50 Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids

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Rainy day activities for kids you won’t find anywhere else.

Don’t wait until bad weather hits before organizing rainy day activities for kids. By planning ahead, you can have a few items on hand and a good idea of what to do when you hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on the window.

With kids of my own, I’ve had more than a few days stuck in the house with bored children, and I don’t want that for you. So, here are the most popular rainy day activities in our home.


Rainy Day Activities For Kids

The following list of indoor activities for kids starts with fun for the youngest of little ones and then moves up through age groups. Each suggestion has a suggested age range but you should decide whether or not each activity is suitable for your child.

1. Water Tray Play

Age: One year and older.

This activity is easy to put together because most of us already have all the items needed.

Take a clean baking tray and set it on the floor, with a towel underneath to protect your floors. Half fill the tray with comfortably warm water, which is just above body temperature. Then drop a random assortment of plastic items into the water.

Choose things of different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures as this will support the development of fine motor skills (1). Your child will have fun playing in the water.

2. Sticky Webs

Age: 18 months and older.

You will need some tape, colored paper, and a few non-breakable lightweight toys.

Cut strips of tape, one at a time, and place them across the doorway. Duct tape might work best because of how sticky it is.

Ensure all of the sticky surfaces are facing toward you and criss-cross the strips, forming a loose web across an area of the doorway.

Scrunch up pieces of paper and encourage your child to throw them or the toys at the web and see how many they can get to stick. You can make targets and play games where your child tries to hit a certain area of the web.

3. Snow Dough

Age: 18 months and older.

A fabulous alternative to Play-Doh, snow dough is made by mixing one cup of cornstarch or flour with ⅓ to ½ cup of vegetable oil.

Put both ingredients into a tray or bowl. Let your little one mix them together, and play with the result. This is especially good for playing in with plastic animals.

4. Create A Store

Age: 18 months and older.

A perennial favorite, you don’t have to have to set up a full-on storefront with baskets, checkouts, and money. Instead, you can set up shop on a table, use Cheerios as currency, and encourage your child to roleplay the vendor or customer.

Roleplaying is an important developmental activity. Playing shop provides opportunities to learn counting, sorting, and object classification, as well as to develop social skills and have fun.

5. Create A Roadway Or Racetrack

Age: 18 months and older.

Using tape, you can layout a roadway for your kids to drive their vehicles along. Don’t restrict yourself to straightaways, though. Get creative and have your roadway go up and over the furniture or run it under chairs and tables.

You can also create parking stalls, roundabouts, and all manner of other road features.

6. Melting Candy Science

Age: 2 years and older.

Have your child arrange Skittles or M&Ms on a plate. Pour warm water in the middle and let them see how the colors run and mix. Use different colored plates and color combinations of the candy to help your child discover how different colors mix to create other colors.

7. Muffin Tin Geoboard

Age: 2 years and older.

Excellent for fine motor skills, all you need is a muffin or cupcake baking tray and some rubber bands.

Turn the pan over and get your child to stretch the bands over the mounds on the bottom of the tin. Once they have this skill mastered, have them stretch the bands over multiple mounds to create letters, numbers, and shapes.

8. Jigsaws And Puzzles

Age: 2 years and older.

Jigsaws and other puzzles can be fun for children as soon as they are old enough to put the pieces together. However, you don’t need to restrict yourself to shop-bought items.

To create your own, take a printed photo or an image from a magazine. Then you can either cut the picture up and use it as-is, or stick the image to some cardboard and cut it up. A cereal box works well for this.

For longer-lasting puzzles, stick your image to popsicle sticks before cutting.

9. Host A Toy Party

Age: 2 years and older.

Create invites with your little one, prepare snacks, dress up fancy, and host a fun party. You can make it a tea party, or more of a dance party, whichever is more appealing to your child or children.

You can tweak this activity a little and play cafe, restaurant, or take out if a party isn’t appealing to your child.

10. Obstacle Course

Age: 3 years and older.

Using pillows, cushions, bedding, chairs, and tables, layout an obstacle course for your child to follow. Include low levels they have to crawl under and narrow pieces on which to balance. This will encourage your child to move, burn off some energy, and have some fun at the same time.

