What to do if it rains at Christmas?

Little girl enjoying a sleigh ride. Child sledding. Toddler kid riding a sledge. Children play outdoors in

Although we’d all love for Christmas to be snowy and white let’s be honest: we’re in the UK, so the chances that it will be a rainy Christmas rather than a white Christmas are….quite high.

But don’t despair.

You can put on your wellies and work off some of that turkey and Christmas pudding with a walk and some puddle jumping or you can also try some fun indoor activities for the whole family. These activities are simple, don’t really require hours and hours of preparation (we love simple but fun ideas!)

Make some handmade snowglobes

These are easy to make, will look cuter than the generic ones you can buy in shops and can also make cute gifts!

hand made snow globe with Lego Santa toy and tree inside
Source: Pinterest

You will need:

Glue the toy onto the inside of the jam jar lid using the glue gun (first of all, this is only a job for the adults and not the little ones, second of all you will need a LOT of hot glue as the little ones might do some serious shaking on it).

Make your own transparent baubles

plastic christmas bauble with john snow lego figurine inside
Source: Pinterest

This activity requires a bit more than everyday ordinary supplies, but the result is quite spectacular. The beauty of this activity is that you can use anything to fill up your bubble just like the snow jars activity:  small figurines, Lego toys etc. But for this activity we will use pine cones and glitter, to give the baubles a Christmassy feeling.

You will need:

First of all protect your table, use an A4 sheet of paper and put the pine cone on top. Spray your glue all over the pine cone.

Afterwards just add glitter a bit everywhere on the pine cone. This will make it look really Christmassy and festive. The more glitter the better!! You can add some glitter on your cotton too!

Add the cotton in one of the halves of the plastic bauble, then add the pine cone on top. And there you go you have a very pretty and personal Christmas bauble!

Make a simple paper chain

colorful homemade paper chain on black background

The first time I ever made one of these was in nursery and needless to say I’ve been loving them ever since!

All you need for these:

Using the ruler and the pencil draw equal sized rectangles on the patterned paper, around 3×9 cm depending on how big you want the links.

Cut out the links making sure to keep to the guidelines.

Fold the first paper chain to form a loop and glue the ends into place, overlapping them slightly. Thread the second piece of paper through the first loop, and glue the ends. Continue to thread the paper pieces through to the last loop to create the chain, making sure you alternate the colours (or the papers) for each loop. If you are making a long chain you might find the whole process quicker, if you use a stapler. The staple might be visible, but it doesn’t matter when you’re having fun (and you want to save some time!).

 

Try an indoors winter sport

Is there any time of year more perfectly suited to ice skating? If you’re in Kent, you can pay Silver Blades Gillingham a visit and show off your skating loops and jumps (or take a course if you’re not at ease on ice). Why not give bowling a go or you could also try some cookery classes, such as sushi making with Sushi Queen, or chocolate making classes with the Kandy Factory or Cooking classes for kids with Food Sorcery.

Bake gingerbread Christmas cookies

christmas gingerbread men cooking

This is a classic and fun for all family. Kids will enjoy decorating these, once they are baked (and certainly eat them).

This recipe makes about 20 biscuits, it takes 25 minutes to prepare + 10 minutes to decorate and cook for 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter
  • 100 g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 325 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • Writing icing to decorate.
  • Cookie decorating cutters

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170C , gas mark 3. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a pan, then remove from the heat.

Sieve in the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. Stir together to make a stiff dough.

Roll our on a lightly floured surface to 5 mm thick. Cut out about 18-20 gingerbread men and bake on 2 large lined baking trays for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Decorate with icing to add eyes, noses, mouths etc.

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You’ll love science again with these easy activities!

Crazy scientist. Young boy performing experiments with battery and small lamp.

There is something incredibly cool and satisfying about a good science experiment (that also works the first time!).  It is also a great way of teaching children about the phenomena surrounding us and nature through easy explanations about motion, chemical reactions, optics and sound!

My science education was purely theoretical and very closely connected to maths. Needless to say that because of that and the lack of experiments in classrooms, I never had the right mindset for science and I could never quite make the link between the very abstract equations and real-life phenomena.

