Winter seems to be in decline and spring is in the air…along with a whole lot of rain. What to do with your kids in a small space when the weather still isn’t cooperating with your idyllic dreams of sunshine and long days outside? Kids need to move and get their wiggles out without
making mom bats*** disturbing the rest of the house. Here are 10 of our favorite rainy day activities for when you are stuck inside. These activities have to meet the requirements of cheap, minimal mess and encourages creativity and/or physical movement. Not asking too much, right?
10 Rainy Day Activities for Kids
#1 Forts: Building a blanket fort is one of the fondest memories from my own childhood. What ingenious forts did you build? My kids generally get pretty involved, duct tape, piles of books, blankets, snacks. Definitely snacks.
#2 Balloon Tennis: This one is a big hit for us! Use fly swatters (or just a paper plate taped to a stick) and a bag of balloons to create your own game of balloon tennis. We play over the coffee table (less likely to swat a sibling that way) and take turns on different teams. We also add different challenges and variations. The kids love this!
#3 Lego Challenges: I love giving each kid a bucket of Legos and a challenge to build the same thing (example: a rainbow, a house, a car, a dog, etc). It is fun for them to see each others’ creations and to build their own. This also gives them some alone time if the space is getting a little cramped and they just need time away from each other.
#4 Tea Time: Around 3 in the afternoon (when everyone needs a little pick me up) we have a fancy tea time. The kids help me make little sandwiches, cut up apples, etc. We set the table, make tea and read books. This is supposed to be a part of our daily routine no matter the weather but we are only good at sticking to it when the weather is bad. 🙂 It is fun to take a few minutes and hear about their day.
#5 Straw Rockets: All you need for this is some scrap paper and a bunch of plastic straws. (It’s really like the sanitary version of spit wads.) The kids have great fun aiming at different targets around the house and it really isn’t too messy.
#6 Go Noodle: If you have kids and you haven’t heard of Go Noodle yet – you will be amazed! This is a FREE website/You Tube channel that is full of exercises and action songs just for kids. They are juvenile and fun but not so juvenile and fun that they make your ears bleed, know what I mean? There is a great variety and my kids feel like they are getting some screen time and I feel like they are getting some activity. Win-win.
#7 Scavenger Hunt: I make different clues for the kids according to their reading level and guessing ability. I generally make it so they have to find the clues in order and they get a small prize at the end. The kids have so much fun with this and then usually end up making clues for each other as well. They can easily spend an hour or two playing after their initial hunt.
#8 Hot or Cold: Choose one item that is small-ish but not too small and hide it while one person is out of the room. When that person returns the other kids help the person find the object by saying if she is hot or cold. If the person gets closer to the object the others will say “warmer, warmer, burning up”, etc.
#9 Fingerprint Art: Use an ink pad and a fine pen to create an endless array of fingerprint art. This is another great activity that kids can do in their own little corner when they are needing space away from each other. With one fingerprint you can make a face, an animal, a car, etc. Use the fine point pen to add in the details.
#10 One-legged races, jumping jacks and more: My kids love just plain old movement. When they are bored and needing something to do we often resort to calisthenics. They enjoy pushing themselves and trying new exercises. We encourage them to do push-ups, jumping jacks, jump over a certain number of boards in the floor, hop on one foot, do sit-ups, etc. This doesn’t take hours and hours of time but they love it. These short bursts of intense activity often reset their moods so they are ready to do a quieter activity that requires a bit more focus.
What are your favorite rainy day activities with kids?