Be sure to tailor the course to your child’s abilities.

11. What’s In The Box?

Age: 3 years and older.

For this, you’ll need either one large box or a series of smaller boxes. Without letting your child see, place random objects into the boxes and close them up. Have your child either close their eyes or tie on a blindfold and put one of their hands into the box.

You can use simple, easy-to-identify objects for younger children and move onto more similar items for older kids.

12. Sock Shots

Age: 3 years and older.

Use socks to create bean bags by half filling a sock with rice, beans, or something similar, and then tying a knot at the top.

Then either cut holes in a sheet of card or write numbers on pieces of paper and stick them to the floor. Throw the socks aiming for the targets and see if your child can aim to get specific combinations to add up to the numbers you suggest.

13. Cook

Age: 3 years and older.

Use cooking to explore science, math, and even engineering with your child. “Look I’m A Cook” outlines some extremely simple recipes, some of which do not involve heating any food.

Each one is accompanied by information to explore learning, such as how ice forms, our five senses, colors, shapes, and textures.

14. Cardboard City

Age: 4 years and older.

Use a series of packages in a range of sizes and shapes to create an entire city. Paint your buildings, if you want, and place them onto a larger base plate of cardboard. You can draw in sidewalks, roadways, crossings, and parks.

Your child can then use LEGO or other smaller figures to play within their city. When the novelty of the city has worn off, you can use it to explore earthquakes, tornados, or other natural disasters to demolish it.

15. Make Oobleck

Age: 4 years and older.

Oobleck is a substance that behaves like a liquid when it is held loosely, but acts like a solid when it is held tightly or hit with force. This makes it incredibly fun to make and play with.

To make it, mix one cup of cornstarch with one cup of water and stir thoroughly. Then you and the kids can either play with the oobleck as is or carry out some fun experiments with it.

16. Treasure Hunt

Age: 4 years and older.

You can play treasure hunts by either having your child find the treasure using a map you create or by having your child hide the treasure and create a map for you to find it.

A simple version has you create a map of your home or a single room. You can draw a map of a mythical world with places such as “Table Mountain” or “The Sea of Bathtub.”

17. A Visit To The Drive-In

Age: 4 to 10 years.

Instead of your standard movie and snack afternoon, take it up a notch with an indoor drive-in experience.

To do this, build “cars” out of cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, or other household items. Drive your child into their parking spot and deliver their movie munchies to their car. Lamps can be floodlights, and if you can draw the curtains and make it dark, even better.

18. Build A Cabin, Cave, Or Castle

Age: 4 years and older.

Give the traditional blanket fort a new twist by creating a cabin, cave, or castle. For a castle, you can create turrets, a drawbridge, and moat. For a cabin, you can make trees, a front door, and a fireplace inside.

In our home, caves are the favorite, with fake campfires and stuffed toys acting as the wild creature we are hiding from.

19. Greetings And Notes

Age: 4 years and older.

You don’t have to reserve greetings cards for special occasions. Next rainy day, sit down with the kids and make a list of the special people in your lives. Then either make cards, write notes or letters, or do both.

Younger children can draw pictures, and you can bundle them all up together and send a little sunshine through the mail. Not only is this a great way to practice drawing, reading, and writing, but it’s also a lovely way to help strengthen bonds.

20. Pom Pom Fun

Age: 4 years and older.

Making pom-poms is a fun rainy day activity for kids, and all you need is some yarn, card, and scissors.

After they are made, there are all sorts of things you can do with them. You could make some wild and wacky animals and monsters, or blow them across the table in a game of pom-pom football. You can even use them to decorate your clothes and make pom-pom scarves, necklaces, and earrings.

21. Indoor Camping

Age: 4 years and older.

An indoor camp-out is an excellent way to spend a rainy day. You can create a fake campfire, snuggle up in your sleeping bags or pitch a play tent, and maybe even make s’mores in the oven.

One additional benefit to this activity is that you can integrate nap-time.

22. Puppet Production

Age: 4 years and older.

Put a sock on your hand, tuck the end between your thumb and fingers, and you have the most simple puppet possible.

