12 Indoor Activities for Kids on Rainy Days - Baby Chick
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12 Indoor Activities for Kids on Rainy Days

Get rainy day ideas to entertain your kids with our list of indoor activities for kids, from putting together a puzzle to building a fort and more!

Updated July 19, 2024

by Kiran Talvadkar

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst

Rainy days can sometimes feel daunting. Knowing your kiddos will be cooped up inside all day can send any parent into a tailspin. While it is easy to turn on screens and call it a day, it can be helpful to use it as an opportunity to get creative and play (with maybe some screen time thrown in there). Below are 12 screen-free things to do on a rainy day, from indoor activities for kids to ways to venture outside and have fun in the rain!

6 Rainy Day Activities and Games for Kids

Rainy days are a great excuse to engage in several indoor activities for kids — specifically games. Here are some favorites:

1. Board Games

Funny African American children playing chess with mom and dad at home

For younger kids, pull out classics like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and charades. A newer preschool game that is quite the hit is Zingo — a great game for matching skills. For older kids, take out games that may be trickier or take a little longer. Games like Monopoly (target skills: numbers, money sense), Chess, Checkers, Guess Who (target skills: deduction; yes/no questions), Pictionary, and Blokus are great for slightly older kids.

2. Scavenger Hunts

Happy little boy making a house tent and imagine he is in the jungle. Kids hideouts. Adventure. Imagination.

Scavenger hunts are often considered outdoor activities, but they are equally great indoor activities for kids. Make a list of items (something green, something you use to eat, etc.) for your child to find around the house. Or organize the scavenger hunts by room — kitchen items, playroom items, etc. Make a visual scavenger hunt using pictures for younger kids who aren’t reading yet.

3. Building a Fort

Happy little boy enjoying in his creative time at home building a fort.

Grab blankets and pillows, clear a space in the living room, and task your children with building the ultimate fort. You’d be surprised by how long this activity can captivate kids. Plus, it helps them to work on task planning, teamwork, and problem-solving.

4. Family Puzzle Time

Close up of unrecognizable family playing jigsaw puzzle game together at home

Break out a large puzzle and delegate tasks to everyone. One person can find the edge pieces; one person can find the corner pieces, etc. Work on coordinating everyone’s efforts to put together the puzzle.

5. Super Silly Fashion Show

Fashionable daughters demonstrating their costumes to father dressed like hippie

Have everyone go into their rooms and assemble the silliest outfit they can find. Then, have everyone walk down the hallway as if it’s the runway. It’ll be so fun to see everyone strike their best pose. You can also play upbeat music and shine lights to make it more realistic. Creativity plus laughter is the best combination.

6. Cooking and Baking

Pre-teen boy making a cake in the kitchen mixing cake mix, smiling, close up

Some of my favorite indoor activities for kids involve the kitchen. Have your kids help you pick out a recipe and give it a go. Sometimes, involving kids in cooking a new meal or recipe helps motivate even the pickiest of eaters to try something new because it gives them control and ownership over the situation. Plus, they see all the ingredients that went into it.

3 Indoor Craft Activities for Kids

Rainy day crafts are another great indoor activity for kids to pass the time when stuck inside. The benefits include creative stimulation, fine motor skill practice, attention/focus, etc. Here are some indoor craft activities to get you started:

1. Sewing

Beautiful adult mother teaching, bonding with her mixed race African little cute daughter girl using sewing machine for making dress, clothes at home or tailor shop, smiling with happiness together

Depending on your child’s age, you might want to take the opportunity to teach them how to sew. Have them make a pillow or special clothing for their favorite teddy bear. The point is not for the finished project to look recognizable but for your child to engage in the action of stitching and sewing.

2. Recyclable Creations

High angle portrait of unrecognizable little boy cutting paper in arts and crafts class of pre-school making handmade gift

Raid your recycling bin with your child. You’d be surprised what kids can create with cardboard boxes, plastic milk jugs, metal cans, and their imaginations! They could craft anything from animals to robots to cars.

3. Process Art

Three kids sorting garbage at home - plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles and cardboard.

Take any random supplies you have — paper scraps, plastic buttons, glue, tape, pipe cleaners, etc. — and lay them all on the table. Then, let your child engage in “process art.” This means creating art with a focus on engagement with materials and the process of creating rather than the finished product.

3 Activities To Do IN the Rain

While the driest options are indoor activities for kids on a rainy day, not all things to do on a rainy day involve staying inside. It’s super fun to take some time to explore outside while it’s raining. Throw on some rain boots, raincoats, and umbrellas, and head outside. Here are some ideas to make outside time in the rain fun:

1. Engage Their Senses

Shot of a young brother and sister playing in the rain.

Discuss how the rain feels to your child’s senses. What does it smell like? What does it sound like when it hits the ground versus when it hits a car? Have them open their mouth and stick out their tongue — how does the rain taste? Is it warm or cold?

2. Play With Puddles

Cute and playful female child jumping in a puddle of water on the street wearing yellow rubber boots and a raincoat.

Have a puddle jumping competition and see who can make the biggest splash! Or bring a ruler outside and measure how deep different puddles are. Which one is the deepest? Why might that be?

3. Count Worms

happy children boy and girl on autumn walk outside

Go for a walk and count how many worms you see. Worms tend to come to the surface or get uncovered when the ground gets wet. You’ll often see them on top of lawns, in puddles, or even floating down sidewalks. As you count each worm, talk about it. Is it a long one or a short one? Is it moving or staying still?

Remember to look on the “bright side” of rainy days — they’re a great excuse for quality time with your kids. They are also a chance to engage in screen-free indoor activities for kids. Rainy day activities for kids don’t have to be elaborate. Just pull out the games, the crafts, and rain boots, and have fun!

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  • Author
Kiran Talvadkar
Kiran Talvadkar Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst
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Kiran Talvadkar is a preschool special education teacher, board-certified behavior analyst, and mom. Kiran received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and her Master's from Teacher's College, Columbia… Read more

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