Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What To Do On A Rainy Day?

Bake and play games of course! It's been very dreary and wet the past few days here. It's just starting to look a little bit less gloomy today but we needed a plan of action yesterday and here's what we came up with: make and decorate ginger bread cookies, make and play the fishing magnet game! 

So if you're looking for a few fun things to do on a rainy day, try these out. We had loads of fun!

Baking Time!

We started out the day making ginger bread cookies using this recipe: 

Ginger Bread Cookies
adapted from

3 cups plan flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup golden syrup or honey or molasses (can use any of these depending on what's available to you)
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended, set aside. In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla, and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius fan forced (375 degree F). Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or spraying with nonstick spray. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking. Cut out cookies with desired cutter. Space cookies 3cm apart (1 inch). Bake 1 sheet at a time for 6-8 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. After cookies are cool, decorate them any way you like.

Yum! Noting like ginger bread and a warm glass of milk. 

Next up...the fishing game time. It may seem a bit strange for vegetarians to play a fishing game but the kids are obsessed with fishing at the moment. Jeremy has fashioned them some bamboo fishing rods and they frequently take to 'catching' Isla's my little ponies, teddies and other toy paraphernalia off the side of their bunk beds, so we think the fishing idea is pretty harmless. 

We started out by choosing some vintage looking images of fish, shells and sea stars to print and paint. If you don't want to spend time searching the net for pics and you think the ones we used would do the trick, you can click here to down load the free images we used in a pdf doc I created. We printed the pics on card stock (300gsm) to give it some stability but thick watercolour paper would work well too. 

Next gather your supplies: dowels, heavy duty magnets (one for each fishing rod), paperclips (non coated mental one's work best but coated one's work too), scissors, glue, twine or string, watercolours, paint brush and printed fish images. 

Now time to involve the kids. They get to paint to their hearts content. 

After the paint has dried the real fun begins, well that depends on whether you like cutting things out, so it might not be fun so much as tedious work, but remember it will be fun in the end! Cut out all of the images and slide a paperclip on each one. 

Next cut a length of twine and tie it to one end of your dowel. Make sure it is not too long and not to short to fish with. Then you can draw an anchor on some of your left over card stock scraps and glue it onto a magnet. To secure the magnet onto the twine I used double sided strong adhesive foam tape, but a strong glue or glue gun would work too. With little one's make sure to always keep an eye on them while playing with magnets as they can be dangerous if swallowed. Once your rods are made you're ready to fish!

Grab a couple of buckets (I got ours from office works) and let the games begin.

Isla was elated to have caught 18 fish and Charlie was pretty chuffed to have gotten 8. The fishing game was great fun and passed the time quickly. It was also great for working on the kids counting skills, as Isla declared what number she was on after each 'catch'!

Would love to know what other's do to keep the kids happy on rainy days. The Australian summer is passing too quickly and I know I'll be on the lookout for some rainy day crafts in the not too distant future. In the meantime we're hoping for the grey skies to clear in time for Australia day weekend, when we go kite flying!


  1. Do you think I could use whole-wheat or almond flour for the cookies???

    1. I haven't tried either of those as substitutes for this recipe so I can't say for sure but as a general substitution for 1 cup plain flour you can use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup plain flour but I wouldn't make it solely with whole wheat flour as I think it would be too dense. Hope that helps!