Use yarn, paper, or pipe cleaners for hair, stick-on eyes or stickers for eyes, and a pom-pom for a nose. The list of possibilities is endless. Then you and your kiddos can reenact their favorite shows or movies, or even make up your own.

23. Put Together A Time Capsule

Age: 5 years and older.

Talking about the possible contents of a time capsule is an excellent way to explore personal and social issues with your child. Begin by asking, “If you could describe to a person in the future, in items, what life is like today, how would you do it?”

After you’ve decided what to put in the time capsule, take the next step and create one.

24. Recreate A Gameshow

Age: 5 years and older.

If your child is a fan of Jeopardy, A Minute To Win It, Family Feud, or other popular TV game shows, why not recreate them at home? You don’t have to focus on production values or winning, just the fun and showmanship elements can make for a fabulous fun rainy day activity.

For A Minute To Win It, the task could be cleaning up the items on their bedroom floor in less than a minute. It’s a clever way to sneak some chores into the mix.

25. Charades

Age: 5 years and older.

Charades can be played with two people or more, so it’s a great scalable rainy day activity for kids. Write or draw an object or phrase on some pieces of paper, fold them up, and drop them into a bag, box, or pot.

One person draws a slip and acts out whatever is on the paper. Check out our post for fresh charade prompt ideas.

26. Mindfulness

Age: 5 years and older.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your thoughts and attention on what is happening in the current moment. Teaching your child mindfulness techniques can help decrease their anxiety levels, self-regulate their emotions, and improve their focus (2). This can help them at school and is a valuable skill in adult life.

27. Crayon Creations

Age: 5 years and older.

Crayons are great for art, but they are also excellent for crafts. You probably know you can break them up and melt them down to create new crayons, but there is so much more you can do.

There is no end to the items and crafts you can make with crayons, including some of my favorites like lanterns, jewelry, clothing, 3-D artworks, and more. If you’re not the DIY sort of person, you can go with a commercial crayon melter. We have one, and we’ve used it heavily for years.

28. LEGO Bingo

Age: 5 years and older.

If your child has LEGO pieces but struggles to build freestyle creations, try some LEGO Bingo.

First, grab a copy of one of these Dorling Kindersley LEGO books:

Next, write the title of a variety of LEGO creations on separate pieces of paper, fold them up, and put them in a pot, pan, or jar. Have your child draw a random piece of paper and make the creation written on the note.

If you don’t have any LEGO, get a box like the LEGO classic. It’s an excellent choice for this activity.

29. Card Tricks

Age: 5 years and older.

There are card tricks simple enough for a little one to learn and perform, so they make an excellent rainy day activity for elementary school kids, as well as their older siblings.

You may need to give them some assistance and encourage them to keep practicing so they can pull the trick off without any hiccups.

30. Make “Future” Scrapbooks

Age: 5 years and older.

Instead of creating a scrapbook of things your child has done or experienced, sit down with them to create one about the future.

This doesn’t have to be too heavy, there’s no need to make pages of potential colleges. Instead, have them talk about things they’d like to do or be next week, next month, next year, or beyond. Then find or make pictures of those things and bring them together into a fun future scrapbook.

Some kits available include the Make It Mine Scrapbook, the Alex DIY Groovy Scrapbook, and the Just My Style Emoticon Scrapbook.

31. Papier-Mache Masks

Age: 5 years and older.

Start by blowing up a balloon to approximately the size of your child’s head. Then, the two of you can tear strips of paper, dunk them in water, and glue them onto the balloon. Hang the balloon up and when the paper layers are dry, cut it in half and remove the rubber.

Now you have two pieces, each of which should be roughly face-shaped. Cut out eye holes and decorate. You can make animals, aliens, pirates, or anything your little one likes.

Punch a hole on either side, thread some ribbons through, and tie at the back of the head so they can wear it like a mask.

32. Fashionistas

Age: 5 years and older.

Younger kids often enjoy dressing up, especially if they use their parents’ clothes.

Take this a step further by having your child design entire outfits. You can either do this from scratch or cut out pictures of clothing items that interest them. Then draw some stick figures and have your littles put together a glam series of pictures.

33. No-Sew Sewing

Age: 6 years and older.

If the idea of sewing appeals to you, but the reality is that you are terrible at it, fear not. There are many no-sew activities you can enjoy with your kids. All you need are socks and some old clothing items to act as filling.