So I am always very happy to rediscover science through experiments with my son – who is already very fascinated with motion, cause and effects – and  love seeing how these discoveries feed his bright and inquisitive mind.

Rainbow Paper

rainbow paper science experiment

Via ScienceKiddo.com

In order to achieve this beautiful rainbow effect you will need:

  • A bowl filled with water
  • Clear nail polish
  • Small pieces of black paper

How to make it:

Add 1-2 drops of clear nail polish to the bowl of water. Watch it disperse over the surface of the water.
Quickly dip the paper into the water. Let it dry on a paper towel.
Once it is dry (this only takes a few minutes) tilt the paper in different directions to see the rainbow patterns appear. Hold it next to a sunny window for best results.

The science behind it:

The rainbow colours you see are caused by thin film interference. You will notice that the colours on the paper change as the you tip the paper back and forth. This happens because light hits the paper at different angles as you tip it!

You can also try to make a rainbow with a used compact disc – and explain light refraction to your children this way.

Glow-in-the-Dark Flowers

glow in the dark flowers

Via Funathomewithkids.com

Apparently if you soak a flower in tonic water, it will glow in the dark! Who knew?!

What you’ll need – is some flowers and some tonic water. You can dip your flowers in and check if it worked! There are several ways to do this, such as soaking them upside down and keeping the stems fresh by wrapping them in a moist towel. Another alternative for the tonic water is highlighter water. The highlighter water might require a bit more effort to make but it’s all in the name of science! The highlighter water is made by opening the highlighter pens (by any means you can carefully without hurting yourself) and pulling out the centre. If you ran water through it you can squeeze out the dye. The more concentrated you can make the highlighter water, the brighter the resulting flowers.

Heat Sensitive Colour Changing Slime

Heat Sensitive Colour Changing Slime

Via Leftbraincraftbrain.com

You will need:
1/4 cup white school glue
1 Tablespoons water
3 teaspoons Thermochromic pigment
1/4 cup liquid starch
Food colouring

Now Thermochromism sounds fancy, but it is quite simple, as it is a pigment that changes colour according to temperature. It is exactly the same pigment that is used in those mood rings that some of us had as teenagers 🙂 or in the green lipstick that becomes a dubious shade of pink.

Decide on your colour scheme for the slime as the colour of thermochromic pigment will be the colour of the slime when it is cold. Then pick an alternating colour of food colouring for the hot colour.

Pour 1/4 cup glue into a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and stir until combined. Add 5 drop of food colouring and mix well.Then add 3 teaspoons of thermochromic pigment and mix until uniformly distributed.
Add 1/8 cup liquid starch and mix until thick and slimy. Then knead the slime with your hands and return to the starch mixture for another mixing. This step is important because it makes sure there’s no unmixed glue hiding in the centre of your slime ball. If slime is still sticky, add additional starch, a little bit at a time, and knead until not sticky anymore. Most batches will use almost all of the starch.
Store slime in a glass or plastic container with a lid for up to one week.

Shape Animals Inspired by the Gruffalo

Shape animals from the Gruffalo story

Via Theeducatorsspinonit.com

I love this activity as it combines both science (maths, geometrical shapes) AND the love for literature and reading! All you need is some paper and imagination, to make the animals in The Gruffalo book, and teach your kids about various shapes such as rectangle, oval, rounded shape etc.

Cloud in a Jar

cloud in a jar experiment for kids

Via Schoolingamonkey.com

What you need for this is experiment is a clear glass, food colouring (preferably blue) and daddy’s shaving cream!

Fill the glass with water and fill the top of the glass with white shaving cream. The more cream you add, the thicker your cloud will be, but the longer it will take for the food colouring to penetrate the cloud layer.

Have the child(ren) drip drops of food colouring into the “cloud” one at a time. It will take quite a bit of time for the “rain” to come out of the cloud.

After a while, the drops will seep through the shaving cream and it will look like it is raining in the cup!

The science behind this experiment is that the shaving cream cloud represents real clouds. When real clouds become too heavy with liquid, just like the food colouring became too heavy for the shaving cream to hold, they rain.

