Rainy day weekends

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This weekend was supposed to be full of outdoor activities. Cycling, kayaking, diving. I even downloaded vouchers. And then the rain set in – before I even woke up – and changed the entire focus of the weekend.

Mother of three and avid traveller Deborah Dickson-Smith, blogs about last weekend...

Rainy weekends can make for stir-crazy kids – and stir-crazy parents if you don’t do something quickly and decisively to prevent them watching the Disney Channel and/or* playing shoot-em-ups on the Xbox all day long.

*It’s becoming a regular occurrence in my household for these two activities to happen concurrently, along with the iPod Touch and Facebook in between turns of the controller, which drives me MAD.

My solution: remember board games? Those games that require at least three players and for those players to actually talk to each other? We have a cupboard full of them.

So follows a marathon game of Monopoly – the Australian Here & Now version, which is a little different to the Monopoly I played as a kid. For starters Mayfair and Park Lane have been replaced (rather perversely) by Barossa Valley and Adelaide.

And there’s no cash. Each player has a credit card (with millions of dollars in credit – what fun!) and transactions are done via a toy Eftpos machine. The principle is the same though: the game could continue forever – or at least until the arguments start, which is when it’s time to switch activities. In our case it’s Harry Potter Cluedo.

Next on my rainy-day list is baking. Easy baking – cheese and vegemite scrolls – which require a packet of puff pastry, vegemite and grated cheese. Spread each sheet with vegemite, sprinkle with grated cheese and cut into slices. Roll up each sheet and slice into little rolls. Bake for 15 minutes at about 200 degrees Celsius.

(It should be noted I pinched this recipe from a friend – you know who you are – and I thank-you!)

Putting a “family movie night” on the agenda is also a good idea because it means we watch a DVD that everyone (including me) will enjoy.

Or even better – make a movie – an activity that kept my son busy for an entire day as he filmed scenes, planned special effects and edited the final result. Amazing what you can do with a mobile phone and iMovie.

So that’s how we got through our the rainy weekend – what are your ideas?

Deborah’s first trip with a bub of 4 months involved a 26-hour flight with no sleep, which is exactly when she realised travelling would never be the same. This has only been further confirmed as her family has grown. She’s lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and is now reasonably settled in Sydney’s northern beaches with her three children — who are now all seasoned travellers.

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