Rain got you cooped up inside again? Looking for activities for the kids ? Here are 50 fun, easy and cheap rainy day activities for kids, to keep you and them from climbing the walls!
You can also get these 50 Fun Rainy Day Activities in a downloadable checklist.
1. Create a Town in a Cardboard Box
If you have a giant cardboard box, why not draw a town on the bottom of the box, with roads, tracks, bridges, parks, car-parks, etc. Add some wooden building blocks, cars, trains and some wooden/plastic animals. Then let your kid’s imagination run wild. Older kids could help with decorating/creating the scene.
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2. Build a Fort with Blankets and Pillows
Build a den out of the sofa cushions, chairs, clothes rack with a blanket draped over or create a fort out of a big cardboard box with packing tape to hold the sides together.
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30 Day Lego Play Challenge
Download our fun free 30 Day LEGO Challenge!
3. Visit the Library
Your local library is a great resource on a rainy day. Many of the libraries run pre-school story time, during school hours, and often run classes/activities for school kids during holidays.
You might also like these 4 Fun Book Crafts for Kids.
4. Indoor Treasure Hunt
Our free indoor treasure hunt sheet has
– a selection of things to do
– things to find
– fun activities to help pass the time!
All you have to do is provide each child with their printed treasure hunt and a small box to collect their items!
5. Make Some Music
Get all your instruments out or make some cheap versions, using kitchen utensils(most popular in our house are pots, wooden spoons, tins, spatula) and make some “music” – check out our tips here.
6. Tidy Out The Playroom
This might sound like a chore to start, but as the kids start to find toys, they haven’t seen for a while, they will get in on the fun!
The only precaution is be prepared to finish the tidying on your own, as they go off to play with some “long-lost” toy!
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7. Play Board Games
Play some board games together. If you need some ideas for games to buy, check out the best board games for families & New Family Board Games Recommended by Board Game Guys.
8. Make a Home Cinema
Set up a home cinema and settle down to watch some fun family movies together. We’ve lots of suggestions here for
- Classic Films for Kids
- Non-Disney Movies for Kids
- 50 of the Best Family Movies on Netflix
- 50 Best Family Movies Ever
- 10 Great Kids Movies every Family Should Own
Or why not make your own movies with How to Make Stop Motion Movies – The Beginners Guide?
9. Make Shadow Shapes
Turn off the lights, close the curtains, and with the help of a torch, take turns making shadow shapes on the walls, with your hands. See who can make the best shape.
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10. Google “How to draw…”
Google “How to draw…”, selecting whatever your kid wants, such as dinosaur, racing car, fairies, princess, animals etc. Get some blank sheets and let them loose.
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11. Play Cards
Remember the card games you used to play as a child? Why not teach your kids how to play some card games. Here are 15 fun card games for kids.
Most kids love to bake, with the promise of a sweet treat at the end! Here are 10 Easy Peasy Baking Recipes for Kids, and we have lots more recipe ideas in our food and recipes section, to give you some inspiration.
13. Create a Play/Show
Have the children put on a play or show (don’t forget to film it!)
14. Make Paper Aeroplanes
All you need to make Paper Aeroplanes is paper and pens. First fold your paper aeroplane and then the kids can draw the pilots at the front and the passengers looking out of the windows. Then have a Paper Aeroplane race and see whose gets furthest.
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15. Make Special Cards or Write a Letter
Everyone loves to receive a personal letter/card in the post these days, as is such a rarity! This would be a special treat for Grandparents or even cousins. Use stamps, glitter, paints and create a card to send or give to their relatives. Good opportunity for older children to practice their handwriting too!
Print off some printables / colouring sheets, get out all the pens and crayons and set up a colouring station at the kitchen table. colorwithmimi.com has a good choice of printable activities for kids.
Here are the Best Sites for Free Colouring Pages for Toddlers.
Then set up an Art Gallery once the fabulous pictures are finished to show them off to other family members.
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16. Make a Magazine
Set up a family News Desk at the kitchen table! Decide on what stories are going to go in the magazine. Could be a profile of someone in the family, maybe an interview with a grandparent, will someone take photos or draw pictures. Maybe there could be a fun corner with a puzzle or a joke in it.
Decide on what story or item will go on what page, maybe write down on a mini magazine plan on a sheet of paper. Gather together the materials you’ll need to make up the magazine: paper, pens, photos, any other materials to decorate the magazine. Then have fun putting the magazine together!
17. Decorating Cupcakes
This is one activity that does need some advance planning, so why not keep your baking cupboard stocked with some decorating basics, such as selection of sprinkles and stars, hearts, mini-mallows, bar of chocolate, as well as cupcake cases.
