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Rainy day activities for British summer time

British summer time is in full swing, and that means… thinking up ways to have fun with the family without relying on the weather!

Rainy days can make the summer holidays seem never ending, but don’t despair. There are more ways than you think to keep everyone occupied even when you are cooped up. Here are a few simple rainy day activities that are either low-cost or no-cost.

Board Game Tournament

Go classic with a family board game tournament. You could alternate between simpler games that are appropriate for younger children but may become rowdy, and games that will challenge older children, or divide into teams so older children or parents can help the little ones.

Treasure Hunt

This one requires a bit of preparation, but can keep kids occupied for hours! Make up a series of clues leading to small prizes (again, you might want to scale a couple of versions so that younger children can join in while keeping the older ones engaged). The prizes don’t have to be anything expensive – they could even be rewards like an extra half hour of TV or getting to chose what’s for dinner.

You could also go with a low-effort scavenger hunt, challenging the kids to find three red socks or a book with a picture of a cat. If you really play your cards right, you might even get them to unwittingly tidy up or find something that’s been lost for eons!


There can be a hefty clean-up price tag to this one, but it will be worth it for the hours of contentment! A Victoria Sponge is within the grasp of most school-age children, and you can divide activities according to age ability, so one child sifts the dry ingredients while older children can measure or cream the eggs and butter. Flapjacks are another easy alternative – though anything involving syrup may prove to be stickier than is worth it – or you could keep things simple with rice krispie or cornflake treats.

Once Upon a Time…

Storytelling games are a great way to fill up some hours while sparking kids’ imagination. You could try the And then… game, where the story is a passed around a circle, or simply have kids call out suggestions for what happens next. You might want to base a story on a family memory – it’s always interesting discovering what they remember about a holiday or day out! – or go wild with monsters and fairies and aliens.

You could then work together to create a book as a keepsake. An older child (or adult) could be tasked with writing up the story, while all the children illustrate. Some tips on simple book binding can be found here.