How to keep your kids entertained when it's raining outside

This time of year the risk of being stuck in the house increases, more often than not there's reason to stay indoors. But that means that you need to have things in the house that will keep the kids entertained so you're not climbing the walls by the end of the day. In my many years of parenting I've had my fair share of rainy days which means I've managed to gather a few ideas to keep them entertained when it's raining outside. 

Movies are great when it's raining outside

The first port of call when it's raining outside is a good movie. There are plenty of kids' movies to choose from, like my boys' top 10, but if you have older children I'd recommend scrolling through Netflix or Amazon Video, there's some great movies there to choose from and I have no doubt you'll find something the kids will like. 

How To Keep Your Kids Entertained When It's Raining Outside | A TV set up with tall speakers in lounge.
Get the TV ready... it's movie time!

When you're planning a movie day it's easy to have popcorn and other goodies on hand but when it starts raining outside that's harder to plan for. I keep a multi pack of popcorn in a cupboard just in case, or even have a box of un-popped popcorn that you can just put into the microwave. The boys love freshly popped popcorn.

Keep your kids entertained with sticker books

These books come in really handy when there's nothing else to do. You can buy them fairly cheaply on Amazon, I've seen prices from £2 to £8, and there's all sorts of different ones to find. LP has always enjoyed the Lego themed sticker books, I think he had 5 or 6 of them now. The best bit about these is that they not only have the sections where you put particular stickers in the right place, but they have pages for your kids to create a scene using lego stickers. 

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. 

Albert Einstein

The best thing about sticker books though is that there's something for everyone. From Lego to Peppa Pig, Disney Princesses to learning about Dinosaurs - no matter what your kids' tastes you'll be able to find something they'll love. 

Raining outside? Let your kids play console games

On rainy days being stuck in the house can give you - and your kids - cabin fever, especially if there's not much to do. Letting them play on the consoles for a short time will make them happy and you can sit and have a coffee. My boys play on the Xbox One, Fortnite and Overwatch are a couple of their favourite games, but when they were younger they liked playing on the Wii U and there were plenty of Lego games (my favourites) they played.

How To Keep Your Kids Entertained When It's Raining Outside | A white Xbox One sits on a table beneath a large TV.

It may be raining outside but you can play board games together

A family favourite here we have quite a collection of games now and the boys love it when we say it's game time. LP has been playing board games since he was 4 years old (he's now 9), we used to team up and he would listen to our strategies and be involved. It's how he learned how to play and now he's quite the strategist. He's an expert in the games we play these days and actually he beats me at Scrabble more often than not!

Activity Books can keep your kids entertained for hours

Both BP and LP have had lots of activity books in the past, and themes have been Dinosaurs to holidays and everything in between. The thing with Activity books is it's not just one thing for them to do, there's a range of activities to keep them entertained. Crosswords, wordsearches, colouring pages, depending on the book you get you could end up with hundreds of pages of activities. The themed activity books are great, when they're off school at Christmas and you're in need of some activities for them to do a Christmas Activity Book is a perfect distraction. It's Christmas themed and will keep them busy even when the rain is pouring outside.

Coding can distract them from the rain outside

This is a new one, but something that kids are encouraged to do at the moment. LP likes the idea of programming - I think it comes from his dad being a programmer - but he's interested in it and we're trying our best to help him find things to do. So far there's a couple of things, the first is Scratch - which I don't know much about other than it's something kids can use to create their own games. LP has also been trying out Apple's programming stuff, I think it's called Swift. He bought his own iPad and Apple Pencil so he could try out the new things they have for kids to learn coding. Apple also run sessions in their stores, which are free, for kids to learn about programming - we've yet to attend one but it's on our list to do soon.

How To Keep Your Kids Entertained When It's Raining Outside | Get your kids to learn coding.
Are your kids coding yet?