You can use this activity to talk about the cycle of weather and how the cloud in a cup is different from real clouds and where the water comes from and why it evaporates.

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These butterflies will warm your heart up in winter

dark butterflies with colourful spots of tissue paper

This is quite an easy craft to do, and one that both parents and little ones will enjoy.

Tissue paper offers so many possibilities – such as creating these amazing candle jars and these tissue paper butterflies are another great little craft activity.

We made ours some time ago and our butterflies are still displayed on the doors leading to our conservatory. The colourful spots of tissue paper act like stained glass, letting the light through and giving a darker room a merry feeling.

You can also make different shapes – butterflies, hearts or more traditional stained-glass like windows. The brightly coloured pieces will look great glued back against a darker coloured shape of paper.

What you will need:

cat playing with pipe cleaners and supplies used for butterflies

Step one: create the butterfly template

Depending on your abilities or mood, you can skip this step and draw freely on the cardboard paper.

We just drew a very simple butterfly with two larger wings and two smaller ones placed underneath.

You can draw other shapes too, such as hearts, or even a window shape. Place your template on the piece of black paper and draw around it using the white pencil (this is to make the butterfly shape easier to see)

 

butterfly shape traced with white on paper

Step two: cut out your butterfly

Use the scissors to cut out the butterfly shape. If you are making more than one butterfly, you may want to try cutting out all the shapes at once before cutting the holes and sticking the tissue paper. We enjoyed drawing them individually and cutting them separately, as some butterflies were smaller and some were bigger.

black cardboard paper butterfly shape

Step three: draw shapes

Using the white pencil, draw rounded shapes on the back of the black paper. Use scissors to carefully cut out the shapes which will form the holes for the tissue paper. We drew various round and oval shapes of different sizes.

Step four: Finishing

Cut out piece of tissue paper that are just slightly bigger than the openings you created in step three. Glue them to the back of the butterfly shape. Use only a tiny amount of glue as too much will cause the tissue paper to get wet and tear. Finish the butterfly with two pipe cleaner antennae attached with bobs of glue or with tape.

colourful paper butterflies against window

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Ever wondered what it’s like in Little Street?

Red fire truck at Little Street

For those of you who haven’t heard of Little Street, they’re an imagination based play centre with multiple locations in Kent and Surrey.

As we live in Maidstone, and it is one of our son’s favourite places, we decided to pay Little Street a visit again and to describe our experience to other readers.

Before you go, make sure to book your session!

Once you arrive, you’ll be asked to take your shoes off – so that the place is kept as tidy as possible and little ones can run about safely.

Little Street is like a mini town with 7 areas: Starlets, Police Station, Klien Construction, Little Savers, Little Learners, Chicco’s Cafe and a Picnic area.

What my son loves to do first is jump on the little cars. For some reason, he calls one of them “his GPS”.  The little cars are usually around the massive fire engine which seems to be a favourite for all the children:

Big red fire engine at Little Street

He then likes to head over to the construction site and play with the digger and the “stones”. They might look real enough but, of course, they’re made of foam.

Boy playing with a digger and foam stones at Little Street

The Little Savers market place is a favourite for all the children. The till though might be the slowest in the world: expect long queues :p ! It’s great watching the little ones interact with each other and trying to imitate the adults with one of them behind the till and another one handing them the goods, knowing that this is what you’re supposed to do when buying stuff at the shops.

Market with plastic goods in Little Street

You can either chose to carry on visiting the rooms in order (very unlikely) or hop from one room to another with excitement. Don’t run too fast in “traffic” or you might end up behind bars, in the police station:

little street police station

After all these adventures, graciously accept a coffee (imaginary too) made by your toddler in Chicco’s Cafe, or have a rest on the benches in the Picnic area.

toddler sitting in chiccos cafe in little street

You might feel a little sick after all this cake, so pop over for a brief consultation at the doctors where you’ll be cured in an instant of all those diseases (whether imaginary or not!)

toddler at the doctors in Little Street

The whole experience wouldn’t be complete without a show, so, if your children feel like it, they can dress up as their favourite superhero, put on imaginary make-up and even perform a play for you!

toddler playing in the make up theatre room in little streetLittle Street also has a cafe area where parents can sit down for a rest, while the little ones run about. I must admit I am impressed at the precision with which the staff remember exactly where every tiny toy comes from and the speed with which these are put back where they belong, after each session!

