Don’t lament the rain – use it to your advantage

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Despite the cancellation of the Portsmouth Air Festival, we have a great line-up of events in and around the area this summer.

If you were out and about at the weekend you may have popped along to the fabulous Southsea Food Festival, which was a celebration of all things yummy and local, or watched the Olympic torch passing through.

You may also have gone along to the Hampshire Water Festival at Staunton Country Park, which seemed aptly timed considering all the rain we’ve experienced lately.

We are now in the last full week of school before the kids break up for the summer and things aren’t looking too promising outside, are they? Clearly the weather gods decided that we enjoyed our quota of sunshine back in May and that it’s greedy of us to expect even a smidgen of sunlight in July.

It’s hard to feel inspiration when the weather is grim, so I thought I would share five favourite ideas from the Families Magazine editors to see you through the rainy days.

Set up a treasure hunt with clues around the house. It doesn’t have to be expensive treasure and you don’t even need clues if you aren’t feeling particularly imaginative. I spent a day in the Easter holidays re-enacting our family egg hunt inside the house with the same bag of mini eggs over and over again.

Have a movie afternoon with bowls of popcorn. You can get bags of popping corn from most supermarkets and it’s well worth doing as children love watching it ping around the pan. Don’t put too much in, just enough to nearly cover the base of the pan is usually plenty, and don’t forget the lid unless you want a piece of popcorn lodged in your eye!

Make paper airplanes and boats – if you’ve forgotten how to do it then go to paperairplanes.co.uk and watch step-by-step videos of how to make various planes. If you search wikihow.com you can find good instructions on how to make paper boats. It doesn’t look like we’ll be short of water to float them on.

Make a mini indoor obstacle course with chairs, tables and sofa cushions, or anything else you can find that they can climb on, under or through. You could set up a small tent indoors, or make a den out of chairs and blankets, then let them raid the cupboards to put together a carpet picnic. Don’t forget to invite their favourite teddies!

And lastly, utilise the rain – we know how much children love splashing in puddles because they do it when they’re not supposed to, like on the way to school. Instead of looking at bad weather as restricting you to the indoors, make an afternoon of the rain. Make sure everyone’s warm enough, don your waterproofs and wellies and go jump in puddles. You know you’ll be wet and when you get home and can be prepared for it with a plastic sheet inside the front door, a warm bath and mugs of soup or hot chocolate. Show the rain who’s in charge! It’s only water after all.