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Games to play on a rainy day

Two Sisters playing games

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Part of the fun of being a parent is introducing your kids to the games you used to enjoy as a child. Next time your children complain of being bored on a miserable weekend try teaching them some of these games.

Hide & Seek

The beauty of this one is that it can be played with only two people. One person is ‘It’ and stands with her eyes closed counting to a pre-decided number (around 10 for toddlers and up to 100 for older kids) while everyone else goes off and hides. Once ‘It’ has finished counting she goes off to find the others. Usually the first person to be found becomes ‘It’ for the next round but there are numerous variations, including having each person to be found join the seeking team.

Hide and seek rainy day gameSardines

This game is like an inverted version of Hide & Seek and requires a few more players. One person goes off to hide while the others close their eyes and count. When the counting is completed each player goes off on her own – not as a team – to look for the hider. When they discover her, they each join her in the hiding place, squeezing in like a tin of sardines. The game ends when the last hunter finds the others.


For this game you need at least three players and loads of elastic bands tied together to form a circle. Two people stand opposite each other and use their ankles to form a rectangle with the bands. Another player jumps in, over and on the bands to a pattern, for example; left, right, left, right, inside, outside then on top. Once everyone has had a turn the bands move up around the calves then the knees, thighs, hips, etc until the jumpers can no longer get over them (a bit like the high jump in athletics). The winner is the person who can follow the pattern with the bands at the highest point.

Simon Says

Great for parties and small groups, Simon Says involves one player being Simon and giving instructions to everyone else using the prefix ‘Simon says…’ for example, Simon says sit on the floor. Anyone who doesn’t do an action that Simon says is out of the game. If the action isn’t preceded by the words ‘Simon says…’ then anyone who does complete the action is also out. The winner then becomes Simon for the next game.

Anagram Challenge

This is great for helping children learn while they play and has the added bonus of being a relatively quiet game. Start off by taking some letter tiles – you can either use the ones from the Scrabble board or make your own – and arrange them into words. Mix up the letters of each word and give them to the children. The player who unscrambles all of their words first wins.

With this game it is important to bear in mind the age group and reading ability of the players. It is generally suitable for kids aged from around six years old and can be adapted to suit older children or mixed-age teams. For youngsters use simple words that they are likely to have come across before and will be able to recognise. A theme can be a good idea to keep them on the right track. Try colours such as red, blue, yellow, pink and green. Make the lettering on your tiles lower case so it easier for them to recognise the letters. For older children this shouldn’t be an issue and you can use more complex words in the theme such as scarlet, indigo, lemon or turquoise.

Once children get the hang of how the game works they can use the letter tiles to make anagrams for each other, swap them and see who can solve each one first, leaving you free to get on with other things. Word themes can be adapted with the seasons so you could do special Christmas, Easter or summer holidays versions to provide a bit of variation.




About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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