We’ll definitely be back.

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Give a new life to your pegs in the shape of spiders!

Pipe-cleaner-spiders

My son and I were stuck indoors the other day because of illness and rain. So as we were running out of ideas and suffering from cabin fever, we decided to give the idea of making spider pegs with pipecleaners a try with a few supplies that we had at hand.

This is an easy craft that would enchant children of various ages and abilities.

What you’ll need:

supplies for spiders

Step one

Using the felt tip pens colour the spider’s bodies. Colours that complement each other such as a darker and a lighter tone are always best. Leave to dry for a bit.

coloured peg

Step two

Push the pipe cleaners through the pegs. Bend them so as to form legs bent towards the front and towards the back. Tell your cat that it’s not for them to play with!

cat paw holding the spider's pipe cleaners

Step three

Add your eyes and voila: you have your cute sassy pipe cleaner spiders!

spider peg with yellow pipe cleaners as legs

spider peg with blue pipe cleaner legs

three spiders with pipe cleaner legs

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How to turn the eternal whinge of “I AM BORED” around!

bored child

This is a guest post blog from our friends at Little Whizz .

Let them be bored they say, and YES, it is true it is important to let our children figure things out for themselves. Being bored has many advantages, such as building their creativity and imagination, but the one quality that stands out, by far, is that it makes them self-reliant.

BUT it’s hard isn’t it, to watch them lying around whinging every 5 minutes about how miserable their life is, because they’re BORED!! Especially if you are a WAHM mama like me, who is also a SAHM and a hubby who works the most antisocial hours or worse if he’s FIFO like some of my friends.

So today, it’s the weekend and I’d spent the whole morning with the kids at sports and then some time at the park. I tried to be ambitious and get some work done in the afternoon while bub napped (yup, it’s a miracle he actually napped for 2 hours for a change). But just as luck would have it, my older son decided he had NOTHING to do, and so began the WHINGING!!

He was so ‘BORED’ that he decided to take off all his clothes and pretend he was the King from “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. It took ALL my will power and more to ignore him carrying on. And that’s when something amazing happened!!! The house was quiet (and we Mums know that never happens, and when it does you better run because they’re up to something) and when I went to check, I found him doing this…

how to deal with boredom
Building his ‘Kingdom City’ he said, a hospital with a helipad, his school, a police and fire station and of course a ‘fixing station’.

It is so easy to give in to the situation sometimes, and either, give them screen time or go and ‘play’ with them. I know I’ve done it more times than I care to remember. But, we’re not doing anyone any favours, it’s just a quick fix like putting a Band-Aid over a gushing garden hose pipe! We need to teach them to find ways of entertaining themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it is important that we spend that one on one time with them, but they also need alone time, to learn, explore and more importantly just BE. Take the opportunity of this boredom to guide them, rather than rushing in with a ready-made solution.

So, here are my top 5 ideas that worked best for me when my kids complain about being BORED:

  1.  A Torch: Hand him/her a torch and ask them to go on a treasure hunt around the house! Kids LOVE going on adventures and exploring, you’ll be amazed at the ‘treasure’ they find under the couch, wardrobes and in nooks and crannies you didn’t even know existed in your house.
  2. Obstacle course: My son goes to a multi-sport class every week and his favourite part is the last 10 minutes, when they do an obstacle course. I always suggest this when he’s ‘bored’ but has oodles of energy and they can do this indoors and out (depending on the weather). He loves it as he gets to do it all from scratch, including building the course. I’ve been pretty impressed with the things he comes up, with like using chairs as bridges to crawl under and using his play mats to hop on. If it’s a nice day, they can do this in the garden, again my son gets really creative and uses his bike, scooter, hose pipe and garden chairs to build his course. There’s no better way for them practicing those gross motor skills!!
  3. Good Ol’Blocks: Build your own world within your world, well that’s what he did today, using a whole lot of imagination and creativity!!
  4. A Magnifying Glass: Looking at a line of ants or even the different plants in your garden, opens their eyes to the grandeur of the little things in life. There is so much we could all learn, if we just slow down and learn to be still every once in a while.
  5. Books: My son (4yo) isn’t reading by himself yet, but often I find him lying on the floor lost in his books for ages!! He has memorised all his favourite stories and ‘reads’ (I use this term loosely, I really mean narrates from memory:) them to himself and often makes up his own version too!

