The rain is coming down, and the rugrats are getting restless… so what’s a mama to do to keep everyone entertained? Turn to our fab list of fun, (mostly) indoor activities for kids, that’s what! Brimming with creative ideas perfect for wet afternoons, our guide to what to do with kids when it’s wet in Hong Kong will restore your sanity and keep your munchkins busy when the rain comes down! Bring it on, mama!
By the way… don’t forget to check out our Rainy Day Survival Guide Part 1 — it’s dedicated to all the most fun indoor activities in Hong Kong!
1. Get into the spirit of the season by getting the kids to make their own seasonal snowflake! This easy-to-make papercut from SweetP is the perfect template.
2. Spend a wet afternoon playing old school board games like Monopoly (the Hong Kong version is particularly fun!), Boggle or Scrabble. Twister is also a ton of fun if you’ve got quite a few kids to entertain – they’ll spend hours bending themselves into knots!
3. Try your luck at finding a taxi (because you never know if you’ll be lucky enough to get one!) and head to any of our favourite indoor playcentres… it’s a sure fire way for little monsters to burn that excess energy! Psst! Here’s a brand new suggestion for Eastside mamas to investigate!
4. Pull out the puzzles and get your inquisitive little bunnies to put them back together. Not only do they keep the wee ones quiet, they’re fantastic for fine motor skill development, hand eye coordination and problem solving. Too easy, mama!
5. It might be stating the obvious, mama, but kids love play dough. All that squishing, rolling and shaping… it’s easy to set up, it’s fun and it’s a wee bit educational too. Don’t have any play dough in the cupboard? Sassy Mama’s eco-expert Militza has a super easy recipe you can use to make your own!
6. Let the children get super messy with a bit of finger painting! Best to put the splash mats down first, because this hands-on activity always ends up with little hands and faces covered in paint! See here for a completely edible, simple to prepare paint recipe.
7. Who doesn’t love a bit of an educational adventure? Hong Kong is well served for family-friendly museums, so pack the kiddos up and head to your nearest museum for an afternoon of creative learning!
8. Pull on the gumboots and let them stomp in the rain. We don’t know many kids that don’t adore jumping in puddles and singing in the rain, and it’s a super fun (and free!) way to let kids be kids! (Just make sure there’s no lightning first!)
9. How about a spot of afternoon tea at Café Deco Bar and Grill with your wee ones? With a wide selection of bite-sized sweets and a soothing cup of tea for mama – plus a full-sized play area for the little ones – it’s an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon, and if the cloud lifts you can admire that view! You can read our full review here.
10. If you’re lucky enough to have a library nearby, brave the rain, grab the umbrella and wander down to your local for an afternoon of book reading. We can’t think of anything better than a quiet corner, a pile of books and contented kids (and maybe a sneaky coffee too!). Sound a little quiet for your brood? Then head to Causeway Bay’s toy library!
11. Make your own picture book where your child is the star! Pull out the felt tips, let the kids draw their own pictures (you add the words!) and bound the whole thing together with tape. It’s a wonderful keepsake and a great way to keep them busy for a few hours.
12. Pull out the old sheets, grab the pillows from the bed and let your wee ones make their own cubby house den in the lounge! Make an afternoon snack for them as well and it’ll be just like camping (without the stress of setting up a tent!).
13. There’s nothing quite like a wet stay-at-home day to encourage a little baking. Pull out the muffin tray and get your junior chefs to help make some baked goodies… cookies, slices, and muffins all work well. If you’re hankering for a kid-friendly recipe, check out our columnist, Annabel Karmel’s easy apple and carrot muffins. Delish!
14. Old clothes and a pair of high heels (assuming you’re happy to part with them, mama!) make for easy dress ups for imaginative little ones. If your kids love playing dress ups regularly enough it might be worth investing in some fun costumes and other accessories from Toys R Us or any good party store.
15. Stick them in the bath! There’s nothing like a dash of water and a few toys to soothe cranky kids. A pile of bath toys and a squirt of bubble bath is always fun, and so too is bath paint — get your recipe here!
16. Encourage a bit of creative, open-ended play with a Play Box. Simple to put together, fill any old box with colourful household objects – think pipe cleaners, ribbons, and any other natural objects you can get your hands on – and give it to your minis so they can “explore” their new treasures.
17. Have one of those mega rolls of drawing paper from Ikea stashed in the cupboard and pull it out on drizzly afternoons. Let your rugrats draw, colour, and stamp their way to creative heaven! Keep glitter, glue and other knick-knacks on hand for a bit of extra craft fun.
18. Don’t let rain stop play… pretend it’s a party instead! Play classic party games like eye-spy, freeze, hide-and-seek or musical chairs – you could even have a dance off with your kids to see who’s the better dancer!
19. If you’re desperate to get out of the apartment and you care to brave the rain, head to any of our fave kid-friendly dim sum restos in Hong Kong. The munchkins will love the change of scenery, and you can reassure yourself that they’re picking up useful chopstick skills!
20. Fill a plastic tub with oats and let your toddlers “drive” their cars through the “sand”. Perfect for active imaginations, it also develops hand-eye coordination and is a cinch to clean up – all you need is a vacuum cleaner! Go here to see how it’s done!
21. Make cereal necklaces with the kids! A long piece of string and a bowl of dry cereal (try Fruit Loops, Nutri Grain or even dried pasta shapes) is all you need and you’ve got yourself an easy DIY project perfect for little hands… and mouths!
22. If you’re not too precious about your furniture, use a roll of masking tape to make “roads” across the floor (and couch!) and let your little ones drive their cars on the track. Who knew a roll of tape and a bucket of Hot Wheels could be so much fun? Not sure how to make it? Head here for inspiration!
23. We love Sassy Mama contributor Militza’s fab eco-friendly recipes, and we especially love these simple to make Salt Dough Decorations! All you need is baking soda, cornstarch and water plus a quiet afternoon with the kids to make some stunning homemade decorations.
24. As the mainstay of most kids’ toy boxes, setting the kiddies up with Lego or Duplo is sure to be a winner on a wet day. This anything goes, build it yourself pile of blocks encourages imagination, fine motor development and problem solving… plus it’s just plain fun!
25. What do you get when you enlist a bunch of super-talented young artists to create some fabulous art works ideal for little ones? Some ridiculously cute colouring sheets – that’s what! Print them off, pull out the crayons and while away an afternoon colouring in these fab (free!) sheets… download them here!
27. Turn your dining table into a home spa and spend a quiet time buffing, shaping and painting your children’s nails (we know many little girls who adore getting this done!) and if your kiddos are old enough they could even do yours too mama… result!
28. Fill an ordinary bucket with random craft supplies, stamps, cardboard and other knick-knacks and you’ve got yourself a Bucket of Fun! Not only do they give restless rugrats something new to do, they can also be customised to each child (we know a little boy who would go wild for one of these filled with cars and trucks!).
29. Burn that extra energy by setting the tots up with a bit of Indoor Bean Bag fun! It’s simple to set up, mildly educational and guaranteed to keep them out of your hair, mama!
30. And when all else fails, declare it a movie afternoon! Let the kiddos pick their fave show, pile the pillows on the floor, make a huge batch of popcorn and pretend you’re at the movies! Fun!