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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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!