Cheap children’s activites for a rainy day

rainy-dayWith the weather changing I thought I would write a quick post with some of my favourite rainy day activities that don’t need to cost the earth.  I have linked to some websites for you so you can get lots more ideas but the 3 below are my favourites.

Homemade play dough

This is really easy to make and the making is part of the fun.  Try and split the dough into a few pieces if you have more than one child and they can each make their own colours.  It keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge, you may need to knead it and add a little more flour when you take it out.

Your will need:

  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 3/4 to I cup of boiling water from the kettle.

Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water.  Start with 3/4 of a cup of water and add more as required.  Add a few drops of your favourite colour to the water or you can knead it in later if you want a few different colours.

paper snowflakePaper cutting

There are lots of sites with templates for you to use.  I would suggest starting with little people or snowflakes and see how it goes!  Paper aeroplanes are also ever popular. – Lots of instructions and videos for the little ones to watch. 


fimbles sportsSports Day

This is my daughters favourite rainy day activity.  We set up an obstacle course in the house, they make a slide off the spare bed and generally get rid of excess energy. 

Before you start you can do some arts and crafts and can print out a great set of badges and medals from cbeebies and their fimbles site here.  You can colour them in and decorate the winners trophy.

Some of our favourite games are:

  • An obstacle course with a blanket to crawl under, chairs to climb over and stairs to bump down on bottoms.  You can tailor this to the age of your children and their abilities.
  • Skittles with empty plastic bottles and beanbags.
  • Beanbag throwing into baskets and pots.
  • Musical pots and pans (if you can stand the noise!)

2p Increase in Fuel Duty Spetember 2009

2p increase in Fuel Duty per Litre
2p increase in Fuel Duty per Litre

Just a quick reminder that the fuel duty goes up by 2p a litre from tomorrow the 1st of September. Remember to fill up your tanks today and save a few ££s.

Motorists will be affected with the rise in fuel duty from tomorrow despite petrol prices of 105p a litre. This measure was delayed from last year because of high oil prices. It will generate £1.3 million a day in additional revenue for the Treasury, according to the AA, and means that the taxman takes 65 per cent of the price of a litre of petrol.

There is an indepth article here from the times online about the implications for the economy and business.

Do you use Freecycle?

I don’t know if you know about Freecycle or not but I can recommend it in these hard times. You can do your bit reusing your items and get something back in return – everyone wins!



Our local group tends to offer larger items and outdoor things along with a good selection of baby items.  We have offered lots of baby things that are not really suitable for the local charity shop such as little ride on cars and a baby seat.  In return we have received a swing and garage shelving.  Each group is different and it all depends on what people have to give away!

The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

Why not have a look and see if there is a group in your area –

Banana Muffins

This is a perfect recipe for using up those Bananas going black in the fruit bowl. We made some today as it was raining again and the girls were getting bored!  Really yummy straight out of the oven.  They are even better with the chocolate chips in them!

Makes 12 standard-size or 11 large muffins

10 oz (280 g) plain flour*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) salt
8-10 fl oz (240-290 ml) ripe banana purée (about 3 medium bananas)
4 oz (110 g) fine white granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten with a fork
3 fl oz (90 ml) milk or water
3 fl oz (90 ml) vegetable oil
2-3 oz (60-85 g) walnuts or plain chocolate chips (optional)


1. Prepare muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375-400°F (190-200°C) for a conventional oven, Gas Mark 5-6.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. (Add chocolate if using.)
3. In another bowl, mash bananas thoroughly with a potato masher until puréed. Stir in sugar, beaten egg, milk/water and oil. (Add walnuts if using.)
4. Pour all of wet mixture into dry. Stir lightly just until evenly combined and no dry flour is visible. Batter should have a fairly thick dropping consistency.
5. Spoon into tins. Bake about 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned and spring back when pressed gently. Enjoy!

* With self-raising flour, omit baking powder; do not alter bicarbonate of soda.

Note for North American users: 10 oz (280 g) plain flour = 2¼ cups British plain flour. When using “all-purpose flour”, substitute 1¾ cups. Adjust liquid if necessary. 4 oz sugar = ½ cup sugar.