Keep the kids entertained by teaching them about drawing

BP is quite a creative boy and loves drawing, so when he's given a challenge he enjoys going for it. LP likes to draw occasionally too, but for LP it's more following instructions that he likes. That's where "how to draw" books come in handy. Again there are plenty to choose from, Amazon have a great selection, and when he puts his mind to it he really enjoys himself. 

Give the kids a pencil, a piece of paper, and something to draw and they might show you a talent you never knew they had!


Colouring books, colouring pages, or even telling them to colour in the drawing they've just done, it'll keep them busy while the rain hits the window outside. Have a selection of coloured crayons (wax or pencil) to hand and it'll keep them busy for hours (if you're lucky).

Get them writing about the rain outside

BP enjoys this one more than LP, he enjoys being given a sentence to start with or some line that will inspire him and then he's off. Some of his writing has truly blown me away and I hope he continues with it. LP likes writing sometimes, but does need a lot of encouragement and this is where I would say to try writing a story for a character they like - like someone from Fortnite. Younger kids would find it more interesting to write about a character they already know. 

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. 

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Sometimes it's fine to let the kids find they're own way too - don't give them anything to do but give them restrictions. Perhaps they're not allowed to play console games but should do something else. These kind of restrictions will often get them thinking about what they want to do. I've tried it on LP a few times and he often ends up playing with older toys he's been neglecting - and then will tell me how much he's enjoyed himself during the afternoon because he'd forgotten how much he enjoyed playing with his toys. That's always nice.

So when the dark clouds roll in and you hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the window there's no need to panic. With just a few ideas on your list it'll be easy to keep your kids entertained when it's raining outside.

How do you keep your kids entertained when it's raining?

How to spend quality time with your kids when you're a busy mum

You spend so much of your time cooking, cleaning, and taking care of everyone that sometimes it's easy to forget about spending time with your kids. Whether you're just chatting or having fun together spending quality time with your kids is important. Finding the time though, when you're a busy mum, can be difficult - there's always something to be done. But it IS possible to do it all...

How to spend quality time with your kids when you're a busy mum

What is quality time?

First of all you need to think about what you classify as quality time - because really any time spent communicating with, or even just being with your kids, can be classed as quality time. If you're having fun, chatting, being together, it's all good for them - and you.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Laugh with your family - it's all quality time.
Don't forget to laugh together!

Spend quality time with your kids while cooking or cleaning

Have you ever noticed how the kids get all excited when you ask them for help? I'm talking younger kids here - the teens will likely roll their eyes at you or think you're being mean (and that's a whole other thing!). My youngest, who is now 10, loves to help with everything. If I asked him to help me with cooking dinner he'd love it - and the great thing is if you use a simple recipe, as suggested by Real Mom Help in her post 10 Simple Ideas for Spending Quality Time with Your Child, they can do a lot of the work too. If I asked for his help with the cleaning he'd jump at the chance - despite not ever wanting to do his own chores!

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mumn | Make breakfast together - and eat together too!
Make breakfast together. And eat together too!

The thing here is to get the kids involved in the things you do on any normal day. By involving them in your mum duties you're not only teaching them about the cooking and cleaning, but you're also showing them what you do when they're not around. You get to spend quality time with them, chatting and doing work, while also teaching. That's a parenting win right there!

Get errands done and spend quality time together

Everyone knows that most errands you have to run when you're a busy mum are pretty dull. Food shopping, nipping to the pharmacy, even birthday shopping, it's almost never for yourself and no one thanks you for it - but they're jobs that have to be done. So instead of leaving the kids at home, or waiting until they're at school, why not just take the kids with you?

Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.


With the food shopping you can send them to look for something you want. I usually send LP off to get bread. But while you're shopping you get to talk to them too. You can wander up and down the aisles, and sometimes it will even spark a conversation you weren't expecting. I remember once discussing race and the differences between food and cultures after LP spotted curry ingredients in one of the aisles and then asked why different countries like different foods. It was an interesting, and sometimes difficult, conversation to have but I feel like we connected and LP learned something. 

