As summer 2012 looks set to be the wettest on record, keeping little ones entertained is proving to be something of a headache.
With the summer holidays in full swing and the weather dismal, thinking up ideas to occupy the children that don’t cost a fortune can be difficult.
Most days have been so wet that trips to the playpark have been ruled out but Falkirk Herald readers have come up with free and cheap ways to stop youngsters getting bored.
Mhairi Ollier suggested salt dough modelling for a rainy day.
Made from ingredients found in most cupboards, the dough costs just a few pence and can keep them busy for hours.
The mixture - salt, flour and water - can be modelled into any shape and then air dried or baked in the oven and painted or coloured using food colouring or other household items such as coffee granules and curry powder.
Mum of two Claire Connolly buys inexpensive lining paper which she tapes to the linoleum on the kitchen floor and lets the children loose with pens, crayons and paints.
She said: “I let them draw to their hearts’ content - and it keeps my two amused for hours.”
For water babies, Falkirk Council swimming pools have a buy one swim get six free offer.
For £1.80, kids between the ages eight and S6 get entry to the baths at the Mariner Centre, Grangemouth Sports Complex or Bo’ness Recreation Centre and free entry for the next six days.
At Callendar House, there are two exhibitions suitable for children running over the summer and entry to both are free.
‘1952-2012: 60 Years of Past’ includes gadgets, fashions and toys from throughout the decades and the music shop allows youngsters to talk to a ‘shop worker’ about music and even play some records on the jukebox.
In the Park Gallery within Callendar House, the ‘Smile’ exhibition uses every day objects to turn into objects guaranteed to make you giggle and, if the weather does perk up, the park surrounding the house offers a playpark, country walks and a newly opened wildlife garden.
If the wet weather doesn’t faze you or the kids, Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth has free entry Monday to Saturday and equipment such as bug boxes and pond dipping nets can be borrowed with no charge too.
Ranger Rosie Black said: “The wet weather maybe isn’t ideal for humans but it’s great for hunting insects and wildlife.
‘‘Slugs, snails and bigs love the damp weather so it’s the ideal time to come to the centre and find out more about them - just make sure you bring wellies and a waterproof jacket on the rainy days.”
The centre runs activities throughout July and August, including an art session with natural materials on August 11 and an orienteering challenge on August 15. For full details, visit www.swt.org.uk.