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Ah – the British summer holiday, traditional bastion of the rainy day. Ideas for entertaining the kids when it rains needn’t be such a mad scramble. Just a little planning ahead and you can keep the grandchildren happy for hours, no matter where you live.

If the grandkids are coming to stay and you want to research some indoor activities to do, away from your home, have a look at Day Out With the Kids. This great little site gives you the option to look at indoor or outdoor activities in any town or area of the UK – perfect for a rainy day plan!

It’s a good idea to have some rainy day emergency plans for home as well. Sometimes you can have the most fun when you stay inside. Finding the perfect activities – ones that get everyone involved and don’t make too much mess – can be tricky though. So here are a few starter ideas for you:

Have a day playing some classic board games: like the brilliant Mouse Trap, which still gets everyone involved… more than 40 years after its original publication. You can get a modern version for a reasonable price at any decent toy store, or if ‘retro’ is your thing you can pick up an original game online for around £20 second-hand.

Of course there is the all-time party classic for all ages: Charades. This neat little Charades ideas generator can help keep the fun going if you’ve all run out of ideas for films, books and TV programmes.

Cooking is  great fun when it’s raining outside too. Pick something simple that all the children can  enjoy making and eating. Healthy biscuits, gingerbread men (and women) and jam tarts are all popular favourites. Be careful with the hot jam if you go for the last one though.

The BBC Good Food website has a special “cooking with kids” section, which is packed with great recipe ideas. From sweet treats to main meals, there is something for every age and every occasion. Recipes for healthy burgers; fun pasta sauces; birthday biscuits; and of course plenty of scrummy cakes. Cooking encourages children to be creative, it is a brilliant activity for sharing some real quality time – and can also get them interested in healthier food… always a struggle in my house but there you go…

Story time always has its place in our household – and when the rain comes, or when it’s just time to spend a day indoors for a change, I’ve found you can get hours of entertainment (not to mention a good healthy dollop of peace and quiet!) when you get the children to write a story of their own. If you really want to make a hit with the little ones, start by reading a favourite story, then getting them to write their own story afterwards. It’s a joy seeing where their imagination takes them. For a full day’s fun away from the TV, you can even get them to act out the stories they wrote too.

For more ideas on how to entertain the grandkids this summer, check out Ask Granny, the online guide for grandparents.