Spend a day together and you'll get quality time

Have a day - probably during the school holidays - where they spend an entire following you around. Whether that's watching/helping you with household chores, going on errands with you, or just sitting with you while you fold and iron clothes. They may get bored during some of it, but they will learn and you can spend the time talking. 

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get the kids in on the chores!
Get the kids involved with the chores and it goes quicker as well as you get to spend time together.

Again by sharing what you do with them they're learning that you don't just sit home all day waiting for them to return from school. You have your own jobs and while you do stay home it's not to watch TV all day - unfortunately. It's healthy for your kids to see the things you do for them, but it's also good for you to show them how much work you do. It will make you feel better, because we all feel a bit rubbish sometimes don't we? And again, you get to talk about all kinds of things while you spend the time together.

Crafting can help you spend quality time with your kids

I'm not really much of a crafter, but I do have lots of craft equipment in my office. I even have a craft drawer downstairs that the boys can access whenever they want. They don't choose to often but it's there if they want it. And when they do choose to, they often want me to get involved too.

Crafting is a great way to spend time with your kids. You can all get messy creating something beautiful (or something messy if that's your thing), you laugh as you make mistakes or go wrong, and most importantly you have fun together.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Paint - fun for all the family.

When both my boys were younger we used to have messy days. I'd get the paints out and let them go nuts and they loved it. I have a photo of BP after one of our messy days and he has paint all over him, on his face, in his hair, even in his ears! And BP still remembers that day - he laughs when he looks at the photo and can't believe he ever did it. At 15 I think it's great that he remembers this kind of thing, it sparks good memories for him and that makes me smile.

Engage in the things they like in order to spend quality time with your kids

Whether it's Fortnite or Minecraft, Teletubbies (are they even still around?) or Thomas the Tank Engine, showing an interest in the things they like will bring you closer together. I was just talking to BP yesterday about how much he used to love Ben 10, and we reminded him how many Ben 10 related things he had. His school bag, his lunch box, clothes, toys, even his watch was Ben 10 branded. And as his mum and dad we knew all the characters names and their special abilities (not that I could tell you them now!). These days it's more about Fortnite, and the Hubby plays too. He knows all about V-bucks, "skins", and Battle Passes (all Fortnite terms), and while I know a little about it I'm no expert - which is a good thing according to who, in their post How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Child, say that letting your kids "kick your butt" is showing you are human and vincible. 

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get in on the gaming!

The thing is, because we know a little about the things they like our boys enjoy talking to us about those things. If we had no idea what they were talking about they'd wander off and chat to friends, or keep to themselves. By engaging in their hobbies, or their favourite shows, we're showing them we are open to learn and they are more likely to talk to us about their other likes and dislikes because of that.

Spend quality time reading to your kids at night

For years I read stories to my boys before they went to sleep at night. It was our quiet time together and I know they both enjoyed it. BP, my eldest who is now 15, used to love listening to the different stories but would fall asleep after I'd been reading for 10 minutes or so. I tried time and again to read Dr Seuss Sleep Book to him but we never managed to get to the end - he was always asleep before we got to "goodnight". LP, now 10, was completely different. He would stay awake until I had finished the very last page and then he'd ask questions about the book. His favourites included The Dinosaur that Pooped series, Dr Seuss was a regular, and the Mr Men books featured often too. Because I'd always wanted to read Dr Seuss Sleep Book and actually reach the end I tried it with LP, and of course we got to the end - every time. And every time he would ask different questions about what he'd heard. He recognised characters from other Dr Seuss books, his vocabulary increased, and we had at least 30 minutes quality time together every single day. I will always cherish that time - and I know they will too.

Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

Regina Brett

While my boys are no longer at the age they want me to read to them I know that by spending time reading with them before bed I got to spend quality time with them every day for years. I read to my boys from the day they were born, with BP I stopped when he was around 6 years old because he asked me to, but by then I was reading to LP too. I didn't stop reading to LP until he was 8, and that was only because he could read himself by then and wanted to move on to bigger stories. 