With Kinder/school, sports and music activities, swimming classes and playgroups etc, our weeks and lives are very FULL. Though these activities are vital for their cognitive and physical development, children need time to SWITCH the noise and constant bombardment OFF and learn to connect with themselves, their feelings and their thoughts.

A time for introspection. I know you’re thinking, this sounds like a bit much for a child. But if not now, then when? Why only children?! Some quality time spent internalising would do wonders for us adults too!

When we let them figure things out for themselves it allows them to be curious, explore, take initiative, invent, discover, concentrate and above all makes the self-reliant!! So next time you hear the words “I am BORED”, choose to use it as an opportunity to raise a more resilient and independent child.

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5 of The Best Cabin Fever Busting Ideas for Kids

Little boy behind the window in the rain, looking sad

You’re stuck in the house with your little one. They’re getting over a nasty bug but but can’t yet go to school, or you’re stuck indoors because for the last few days it’s been raining like it’s monsoon season and your weekend plans have been rained-out and you’ve started to hear the dreaded “I’m bored”…. Sound familiar? And a bit like a nightmare? Don’t panic; we’ve compiled some of our favourite indoors activities that will keep you all entertained:

Mission Impossible Obstacle Maze

What Moms love Obstacle Maize
Obstacle Maize: Source What Moms love Pinterest

For this activity you can use either Crepe Paper  or this cute, London-themed Washi Tape.

Create an intricate maze in either hallways or door frames for your children to work their way through. Put the tape up high and down low, forcing them to step over and crawl under at various points. A great, fun activity for the little ones while you put your feet up – though before you know it, they’ll be asking you to keep making another one for them.

Have an indoors snowball fight! 

With DIY snowballs of course!

Indoor Snowball Craft
DYI Snowball craft: credit A Parenting Production

These are easy to make and you can have snowball fights in the comfort of your home, without runny noses, cold feet, wet gloves or snow all over your sofa!

You will need:

How to make the snowballs: 

1. Cut a notch an inch wide and a couple of inches deep on one of the short sides of your cardboard.

2. Wrap your wool around the cardboard over the notched end. The number of times will depend on the thickness of your wool. Cut the end once you’ve wrapped your wool around the cardboard enough.

3. Cut a length of wool from the main roll to use as a tie, about 8 inches or so. Using the notched area of your cardboard wrap the string around the centre of the bunch of wool a few times cinching it down into an hourglass shape. Make sure to cinch it tightly and tie a knot.

4. Once your tie is in place slide the looped wool from your cardboard. Once it’s off it will look a little like a bow.

5. Cut through the looped wool on both ends. Cut down the centre of the loops as best as you can. Cutting the looped ends will give you a rough pom pom or ball shape.

6. After the loops are all cut down the centre fluff the ball a bit to help set the yarn in place and then trim the ends to give your snowball a nice evenly round shape.

Paint with ice!

ice popsicle painting
Ice lolly Painting: credit Easy Peasy and Fun

All you need is:

  • 1 cup of water
  • Red, yellow, green, and blue food colouring (or any colours you like!)
  • Short lolly sticks
  • Ice cube tray

Tips: add just a tiny bit of food colouring to the trays and mix well. Place a lolly stick in the tray and leave around 6-7 hours to freeze or overnight and lay a newspaper on the table before you paint as the newspapers will stain!

Learn Origami

Origami is one of our favourite activities here at Rainy Days Fun.  It’s non-messy, it improves skills such as concentration, fine motor skills and even mindfulness in both adults and children.

We have a few books about the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, we thoroughly reccomend Easy Origami for Children .

You will also need some origami sheets to make your own pieces of craft.

