Here in the UK we have had an unusually long stretch of hot, sunny weather. Usually our Summer ends up being a mixture of rain, wind & the occasional sunny day, but this year it has been like Summer should be; sunshine from early morning until late at night. In typical British fashion plenty of people have complained, looking for ways to cool down. Sales of electric fans have increased and I even heard of some stores completely selling out.
Our Disney Mad Family love the sunshine. We enjoy spending time outdoors, cooking on the barbecue and playing outdoors games, like hula hoops, Frisbee and basketball. It’s also a good way to get some exercise and burn off some energy while having fun.
But as much as we love the sunshine, we’re used to rainy days here at Disney Mad Family HQ. Where we live we get more than our fair share of rain, so often have to keep ourselves entertained indoors when it’s too wet & cold to venture outside.
For the last few days the sun has been giving us all a break. I’m currently looking out the window at the grey clouds in the sky, waiting for yet another downpour. The plants and grass need this weather; everywhere you look the grass looks dry & brown. Finding ways to keep Evie entertained on days when we’re stuck indoors is sometimes difficult, so I will sometimes look for ideas on the internet. Here are some of the ideas that have been a huge success in the past:-
- Building a den/blanket fort
- Cuddling up to watch a movie or read a book
- Get a pack of playing cards to play some card games
- Put our music on shuffle & have a sing-a-long or crazy dancing in the family room
- Play a game on the PlayStation or WiiU
- Play a board game
- Build Lego
There are so many wonderful things to do and children always enjoy these sorts of things, especially when the adults join in.
Today I decided to do some baking. In our house we have a huge pile of cookery and baking books. I usually go straight to a Nigella Lawson or Primrose Bakery book and will bake a cake, cupcakes or brownies from scratch. However on this occasion I had a Betty Crocker brownie box mix in the kitchen cupboard that needed to be used up. In the past when we have used cake mixes I haven’t been pleased with the results; they had an almost manufactured taste to them, not homemade at all. This brownie mix had been bought some time ago when we all fancied some brownies, but didn’t feel like messing around with a more complicated from scratch recipe. It didn’t get used when we bought it, so today I decided it was time to get it out of the cupboard and give it a try.
It was so easy for us to do. We just got the extra ingredients out, put them into a mixing bowl and Evie mixed it all together with a wooden spoon. That was it; no melting chocolate, no blenders, just a mixing bowl, some adorable Mickey measuring spoons that we purchased on our most recent holiday and a wooden spoon. Once it was expertly mixed, into the oven it went. We set the timer and while we waited for it to bake, we watched a Disney Food Blog video on YouTube. We have been a fan of DFB for around a year now, when we discovered them on YouTube after searching for some Disney related videos. We try to watch their videos on a Saturday or Sunday now to see if there’s anything new and exciting happening in DisneyWorld, but to also pick up some ideas and tips for future visits. It usually ends up with us having a list of different foods we would like to try, but not enough days to try them all!
Twenty five minutes was all it took for the brownies to finish baking and once we removed them from the oven, we left them to cool for a short while then transferred them to a plate to have a little taste test. Both of us were really impressed with the results; the brownies were soft and slightly chewy, with plenty of chocolate flavour to them and didn’t taste like a ready-made mixture at all. I still prefer baking from scratch, but will definitely not rule out using this brownie mix again in future. Here’s the end results. I don’t think they will be around for very long!
I also updated our Christmas countdown today. We bought this in the Disney Days of Christmas store in Disney Springs many years ago and it is always on display in our house, but I don’t change the countdown every day. There have been lots of Christmas in July comments and posts on Instagram so it made me think about the countdown, so I have changed it today. I just can’t promise I will change it every day!
We also did some Lego building today. It is a work in progress because it is such a huge build, but we’re trying to build our Disney Castle. We have had it for a really long time but just don’t have hours and hours to finish it all in one sitting, so we’ve been building it in stages. It already looks amazing and I can’t wait until it’s complete. Only problem is I can’t figure out where we are going to display it once it’s done!
The weather is starting to improve again now so we’ll be back outdoors before we know it, so it has been nice to have some fun indoors for a few days.
What do you all do to keep children entertained on rainy days? Does anybody else have the Lego Castle?