When your kids settle down for the night, and you're reading their favourite - or what could become their favourite - story, you're showing them how much you want to spend time with them. You want to put in the time, and even if they ask a million questions when you're finished - it's worth it.

Any time with your kids is quality time

As I said before, any time you spend with your kids is quality time. They are more likely to remember the times you spend laughing and playing together, than how much time you spent in the kitchen making dinner. Spend time with your kids and your bond will strengthen, you'll make connections that will last a lifetime, and when - if it happens - you have grandkids, you can smile because  it was all worth it.

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Get out and about with your family - and ignore the cleaning.
We love walking in Wollaton Park.

If you prefer listening to podcasts I've been listening to The Girl Next Door Podcast and while their kids are younger than mine I can totally relate to them. The episode Quality Time with Kids is great, it's full of good ideas and chat about spending time with your kids, and if you do listen let me know if you would love to try the cocktail they mention at the start of the podcast. I can't wait to try it!

How To Spend Quality Time With Your Kids When You're A Busy Mum | Spending time isn't just about the big things, involve them in the little things too.

What are your favourite ways to spend quality time with your kids?

Grab the colouring page and spend quality time colouring in with your kids.

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 10 Minutes

Making time for self-care activities when you're a mum can be tough. With kids running riot during the day, and the chores and your partner wanting your attention at night, it's easy to see that finding time for yourself is difficult. But you can spend time on yourself with these 9 self-care activities you can do in 10 minutes!

There is no picturesque version of what self-care looks like; it's different for every person who wants to practice it.

Jenna Wortham

Take a shower

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Take a shower and you'll feel a ton better!
Taking a shower can make you feel like you again.

A quick shower can do wonders for your mood. Washing away the stress and strain just getting 10 minutes to take care of yourself can set you up for the day. Whenever I get a chance for a shower it's like the sun is shining. The water flows over me and I smile because it's time just for me, no one bothers me and I'm completely alone.

Write in your journal

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Write about your day in your journal.

Journaling can really help with your mental health, or even just to get ideas out of your head so you don't feel so cluttered. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by everything I write, I get the ideas and thoughts out of my head and when I take the time to do that I feel so much better. We spend so much time thinking about everyone else and storing information in our head that we can get "clogged up" and suffer as a result. Take 10 minutes for self-care, get things out of your head occasionally, and you might find yourself smiling a little more.

Put on make up

This could be a full face of make up or just a little lipstick. I don't do full face make up, it would take me hours, but I do like to wear a little mascara and shiny lip balm. These days, as I get older I need highlighter under my eyes too so I don't look so tired. But to be honest I like to keep it simple. Just using those three things I feel loads better. I don't have to spend ages putting on make up and I get that little boost to my confidence - even if I'm not going anywhere.

Paint your nails

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Take some time to paint your nails!
I always enjoy painting my nails - it makes me feel good.

Like I said I'm not much for the beauty stuff, but I do like to paint my nails regularly. Somehow it just makes me feel good. I don't spend hours in a salon having my nails done, it's just normal nail polish (I like Rimmel Super Gel) and I do it myself. When I get 10 minutes I spend it on one of my favourite self-care activities - I paint my nails. Then, even though the rest of me may look shocking, I can look at my hands and smile, because at least something is nice and put together. 

Do your hair

If you're anything like me you get up in a morning give your hair a quick brush and then throw in back in a hairband or quick bun. Most of the time I like my hair to be out of the way, up off my shoulders and tied back so it doesn't get in the way when I'm cleaning. But sometimes I'll take the time to "do" my hair. And no, I don't spend ages on that either. Just 10 minutes is all I need to put some mousse in my hair, scrunch it up, and leave it. That's it. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Do your hair, it'll make you feel a little better.

I've got curly hair, well wavy really, but I don't like to spend ages messing about with hairdryers and special products so all I do is bung some mousse in, scrunch, and done. And to be honest I love how my hair looks when I do that. 

