Updated: Aug 25, 2020
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 them (and you!) from climbing the walls!
1. Have A Magconnexx Building Competition
Get the children involved with this fun activity. See who can make the most creative , car, house animal and what ever else your little geniuses can come up with. Magconnexx are great at connecting families together for endless fun.
2. Can You Read Minds? – An Amazing Maths Experiment
Amaze your friends with this fun maths puzzle. It works every time and they will never guess how you can read their minds to know their number…..unless you tell them.
1.Ask your friend to think of a number and not to tell you what it is (for younger children it can be between 1 and 10 but any number will work)
2.Tell them to double it (multiply it x 2)
3.Ask them to add 6
4.Then tell them to half the number (divide it by 2)
5.Then take away the number they started with (subtract the number they stared with)
6.And their answer will be 3
The science behind it
At step 3 always ask them to add an even number, any even number, and the answer will always be half of that number. The rest is just simple maths!
3. Build a Fort with Blankets and Pillows
Rainy day activities don’t need to involve time, equipment or ‘new’ things – sometimes something simple is just what the kids need.
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.
4. 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.
5. Make a Home Cinema
Set up a home cinema and settle down to watch some fun family movies together
6. Tidy Out the Playroom
This might sound like a chore, 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…
7. Play Board Games
One of the classic rainy day activities is playing board games, and it is a great way to spend time together.
8. 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.
9. Google “How to draw…”
10. Make Some Music
Get all your instruments out or make some homemade versions, using kitchen utensils (most popular in our house are pots, wooden spoons, tins, spatula) and make some “music” –
11. Play Cards
Remember the card games you used to play as a child, and how much fun that was? Why not teach your kids how to play the same great card games and see if you have a little card shark on your hands!
Most kids love to bake, particularly with the promise of a sweet treat at the end! And getting kids involved in the kitchen from an early age is a great way to introduce them to everything from new flavours and foods, to the math and science of baking and cooking.
What about trying baked berry squares, some easy cookie recipes to make with kids, vegan chocolate chip cookies, and more easy peasy baking recipes.
13. Put on a Play or Show
Have the children put on a play or show of their own creation. Show them what they can use for costumes and props – and don’t forget to film the final production!
14. Make Paper Airplanes
All you need to make paper airplanes is paper – and pens if you want to decorate it.
First fold your paper airplane and then the kids can draw the pilots at the front and the passengers looking out of the windows. Then have a race and see whose plane gets furthest!
15. Make Special Cards or Write a Letter
Everyone loves to receive a personal letter/card in the post these days, as it is such a rarity! This would be a special treat for Grandparents, friends or cousins.
Use stamps, glitter, paints and create a card to send or give – it’s a great opportunity for older children to practice their handwriting too!
16. Do Some Colouring
Take out the colouring books or print off some free colouring pages from google, get out all the pens and crayons, and set up a colouring station at the kitchen table.
Then set up an art gallery once the fabulous pictures are finished to show them off .
17. Make a Magazine
Set up a family News Desk at the kitchen table! Decide on what stories are going to go in the magazine. It 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 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!
18. 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 marshmallows, candy, chocolate, as well as cupcake cases.
Bake your cupcakes and leave them to cool (that’s the hard part!). Once cooled, you can add buttercream or icing, or just melt some chocolate and drizzle over the top. Now it’s time to let the kids loose on decorating – enjoy sampling all the mini masterpieces!
If you’re stuck for a recipe, what about lovely lemon buns, summery strawberry and coconut cupcakes, or these fun upside-down ice cream cone cupcakes?
19. Have a Readathon
This is a great activity for older kids. Set a challenge to see how many books/chapters can be read during the day. And if you need some inspiration for books to read, we’ve got plenty!
20. Throw a Party or Indoor Picnic
Spread out the picnic blanket/kids table and set out little plates with snacks and drinks and napkins, then enjoy an indoor picnic! Cuddly toys and dolls also make great guests.
21. 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 child’s imagination run wild. Older kids could help with decorating/creating the scene.
22. Try a Micro Treasure Hunt
Everyone gets a matchbox to fill, and 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 safety pin, a pea, a button, a piece of LEGO, a bead, etc.
23. Make a Playlist and Have a Disco
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 disco in the house?
Move back the furniture, and get moving! It’s a great way to get some physical exercise in on a rainy day, and you could also use your playlist for some limbo dancing, musical statues, best and worst dancer competitions, and lots more!
24. Hold an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Make up a list of items that can be found throughout the house, then the children must find and photograph each item on the list! Come up with your own ideas, or use our indoor scavenger hunt list to get you started.
25. Dig Out Old Photos and Albums
Kids 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 – this is a great entertainer on a rainy day! They can get creative with their own albums, decorating the covers and pages.
26. Make a Collage
Do you have a stack of old magazines? Get them out, along with some paper, glue and other art supplies and have a collage-making session.
27. Make a Flippy Book/Moving Story
This is one of the ideal rainy day activities or project ideas for older kids and tweens.
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. A traditional ‘stickman’ is a good starting point, in different poses. Then you flip through the pages and watch their character “move”.