Bake some cupcakes/buns – this lemon buns recipe is lovely, if you’re stuck for a recipe. You can make the icing, or melt some chocolate, to top the buns. Cover your table and give the kids the cooled buns to decorate – yummy!
This is a great activity for older kids – set a challenge to see how many books/chapters can be read during the day. If you need some inspiration here’s
- 10 Great Kids Stories Every House Should Own
- 10 of the Most Highly Recommended Kids Book by Age
- 25 Books for Teens
- Best Books for Kids Aged 8-12 yrs
19. Have a Tea-Party/Indoor Picnic
Spread out the picnic blanket/kids table and set out little plates with snacks and drinks and napkins and enjoy an indoor picnic! Cuddly toys also make useful guests!
20. Lego-Building Contest
Most houses have Lego, so why not spent a wet day having a Lego-building contest. Pick a theme e.g. vehicles, single coloured blocks etc. and let them loose constructing.
21. Have a Micro Treasure Hunt
Everyone gets a matchbox to fill it with as many tiny objects as they can find. They have ten minutes to find and fit into their matchbox as many tiny whole objects as they can. Tiny Things that would fit in the matchbox could include:
- a paper clip
- a drawing pin
- a pea
- a button
- a piece of lego
- a bead….
22. Make a Playlist and Have a Disco
On iTunes, Spotify, Audiolizer or we7 you can create your own playlists of your favourite songs. Why not pick 5 songs each that you all like, to add to your playlist, then put it on shuffle and have a Mini Disco in the house.
Move back the furniture, and get moving – why not try best and worst dancer competitions, and get everyone to try the Can Can and limbo dancing?
23. Hold an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Nearly everyone owns a digital camera or has camera function on their mobile phone. Make up a list of items, that can be found throughout the house. The children must find and photograph each item on the list! Why not try finding the items on our Scavenger Hunt!
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24. Photo Albums & Photos
Kids (and adults) love looking at old photos and hearing stories, so find those old photo albums and have a look at the past. A real winner in our house is to give each child their own photo album, and let them choose their own photos for it – a great entertainer on a rainy day! They can get creative with their own albums, decorating the covers and pages.
25. Make a Collage
Get out the old magazines and some paper and glue and pens and have a collage-making session.
26. Make a Flippy Book/Moving Story
This is an ideal craft for an older kid – all you need is a drawing pad, and pencil. Explain how the book works, that you draw an image in the same corner of the book on each page, and that each image changes only slightly. Stickman are a good starting point, in different poses. Then you flip through the pages and watch their character “start to move”
27. Play Dress-Up
You can let the kids use their dress-up boxes, but more fun is to let them loose in your wardrobes. Ideally drag out some of your older clothes, that are not fashionable anymore, but that doesn’t mean your little one won’t love running around in them!
28. Make Scrapbooks
Give your child some old photographs they love to make special scrapbook pages you can add to your own scrapbooks. Supplies: old pictures, craft paper, glue, sparkles, etc
29. Paint Faces
Most kids love getting their faces painted, so worth having some good face-paint in the house, at all times. Also good practice for when you are hosting your child’s birthday parties at home.
30. Get Crafty
It’s a good idea to have an Art Supplies Box, that you keep for rainy days, filled with glitter, glue, pom-poms, stickers, pipe cleaners, and let them get creative. If they don’t know what to make/draw/paint give them a topic to get them started.
We have plenty of ideas here too:
- 12 Funky Crafts for Kids aged 8-12 yrs
- 16 Super Easy Crafts for Toddlers & Preschoolers
- 25 Paper Plate Crafts, perfect for Preschoolers
- 18 Easy Paper Crafts for Kids
- 10 Owl Crafts for Kids that will be a Hoot to Make
31. Expand an Image
Glue a piece from a magazine picture, onto a blank sheet of paper, and allow the kids to finish the picture.
32. Go Camping in the Great Indoors!
What child doesn’t love building a princess castle or a fortress indoors? Pick a room in the house that you don’t mind being rearranged for a few hours, and use sheets and blankets and lots of pegs to secure them as a roof between tables, sofas and chairs. Let them decorate, bring in their toys, books, and perhaps even enjoy a picnic lunch in their camp.
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33. Indoor Obstacle Course
Create an indoor obstacle course with plenty of climbing, crawling, hopping, jumping, falling on cushions/mattresses and let the kids go mad and try to beat each other’s times round the course.
34. Set Up a Racing Track
Using some masking tape, create a racing track for cars to race around the living room by using the tape twice to make a parallel track.
Photo via Jennifer Tuksal’s Fun For Kids Pinterest Board.
