Rainy days are inevitable. And while it can be soothing to watch the water pour down and hear the pitter-patter sounds, rainy days can also leave kids bored and anxious when they can’t go out and play.
This, in turn, means parents want to find an activity that will prevent them from uttering those dreaded words, “I’m bored.” But it’s also a good idea to use this opportunity as a time to bond with your kids. If you ban them from spending too much time on their electronic devices, you’ll especially be seeking out activities to keep them busy and entertained.
What can you do with kids when the weather isn’t in your favor to spend time outdoors? Here are 10 ideas.
10 Watch A Movie
While you might not want your kids to have their heads buried in their smartphones or tablets for hours on end for solitary play or mindless surfing and social media posting, watching a movie can be a great way for the family to enjoy quality time together. Kids get their screen time, but you can make an event of it.
Find a great family-friendly film you’ve all been meaning to watch, park your butts on the couch, pop some popcorn and make small bowls of delicious treats, then indulge together.
Alternatively, you can also head out to the theatre for an authentic experience, catching the latest release film on a massive screen with fabulous surround sound.
9 Play Board Games
Board games are becoming popular once again as families look to disconnect from electronic devices and focus on simpler and fun activities. Dust off the games you’ve had tucked away in the closet or attic for years and sit down for family game night.
Play games like Chutes & Ladders or Guess Who? with young kids, or classic ones like Monopoly, Life, or Pictionary with older ones. Or pop out to your local toy store and pick a few games to try something new.
Older kids might be reluctant at first, but once the laughs start flowing, they’ll be loving every minute.
8 Play Outside In Bathing Suits
Don’t let the rain stop extra-active kids who might not be phased by it. As long as there’s no thunder, lightning, or extreme winds, let the kids throw on their bathing suits and run around in the rain. Set up a water slide or even just the sprinkler in the backyard and let them run through it.
If you have an area with hard pavement or a deck, have them play there with water guns. If you are OK with them going on the grass, have them wear their rain boots as well. You'll have to deal with the muddy clean-up afterwards, but it will keep the kids busy and entertained for a few hours.
7 Make Crafts
There’s no better time to work on crafting then a cold and/or rainy day at home. Grab your supply of crafting items, but also everyday household items that could come in handy, like empty cardboard boxes or toilet paper and paper towel rolls, plastic straws, and yarn. Look online for inspiration, or simply set everything up on the table and let the creativity fly.
Make a fun contest out of it where everyone in the family has to make his own craft then vote on a winner. Or make crafts that you can use for an upcoming holiday, like Halloween or Christmas.
This is also a perfect time for the kids to make homemade greeting cards or gifts for friends and family members, whether it’s a watercolor painting that you can have them sign and frame for the grandparents, or a clay jewelry box or pretty bracelet or necklace for a special friend.
6 Indoor Entertainment Venues
You can still get out of the house if you prefer and take the kids somewhere indoors for fun activities, like an indoor amusement park, play place, bowling alley, arcade, movie theater, go-karting, mini golf, trampoline park, and more.
Help the kids burn off some energy there, especially if you live in a small home or apartment where there isn’t much room for them to run around indoors, and enjoy a change of scenery so you don’t feel like you’re cooped up in the house all day. It’s good exercise, too, and it will be a treat for the kids.
5 Have A Baking Party
Use the weather as an excuse to bake up a storm, with warm treats you can indulge in right away, like chocolate chip cookies, as well as big batches of goodies you can use for school lunches, like healthy mini muffins for snack time, homemade bread for sandwiches, and Rice Krispies treats for dessert.
Spark inspiration through a cookbook, or experiment with your own recipes. Let the kids mix up their own batch of cookies or cupcakes, then have a ball frosting and decorating.
4 Redecorate/Reorganize Their Rooms
A rainy day is the perfect time to reorganize and redecorate your child’s room. Make a day project of it, going through clothing to get rid of what they’ve grown out of or don’t wear, organizing books, emptying drawers, and so on.
Put on some music and help the kids sort through everything or let them do it on their own as you check in every now and then, which older kids might appreciate.
Once you have bags of items to donate or throw out, start redecorating. Maybe move the furniture around for an exciting new look, add some shelves or artwork, or even give it a new paintjob. Once everything is done, the kids will have fun putting items back just the way they want them and will feel like they have a brand new room.
3 Put Together A Puzzle
Grab a large puzzle and set it up at the dining room table or in the den or basement where the kids, or the whole family, can start putting it together. Use the time to talk with the family about plans for the upcoming week, how school is going, or what you will have for dinner.
Kids can keep going back to the puzzle when they’re bored to add more pieces. Ideally, get a board to put the puzzle on as you put it together. This way, you can easily move it and tuck it under the bed or somewhere else until you’re ready to work on it again come next rain day.
2 Make A Scrapbook
Get all of those items you’ve been stockpiling from vacations and special events and have been meaning to put into a scrapbook, and finally get it done.
Get a cool scrapbook, stickers, and other items, then go through items you’ve kept like tickets to a show, entry bracelets to venues, plane tickets, receipts, and photos, and have the kids put them together as they like. They can choose what goes where, add their own captions, and have loads of fun recalling all of the great memories.
1 Play Video Games
You probably say “no” pretty often when the kids ask if they can play video games. This time, say yes, and allow them to indulge in this favorite pastime while the weather isn’t conducive to going outside.
Let the kids tuck themselves in their room or the basement for a few hours and play or join them to make it a family affair with some active and/or educational video games. As long as the game is age-appropriate, and it isn’t a regular occurrence, there’s nothing wrong with letting them enjoy gaming when it’s a rainy day outside and they don’t have the option for outdoor play anyway.