Or you can also buy a ready made Origami kit with paper and instructions, from Creativity for Kids

Make paper indoor umbrellas

DYI Rainy Day paper plate umbrella
Credits: My Teens Guide

We loved this project as it is really easy to do with very little supplies  – you just need some imagination.

You will need some pipe cleaners and cupcake liners, blue cardboard paper, tape, some blue paint colours and either a sponge or a brush (or a sponge brush!).

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Our First Pumpkin Carving Adventure…

Traditionally Halloween is not something we’ve really gotten excited about in our house.  But as our son has now reached the age where such things become the centre of excitement (we blame his playgroup) there was no getting away from it. Every time we went near a supermarket he’d cast glances toward the pumpkins on display and start asking if we could buy one. There was no getting away from it.

So, after initially hoping to get a few groceries we ended up coming away from our local supermarket armed with a couple of pumpkins (despite toddler entreaties to buy more) and zero clue what to do with them.

Of course, the Internet had the answer; there’s an abundance of sites out there with guides like “How to Carve the Perfect Jack O’Lantern” or how to accomplish “A Spooktacular Pumpkin Carving”… all done by experts and looking like it.

Here’s our first tip – if you’ve never carved a pumpkin before DON’T look to Instagram for inspiration; those amazingly crafted works of vegetable sculpture will only make you feel out of your league as you stand there at the table armed with a vegetable knife and bowl for the innards.

So, here’s what you’ll need for a standard pumpkin caving:

1 Pumpkin – the larger the better as carving smaller pumpkins can get tricky
1 Tea light
Table Spoon
Sharp Serrated Knife
Small Serrated Knife

Step One

Choose a pumpkin – the larger the better as carving the smaller ones can prove tricky with less space for the features – and use a sharp serrated knife to cut off the crown.  Try and cut this as straight as you can or, like ours, your finished pumpkin may end up looking like it was given a lobotomy by Stevie Wonder.

Step Two

Grab a table spoon and get scooping – all the seeds and fibres need removing. Use the spoon to remove some of the pumpkin’s flesh too.  TIP: the more flesh you remove the better,  the thinner the pumpkins ‘skull’ is the easier the carving will be so get at that flesh like a frenzied piranha.

To be honest there’s not a whole lot of point doing anything with the seeds and flesh other than lining the bin. Given how most of them end up during October I’ve got a sneaking suspicion they’re not harvested for taste.

You’ll possibly need a hoover / broom at this point too should your helper have been as enthusiastic as ours in throwing away from those pumpkin seeds. Oh, and to wash your hands – the inside of a pumpkin is not the most pleasant of aromas.

Step Three

With your marker pen draw an outline of the face you want on your pumpkin then, with a small serrated knife, cut out the eyes, nose and mouth. Always remember to cut away from you in case the knife slips and to ensure that little ears aren’t paying too much attention when you do….

Step Four

Place the tea light inside the pumpkin, light it and pop the crown back on your Jack O’Lantern’s head and… voila!

For a first go we were pretty proud of ours. They’re not likely to win any beauty contests but we had a whole lot of fun making them and our little one loved the whole process and, cheesy as it may be, that’s what counts, isn’t it?

We hope you have a lot of fun carving your Jack O’Lantern and have a great Halloween. Don’t forget to let us know – in the comments below or on facebook – how your pumpkin carving goes and subscribe to our newsletter for more great fun activities and places to visit on rainy days.

Easy activities to do with autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves open a myriad of opportunities for little ones to get acquainted with nature and its multitude of colours and to use their imagination.

You can try and extract colours from autumn leaves and also give them a new life as hedgehogs, use them to decorate a frame of one of your paintings or to actually be part of a painting and make them a sort of a 3D form of art!

1. Leaf Hairstyles

This is a very creative idea, that will make use of your children’s creativity. You can either download printables on this website or you can ask your children to use their imagination by first drawing various human silhouettes and imagining different hair styles of various colours.

2. Laminated leaves

If you have a laminating machine, you can keep the leaves forever, or for as long as you want, and create various items with them. You can, for example, after you have laminated them, make a whole in one end, using a hole punch, then insert some string in the holes and create a beautiful autumnal garland.