35. Have a Jigsaw Afternoon
Jigsaws are a whole-family activity that can work well between differently-aged siblings. Set each member of the family up with a puzzle to suit their skill level, all helping each other finish, or create teams to work on large puzzle together.
You can even make your own family-photo jigsaws using an enlarged photo printed onto plain paper from your computer.
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36. Make Jewellery
If you don’t have jewellery crafts at home, you can use everyday items, like pasta, noodles, beads, paint, string, to make fun jewellery.
37. Make Sock Puppets
Gather up some of your old sock, and some items for eyes, mouths, and noses, to make some sock puppets. If your kids can sew, they can add the decorating with needle and thread, but for younger kids use glue.
You could create a puppet theatre in a cardboard box, and let the kids put on a puppet show for you – be sure to record it though.
38. Make Play Dough
Children will adore making play dough and they will have fun exploring different food colourings to give the dough that lovely vibrant colour. Non-toxic, cheap and easy.
Watch how to make play dough here:
39. Make Tie-Dye Clothes
If your child is tired of their boring white socks, why not have a tie dye day? You will need white clothing, bucket, water, various dyes, rubber bands, rubber gloves to protect your hands. How you fold and secure with rubber bands, helps determine the pattern that results.
Best to start with lightest colour, if using more than one, and follow dye instructions carefully. More tips here
40. Science Fun
Or try your hand at making some gooey, messy Oobleck – kids seems to love it!
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41. Play Shop
Set up a little grocery/mini supermarket with tins and packets. If you have a play till, set up a checkout table and they can take it in turns to be the checkout person or the shopper. The ironing board made a great checkout in my youth! Have some bags ready to put the purchases in.
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42. Paint Paint Paint
Cover the table with newspaper sheets and get out the poster paints or watercolours and some paper and have an art session at the kitchen or dining table.
Marble painting is also great fun. All you need is a plastic holder/tray or square basin, add your sheet of paper. 2/3 colours of paint, and a marble. Allow the kids to move the box around to create their designs.
43. Balloon Ping-Pong
All you need is some blown up balloons, and table-tennis bats (or make your own bats using paper plates and sticks for handles). Clear some space in the hall and off they go.
44. Play Some Outdoor Games, Indoors!
Not all outdoor games can move inside, and swingball is definitely best left outside, but you can easily play skittles in the hall, or hold hula-hoop competitions. You could set up indoor hopscotch with masking tape and a beanbag as your “stone”. Here are Ingenious Ideas for Indoor Games for Kids.
You might also like: 15 Entertaining Indoor Games for Kids
45. Head Outdoors
Sometimes, you have just got to get out of the house, even if it’s raining! And we have lots of ideas for entertaining the kids once they are out:
- Galoshingly Good Rainy Day Activities for Kids
- 12 Kids Rainy Day Games Outdoors
- Top Ten Things to Do Outside in the Rain
- 11 of the Best Outdoor Activities to Ensure Your Kids Stay Fit
- 20 of the Best Toddler Activities Outdoors
46. Measure Rainfall
Take a large jar/ cut the top off a large plastic water bottle and put outside in the rain. At regular intervals or when the rain has stopped, measure the height of the rain that day or hour and make a chart of the rainfall over time.
47. Life Sized Drawings on Large Sheets
You will need a large roll of paper, measure out a piece a little longer than your child. Then put the long sheet of paper on the floor, have your child lie down and you draw their outline on the paper. They can then colour themselves in, adding features, clothes etc. This is also a great winner at parties.
48. Misfit Characters
Give kids old magazines/catalogues and get them to cut out pictures of heads, torso, legs and shoes. They can then have some fun mixing them up, and glueing onto blank sheets of paper.
49. Make HomeMade Pizza
With some simple ingredients, the kids can enjoy helping make homemade pizza and putting their own toppings on. Perfect for lunch/dinner on that rainy day.
50. Make Chef’s Hats
All you need is 1 single use table cloths from any big supermarket, as they are easy to cut, but also easy to stick with regular glue stick.
- Cut one strip for the bottom, twice as thick a you want the band to be, and slightly longer than the width of the intended child’s forehead. Fold it over, and put to one side.
- Cut out another strip as tall as you would like hat to be. This strip needs to be much longer than the width of the band.
- Fold it over itself on the bottom edge every couple of centimetres or so. Glue this bottom edge, slot it into the band, then glue them together.
- They are very easy to personalise, but learn from my mistakes and write the child’s name on the band BEFORE you glue it all together, it’s MUCH easier that way! 🙂 – Helen M
Over to you! Have you got suggestions for keeping kids amused on a rainy day? Let us know in the comment box below!