Cozy rainy days give you the occasional excuse to cuddle up on the couch and have a movie marathon with the kids are nice every now and then… but when rainy days repeat for days on end, it’s easy to go a little stir crazy! Here’s 33 rainy day activities for kids that you can whip out the next time you’re stuck inside for days on end!
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Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Creative At Home Play
1. Build an awesome blanket fort
Couches, dining room tables, bunk beds, or chairs can make awesome fort frames! Eating snacks, reading books, and playing with toys are all more fun from inside of a fort!
2. Create a city scape
Pull out empty cardboard boxes (ahem – perhaps from your amazon addiction?) and create a town. Bring out toy cars and little toy people and encourage imaginative play! You can even decorate the boxes with paint, markers, or construction paper if your kids are really into it!
3. Have a LEGO building competition
I love that LEGO has sets for all different ages and developmental stages now! My 3 year old loves kits like this one or this one and building plates like this one open up a whole new world of creativity and play.
My 5 year old feels like he’s “too old” for the Duplo LEGOs now and prefers the Classic sets like this one.
4. Go camping indoors
Set up a tent if you have one. Use household items to create a pretend campfire. You can really encourage imaginative play by setting up a “fishing spot,” roasting pretend (or real) marshmallows, “cooking” pretend hotdogs over the campfire, or even pretend to go on a hike around the house.
5. Have a birthday party for their favorite stuffed animal
Have your kids make decorations & bake a pretend (or real) treat for their stuffed animal. You can even have them send “invitations” to their stuffed animal’s friends!
6. Fill a bag with random stuff
Take inventory of what you have around the house and fill paper bags with random items (think toothpicks, string, tape, popsicle sticks, food items, cotton balls, random lost toys you find under the couch) and give the kids a challenge to build something out of it!
7. Create an indoor pretend play set up
Kids are SO imaginative, but sometimes they need someone to nudge them in the right direction. Help them to engage in creative play by setting up a pretend play setting. You can create a hospital using dress up clothes (or dad’s old button down shirt), fold up blankets to be hospital beds, lay their stuffed animals on the beds as patients. Give your kids pretend tablets or clipboards and paper to take notes on about how their patients are doing. Not into the medical scene? Set up a restaurant, construction site, market, or library. Give them maps and an “adventure kit” and have them pretend like they’re explorers going on an expedition. Get your kids thinking in the right direction and then step back and see where their imagination takes them.
8. Put on a Concert
Collect all of your toy instruments, or make some of your own! Have your kids put on a concert for their stuffed animals!
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Sensory Play
9. Sensory Bins
Pinterest is full of themed sensory bins if you want to get fancy, but all you really need is something like rice, dried beans, uncooked pasta, rolled oats, or kinetic sand.
Fill a container (I like to use an under the bed box, but any large container will do – I’ve even used a kiddie pool) with your chosen substance. Make it interesting by adding smaller containers and utensils for scooping and digging, or burry things like small toys, puzzle pieces, or flashcards with letters or numbers on them! The possibilities are endless. This occupies my children for hours! If you don’t have anything you can use for a sensory bin, create a pouring station instead! Fill some containers with water and let them scoop, pour and splash to their heart’s content!
Pull out the play-dough and tools like these and see what your kids can create! You can have sculpture competitions if you want to make it more interesting. Roll play dough out to make letters and spell words if you want to make it educational! Or get creative with fun play-dough mats like these!
11. Shaving Cream
Pull out shaving cream and let them play with it in the bath tub! It’ll make a mess, but clean up is easy peasy!
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: At Home Ideas to Burn Energy
12. Make a pillow pile
Need to burn off some extra energy? Gather all the pillows and blankets in the house and pile them in one room. The kids will have a ball jumping into the pile.
13. Have a dance party
Crank up the music and have a dance party! Your kids will LOVE it if you join in! They don’t care if you look like a fool!
14. Blow up some balloons
I’m always amazed at how much fun my kids have with something as simple as a 99 cent pack of balloons! Keep some on hand to blow up and fill their room with. You can see how many times you can bounce it back to each other without it hitting the floor – excellent for practicing counting skills too!