Why not take 10 minutes for yourself and make your hair look nice? It's amazing the difference it can make when you can look in the mirror and say "huh, my hair looks good today!".


If you can find 10 minutes this self-care activity can really help. Simply sitting in the quiet and breathing is therapeutic. It helps you let go of the things the aren't important, it helps you focus, but most of all it helps you centre yourself. 

I like to sit in my backyard. I go out on the hammock and sit in silence and kind of meditate. Nature is calming, and it's nice to go out there and clear my head.

Devon Werkheiser

The thing with the word "meditate" is that if you're anything like me you imagine sitting cross-legged with your hands out to your side, forefinger and thumb making a circle, saying the word "om". And it makes you giggle. But meditation isn't about finding the right pose, it's about getting a little time to sit and basically do nothing. To clear your mind, concentrate on your breathing, and calm yourself. When I get the chance (which isn't often) I do like to sit on my bed, eyes closed, and just clear my mind. I sit and breathe, and do nothing else. It's a calming experience and can really help with those hectic days.

Read a chapter

Nothing says "me time" like sitting to read a chapter of your favourite, or current, book. Taking 10 minutes for this self-care activity is not only helping you get time for yourself but depending on the book you're reading you could also be working on improving yourself (not that you need improving!). I'm currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson and it's quite different to my usual reads - like Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. My book is opening my eyes to my own thoughts and actions and I'm making small changes in my thought processes to try to improve things. That's not to say I think I need improving, just that the book has helped me see some bad habits I've got into. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Read a chapter of your book - a great escape.
Escape adulting and delve into your favourite story.

Reading is a way of letting go of the day-to-day stuff. To escape, if you're reading fiction, into a far off land where you watch the lives of other people (or creatures). You broaden your horizons, you go on adventures, and experience all the emotions that go along with it. And taking the time to read during the colder months is brilliant because you can snuggle under your favourite fleecy blanket with a hot coffee and your book!

Colour in

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Colour in with your kids, you'll both have fun!

A while ago adult colouring seemed to take off in a huge way, and while it seems to have died down again I think it's a great way to spend 10 minutes. The other thing about colouring is that you can involve the kids too! Give them a colouring page, grab your own colouring book or page, and get colouring. It's a great way to spend time with your kids but you're also getting that all important self-care time.

Waste time

Whenever I look at self-care activities that people suggest it almost always consists of taking care of yourself activities like the ones above. It's about making sure you get time to make yourself feel better. But sometimes what you actually need is just time to switch off - to stop being mum, even if just for 10 minutes, and to "waste" time. To be able to sit and mess about for a while instead of feeling like everything is your responsibility and you have to be an adult all the time. 

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Grab your iPad and have some fun!
Spend some time on your favourite game.

That's why my last self-care activity is to waste time. Grab your iPad (or other tablet), download a game, and waste 10 minutes. Play games, do a puzzle, whatever it is you like to do. There are lots of games I use to waste my time and at the moment I like Merge Dragons (on the iPad) and Zelda on the Switch Lite. It's nice to just switch off and be me.

To be honest you don't have to play games, however you like to "waste" your time - do that. Because it's all about letting go of the responsibility of adulting. Let it all go for 10 minutes and you'll feel so much better!

9 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes | Got a spare 10 minutes? Try out these things to look after yourself.

Self-care is an important part of life, and as mums we neglect ourselves far too much. Give yourself 10 minutes per day for self-care activities and you'll soon get into the habit of looking after yourself. Of course there'll be blips in your routine, but that's okay too, as long as you get back to it. The key is learning that it's okay to take care of yourself sometimes.

Further reading

I've been reading about self-care and how we should be looking after ourselves and found a few posts I think you might like. Sara over at Get Mom Balanced shares her ideas for 15 Minute Self-Care: 15 Quick and Effective Strategies. And if you're looking for a quick read full of ideas check out the guys at Good Therapy who have 134 Activities to Add to Your Self Care Plan.

Which self-care activity will you spend 10 minutes on today?