Or you can stick some googly eyes on them and make them into different shapes. We used ours on a scrap book with souvenir pictures of our son. If you don’t have a laminating machine, you can use cling film. Put a few leaves in between two sheets of cling film and you can then put this on a window to make a very nice autumn decoration.

laminated leaves garland
Source: Pinterest

Laminated leaves in a scrapbook

3. Ghost leaves

This is very easy and spot on for Halloween! It makes a very nice decoration for Halloween that your kids can get involved in. All you need is (obviously) leaves, some white acrylic paint and a paintbrush, a black permanent marker and a string – if you want to put them in a garland.

Begin by painting the leaves – usually putting two coats of paint will do the job. Leave to dry, then paint the eyes and the mouth. In order to make the garland, tie the ropes to the stems of the leaves and there you go! Ready to spook up your neighbours!

Our Favourite Movie Rain Scenes

couple hugging on sofa watching films

When was the last time you saw a film and it drizzled? It never seems your favourite movie characters get caught by a quick rain shower. It would seem that when it comes to movies, it never rains but it pours. Rain has been used for symbolic cleansing, amping up the drama or adding some extra steam to a heated bit of on-screen passion.

We’ve put together a quick list of some of our favourite rain-soaked scenes and would love to know yours.

Blade Runner

A visual masterpiece which received something of a muted reaction upon release waaaaaay back in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner reaches its climax with one of the most famous soliloquies in the history of cinema, delivered and largely improvised by Rutger Hauer as the rain hammers down.. “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

The Shawshank Redemption

Another classic that faired surprisingly poorly upon initial release. The escape sequence which sees Andy Dufresne crawl through “five hundred yards of s**t-smelling foulness” to emerge into the pouring rain and be washed clean is an undeniably euphoric and classic piece of cinema with Andy smiling as only a falsely-imprisoned man experiencing freedom can.

Spiderman

With all the comic book adaptations that have followed and the multiple re-castings of everyone’s favourite web slinger, it would be easy to forget 2002’s Spiderman were it not for the one scene that gets shown most of the time – that famous upside-down kiss in the rain. Of course, if we’re talking famous kisses in the rain there’s also Four Weddings and a Funeral. Or the ending of Breakfast at Tiffanies or…

Jurassic Park

Its effects might not seem so cutting-edge now, but in 1993 Jurassic Park was a real game-changer and Spielberg made full use of the rain to amp up the tension and terror in this scene. Power to the electric fences is down, the guided cars are stalled inside the dinosaur enclosure and the rain is hammering down as we first encounter the T-Rex with fogged up windows hampering visibility, mud and puddles making running away treacherous and hard going…

Back to the Future 2

10:04 p.m. on Nov. 12, 1955, a lightning strike hits the Hill Valley Clock Tower and, in Back to the Future – generates the 1.21 gigawatts needed to send Marty McFly back… well, to the future. But in the timeline crossing sequel, in another part of town, the present-day Doc is inside the DeLorean when it’s struck by lightning and he vanishes in a flash leaving Marty stood alone as the rain starts to fall….

Forest Gump

In a film stuffed with classic scenes stuffed from opening to closing credits, this one often gets forgotten but it would seem Forest Gump’s Vietnam War experience was pretty much a wet one. “One day it started raining, and it didn’t quite for four months..”

The Blue Umbrella

Is there any film company out there as good at trashing our emotions as Pixar? Have you seen the first 10 minutes of Up?! Visual masters that they are, the folks at Pixar can create truly beautiful and poignant scenes and The Blue Umbrella short film is a joy to watch.

Singing In The Rain

Of course, there’s few more iconic rain scenes in film than this one – surely the most famous scene to take place against the rain? There’s so many myths about this one too – that it was filmed in one take, that there was milk mixed in with the rain to make it more visible… but no; the filming took three days, Gene Kelly was running a fever throughout, would get so soaked that his wool suit would shrink during filming and it’s strong back-lighting that makes the rain so dramatic and iconic.

Well, these are ours – what’s your favourite cinematic rain scene? Tell us in the comments below.