28. Play Dress-Up
You can let the kids use their own dress-up things, if they have them, but more fun is to let them loose in your closet! Ideally drag out some of your older clothes (not your favourites!) and some costume jewellery or accessories – your little one will love running around in them.
29. Make Scrapbooks
Give your child some old photographs they love to make special scrapbook pages you can add to your own scrapbooks. Supplies needed include old pictures, craft paper, glue, glitter, stickers, or whatever else you have.
30. Paint Faces
Most kids love getting their faces painted, so it’s worth having some good face paint in the house. We use ours for school dress up days, holidays, Halloween, game days and lots more!
Use your rainy days as time to practice new patterns and styles – you never know when you might need a back up activity for a playdate or an at-home birthday party.
31. Get Crafty
Over time, collect bits and pieces that could be added to an arts & crafts box for rainy days. Different colours paper, glue, glitter, stickers, cardboard tubes, pompoms, string, wool, felt, material, ribbon, thread spools, pipe cleaners, tissue paper ….they all make great crafts and give your child plenty of scope to get creative.
If your child doesn’t know what they want to make, you could gently suggest a theme or idea.
32. Expand an Image
Cut a picture from a magazine article, and glue it to a blank sheet of paper with plenty of space around it. Now get the kids to finish the picture – will an alien fly overhead, or a dinosaur appear behind the castle? Who knows!
33. Go Camping in the Great Indoors!
What child doesn’t love building a 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.
If you’re feeling brave, they could even sleep in their tent for the night!
34. Set Up an 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.
35. Set Up a Racing Track
Supersize your rainy day activities and cream a huge racing track or road network using some masking tape, like this version from Be a Fun Mum.
Believe me, this is a HUGE success with all ages….adults included!
36. Have a Jigsaw Afternoon
Jigsaws are an activity the whole family can do, and one 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 a large puzzle together.
37. Make Sock Puppets
Gather up some of your old socks (you know those ones whose pair has gone missing from laundry day…?), and then find some household items that can be used for eyes, mouth, and nose. You could use buttons for eyes, pieces of fabric for noses, and things like string, wool, ribbon, or even cotton wool for hair.
If your kids can sew, they can add the decorations with needle and thread, but for younger kids use glue.
Once the puppets have been made, leave them to dry. At this point, if the kids are still engaged, you could create a puppet theatre with a cardboard box and let the kids put on a puppet show for you.
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 – perfect!
For an alternative, learn how to make salt dough for crafts that can be painted, decorated and given as gifts.
39. Make Tie-Dye Clothes
If your child is tired of their boring white socks or you have some old t-shirts to hand, why not have a tie-dye day? You will need white clothing, a bucket or basin, water, various dyes, rubber bands, and rubber gloves to protect your hands.
How you fold the fabric and secure it with rubber bands, helps determine the eventual tie-dye pattern.
It’s best to start with the lightest colour, if using more than one, and follow dye instructions carefully.
40. 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.
41. Make Jewellery
If you don’t have jewellery crafts at home, you can use everyday items, like pasta, noodles, beads, paint, string, wool, bottle tops, shells and lots more to make some really fun jewellery.
42. Explore Science
Why not while away a few hours with some science fun? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a scientist or have a ton of unusual supplies and equipment to be able to share the wonders of science with your kids.
Do your kids like slime? You could make your own homemade slime and make it fluffy, rainbow coloured or even glow in the dark!
43. Play Some Outdoor Games, Indoors!
Not all outdoor games can move inside, and swingball is definitely best left outside, but we have lots of great ideas for indoor games you could try!
What about skittles in the hall, or hold hula-hoop competition? You could also set up indoor hopscotch using masking tape for the lines and a beanbag as your “stone”.
44. Get Painting
Cover the table with newspaper sheets and get out the poster paints or water colours and some paper and have an art session.
Marble painting is also great fun – all you need is a plastic tray or square basin, add your sheet of paper, 2 or 3 colours of paint, and a marble. Allow the kids to move the box around, rolling the marble to create their unique designs.
45. Play Balloon Ping-Pong
All you need for this are some blown up balloons, and table-tennis bats (or make your own bats using paper plates and sticks for handles).
Clear some space and off they go!
46. Make a Life-Sized Drawing
You will need a large roll of paper and measure out a piece a little longer than your child. Then put the 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!
47. Measure Rainfall
One of our favourite outdoor activities to do with kids throughout the year is to measure rainfall. It helps to encourage an interest in science, weather patterns, math and is easy enough for young children to help with.
Take a large jar or cut the top off a large plastic water bottle and put it 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.
48. Make Homemade Pizza
With just a few simple ingredients, you can all enjoy making homemade pizza. And it doesn’t even matter if everyone likes different toppings, as you can all add whatever you like! If you don’t fancy making your own dough, you could use English muffins as the base and still have the same fun making your own individual lunches.
49. Create Misfit Characters
Lay our a selection of old magazines or catalogues, and get your children to cut out pictures of heads, torso, legs and feet/shoes. They can then have some fun mixing them up, and glueing mismatched characters onto blank sheets of paper.
Older children may like to take this one step further and write a story about their unique characters.