It can be difficult to keep children entertained when rainy weather keeps everyone inside. It's tempting to park our kids in front of a screen for a little downtime–we've all done it. But with a little bit of creativity, it's possible to keep your child’s mind and body engaged with activities that are every bit as fun as those played in the great outdoors–no TV required.
Here are six of our favorite rainy-day activities for young kids:
This is a simple and fun activity that will help kids burn off their excess energy. Help your kids build a playlist with some of their favorite dance songs. When the playlists are complete, hit “shuffle” and let the dance party begin. To go the extra mile, you can change the lighting or move furniture to give the space a dance-floor feel!
Make a Movie
Rainy days are perfect for snuggling and watching a movie. But making a movie can be even better! You can sit down with your children and plan out the movie or shoot it scene-by-scene as you go. Don’t be afraid to get creative with movie-making magic. Car chases, horse races, and even space travel is possible through the magic of toys in a close-up shot. This is a rainy-day activity that is fun the whole way through: first you make it, then you watch it!
Create a Puppet Show
Building a puppet is a perfect way to help your children express their creativity. Let them pick a base, such as an old sock, a paper bag, or a piece of construction paper. Then let your kid bring their puppet to life by adding color, yarn hair, button eyes, and whatever else their creative mind desires. Once the puppet is dry, you’re ready to make a puppet show! You can even make your puppet show into a movie (see above).
Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you can’t have some indoor water fun. If you have a bathtub, you have the perfect excuse to suit the kids up and play with toys. Spray bottles can become squirt guns and plastic action figures can turn into deep sea divers. Just be sure to lay some towels down in case the fun gets too splashy. Plus, as a bonus, your children wind up squeaky clean afterwards.
Hide and Seek (with twists!)
Hide and seek is a classic game for all ages. Have one kid close their eyes while the others hide, count to ten, and then try to find them all. After a few rounds, switch to a new variation of the classic game. Sardines is a version of hide and seek where only one player hides and everyone else seeks. Once a seeker finds the hider’s spot, they hide with them. This continues until the last seeker finds all the other players trying to hide in one spot together. The first person to find the original hider gets to be the hider for the next game. For a different variation, give everyone a flashlight and turn off the lights. You’ll be surprised how many new hiding spots this creates!
Help your kids engage with mealtime in a special way. Choose a recipe that is appropriate (here are some of our favorites) and help them work step-by-step through the recipe. When you’re all done, not only will you have a delicious meal to share, but your child can feel proud of what they made.
These are just a few of the dozens of indoor activities that you can do to help keep your child entertained and engaged during a rainy day. With a little creativity, you can transform your day of being stuck inside into a collection of fun memories.
If your kids are tired after their big day of make-believe, curl up with a blanket and a good book. If you’re looking for a picture book that is perfect for a rainy day, check out After the Rain. This new picture book captures the joy of playing in puddles and illustrates the power of friendship. Click here to learn more.
Originally published April 18, 2017.