Rainy day activities for half-term

For many children across the country, this week is half-term. As the days are drawing in and are increasingly wet and cold, here are some rainy-day activities to keep children occupied (and away from the TV).

It's game time!
Nothing beats a family game of Monopoly or Cluedo when the weather has taken a turn for the worst. Playing a board game as a family is not only a lot of fun, but also helps to develop children's academic and soft skills.

Playing a game such as Scrabble or Bananagram broadens their vocabulary and improves their spelling ability. It can also help to develop their concentration, focus, and time efficiency.

Read a book
Curling up under a cosy blanket and getting stuck into a good book when it's too cold to venture outside can make for a most enjoyable day. You could pick a book to read together, or choose different books based on a similar theme.

Reading books is a wonderful way to develop vocabulary and learn about spelling, grammar and punctuation. Throughout the week you can also discuss how you are getting on with your books, as well as their good points and bad points. This discussion will inadvertently develop your child's ability to critique.

(If you need inspiration for what to read, the Kumon Recommended Reading List has a collection of 380 suggested reads, suitable for all ages and abilities.)

Picture the scene
Drawing is a fantastic way to spark creativity and imagination in children, especially when they're stuck indoors. You could encourage your child to draw what they can see from the window, whether it be a flurry of autumn leaves or a post-downpour rainbow. Alternatively, they could draw pictures to accompany the book they are reading. For younger children drawing is a fantastic way to develop their pencil skills, including grip and control.

Write a short story
If they are unable to go on an outdoor adventure, why not encourage your child to write one of their own? They could use the environment around them as the basis for their plot, or find inspiration from their favourite book. Alternatively they could write a poem about the seasonal change and the outdoor weather, or you could simply encourage them to write about whatever they feel like!

Writing is a brilliant way to develop their creativity and writing style, as well as their grammar, spelling and punctuation. Through this activity they will also develop their pencil skills and improve their handwriting. At the end of the week you could ask them to read what they have written to you and praise them for the work they have done. This will help to improve their oral reading skills, as well as their confidence.

If you don't fancy splashing about in puddles this half-term, the above activities will be sure to brighten everyone's day. Being indoors doesn't have to be boring, and technology is not needed to keep the children entertained when the rain is pouring down outside.
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