15. Kids’ Exercise Videos
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Food and Cooking
16. Bake Something
Take an inventory of what ingredients you have in the cabinet. Thanks to Pinterest you can usually find some sort of recipe that can be made with ingredients that you already have, or try letting the kids make up their own!
17. Re-create a Kids Cooking Show
Watch a kids cooking show like Chopped Jr. or Kids Baking Championship and re-create it in your own kitchen afterwards! (With appropriate safety precautions of course!)
18. Let the Kids Cook Dinner
If you’re feeling adventurous, load the kids up and go to the grocery store. Let them decide on the menu in advance and help them make the grocery list. Shop for the ingredients they need and let them cook dinner! (Maybe add some frozen pizzas to the cart just in case). Is loading kids up & going to the store the last thing you want to do when it’s raining? Try ordering from Instacart or do grocery pick up!
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Art & Science
19. Do an art project
Take inventory of the art supplies you already have and get creative! Sometimes all kids really need is some paper, a paintbrush, paint, and a brave parent who’s not afraid of a little mess! For little ones you can even just have them paint with water!
20. Have the kids practice drawing
Not a super artistic mom? Neither am I! But my kids love watching the Art Hub tutorials and following along!
21. Create a Vertical Art Space
Tape butcher paper on the walls and let them draw and decorate it. It’s amazing how much more appealing drawing is to kids, when they get to do it on the wall!
22. Make cards to mail to grandparents or friends
Kids love to get mail, and they love to send it too! Have your kids make cards for the special people in their lives and actually mail them! You can even use it as a chance to teach them about how the U.S. Postal System works!
23. Make Fossils
Learn about fossils by reading a book or watching a video on youtube like this one or learn about paleontologists by watching a video like this one. Then make your own fossils! If you have fun dinosaur figures like these that you can use, that’s great, but you can make your own footprint fossils out of any small animal toy. You can make your own salt dough by using this recipe, or you can just use play dough!
Bonus: once your fossils are hardened, burry them in your sensory bin and let the kids pretend to be paleontologists and “excavate” them!
24. Do a science experiment
Once again, Pinterest for the win! Find fun science experiments that can be done with things you already have around your house! We did this experiment with candy canes at Christmas time, but you could definitely modify it to fit any candy and substances that you have on hand! My kids LOVED it and it was so simple!
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Reading
25. Read Aloud
Reading good literature to children is so important and you would be surprised what they’ll listen to – even if it doesn’t have tons of pictures! Our favorite books we’ve been reading lately have been:
Winnie the Pooh (the original versions)
26. Learn a New Bible Story
Pick out a Bible Story Book and read a Bible Story and do a simple craft related to it. Memorize a scripture to go along with it. Below are our favorite Bible Story Books:
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Indoor Games
27. Play Board Games
Board games are SUCH good opportunities for kids to learn things like taking turns, strategy, being a gracious winner, and being a gracious loser! Our favorite board games are:
28. Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Hide small items or letters that spell out words around the house and have your kids hunt for them! If you have more than one kid, you can use a timer to compete & see who can find all the items the fastest!
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Teach Life Skills
29. Set out to clean or declutter. Teach kids how to do age appropriate household chores.
Ideas kids can do:
- Clean up their toys
- Wipe tables, windowsills, and baseboards
- Help scrub the floor
- Put silverware away
- Fold washcloths and hand towels
Rainy Day Activities For Kids: Getting Out of the House
30. Visit the Library
Find books on topics you’ve never learned about before! Check out awesome picture books or classic chapter books to explore!
31. Check out local story times.
If you need to get out of the house, libraries and book stores often have weekly story times that are fun and free!
32. Check out local indoor play spaces
While not free, if you’re desperate to get the kids out of the house and burn off some energy you can check out your local indoor play spaces like Sky Zone, Get Air, Urban Air, Monkey Joes, Chick-fil-a play areas, or indoor mall play areas. You can also check out places like local children’s museums, aquariums, or science centers!
33. The ultimate free rainy day activity: Get appropriate gear and go out and play in the rain!
As long as it’s not thundering and lightning, there’s no reason you can’t get out and explore in the rain! Your kids will love splashing in puddles and getting muddy! Just be prepared with clean clothes and baths when they’re done exploring!