Lego is awesome for creating just about anything but there are loads of other ways your child can ideate and build, such as with kinetic sand.

Crafting – which doesn’t need to just be about paper. How about getting creative with your recyclable trash such as cardboard packaging and old milk bottles?

Or build various obstacle courses or pillow forts and houses… the choices are endless.

3. Get going with graffiti 

We tend to associate graffiti just with street art and music record labels, but there is so much you can do with this fun art/ writing form even at home! Download these online graffiti fonts to get you inspired and give you some ideas, and then get creating! If your child has a birthday coming up, perhaps they could design their own party invites. Or make a funky poster for their room. Or just have fun with graffiti art!

4. Unusual art

If your child is bored of drawing and painting on paper, mix things up a bit. Try different objects to paint on and paint with, for example, leaves, stones, glass (stained-glass painting) or try block printing, fruit-painting or finger-painting.

5. Creative reading activities

Reading opens up your mind and imagination to so many new ideas, places and possibilities. However, with the temptation of so many screens, video games and the Internet, it’s easy for today’s generation to pick a screen over a book. Unless, you get creative and make reading fun.

Plan some fun reading-based activities to get your child interested in books – set fun reading challenges; let them make a list of exciting places to read; or make a fun outing of a trip to the library.

6. Story-telling

If you’ve ever read a child’s descriptive story for school work, or heard them tell you their version of an event, you would know that a child’s imagination has no bounds. Make a game of story-telling’ – give them a character and a situation and let them do the rest! Maybe they could even write down their story and make it into a little book.

7. Experiments in the kitchen

Cooking with your kids has plenty of benefits. Besides being a lot of fun, it teaches them an essential life skill and also teaches them basic maths when measuring and mixing. Find an exciting, new recipe and experiment, especially with baking which all children enjoy.

8. Have fun with a camera!

If your child is a bit older, give them an old camera (or even your phone camera) and let them click pictures and edit them with special effects. This will help them visualise objects in a different manner and accentuate their creative streak. 

9. Make your own movie

With so many movie making and editing apps easily available on our phones, it’s possible for kids to even make a short movie. Let them decide the theme/ subject and see what they create.

10. Science experiments

If nothing else, then good old science experiments are a great indoor activity for kids of all ages – not only are they a lot of fun but there’s also an element of learning involved. 

So the next time it’s pouring down with rain, or you find yourself indoors with a bored child, make sure to come back to this post and get creative!!

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