A few of our favorites are these no-sew projects:

Sock bear

Snowman

Dolls

Penguin

34. Read Aloud

Age: 6 years and older.

There are many benefits of reading aloud to your child. Not only do you model fluent reading, but you also help your child to expand their vocabulary and improve their long-term reading success. That benefit even extends to babies who are read to (3).

However, studies show the frequency of reading aloud to our children declines as they grow, despite a significant proportion of slightly older kids say they enjoy being read to. That’s why, although you should read to your child at all ages, we have made this suggestion for the 6 years and older age group.

35. Rock Painting

Age: 6 years and older.

Scoop up some rocks or stones from the yard, dry them off, and paint them as a variety of animals, monsters, or as a simple Tic-Tac-Toe game. Painted rocks can be used to make up stories, or you can paint words of encouragement on the stones and keep them in a dish. The rocks could also be given as gifts to friends and relatives.

There are all kinds of resources to use for this activity, including rock painting pens, a rock painting kit, and a rock painting book.

36. Homemade Instruments

Age: 6 years and older.

Making instruments at home is fun, and you get the enjoyment of making music with your creations.

The simplest instrument to make is probably a drum, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to banging a spoon on a pot. It is relatively easy to make a guitar type instrument and more with things you have around the home.

37. A Journaling Journey

Age: 6 years and older.

Journaling can be a useful outlet for a child who struggles to identify and work through their emotions.

You can start your child off with a plain notebook or have them create something more personal. Let them know their journal is a private place they can write down their thoughts and feelings.

38. Play Spies

Age: 6 years and older.

There is something about secrets and intrigue that appeals to many kids. You can make up a mystery of your own for your child to solve or have them create one for you. There are all kinds of spy activities for your child to do.

There are plenty of spy kits you can buy or you can make your own.

You don’t have to go full spy kit either. Some kids enjoy making up secret codes.

39. Prop Skits

Age: 7 years and older.

Put together a random group of household items and hide them in a box, bag, or pillowcase. Have your child pull out two, three, or four items. The older your child is, the more items they should draw because it makes the next step more difficult.

Once your child has their items, they make up and perform a skit featuring those items. Again, you can adjust the difficulty by either giving your child plenty of time to plan or having them perform instantly.

40. Sharpie Crafts

Age: 7 years and older.

Rather than solely coloring with Sharpies, you can create an incredible array of art, crafts, and gifts, if you know how.

From funky galaxy sneakers and recycled plastic flowers to faux-stained glass items, photo mounts, and crockery, the list is endless. Again, to some degree, you can do this with any age group, but we’ve chosen to highlight some more intricate activities for older children.

41. Create A Costume

Age: 7 years and older.

For kids who have outgrown the basic game of dress-up, a fabulous rainy day activity is creating a costume.

Choose a specific character or superhero to recreate, or make some more substantial demands on their imagination and have your child come up with something of their own. You can turn to books for inspiration like The Costume Making Guide and Make: Props and Costume Armor.

42. Make A Comic Book

Age: 7 years and older.

Harness your child’s artistic skills and have them make their own comic book. You can get this going with just a pencil and paper, or you can help them out by drawing some frames on blank paper. This will give your child a framework to work within, or you could buy a blank comic book.

43. Beaded Charm Bookmarks

Age: 8 years and older.

Little ones can make a quick bookmark with a strip of paper. However, you can still challenge your older child to create a more sophisticated beaded charm version (4).

They can use the bookmarks themselves or they can be personalized to make fun gifts for friends, teachers, coaches, and family members.

44. Origami

Age: 8 years and older.

Trying some basic origami can be a one-off rainy day activity or the first step on a lifelong adventure in paper art.

When starting, you can use any paper, although your results may not be as good. If you want to have the best experience, it is worth investing in a pack of origami paper.

45. Build A Shadowbox Theater

Age: 8 years and older.

Building a shadowbox theater is a fun rainy day activity for older kids who see themselves as too mature for puppets.

Build the theater and then either create characters to play out a story or choose a story and create the shadow puppets to perform it.

46. Paper Bead Jewelry

Age: 8 years and older.

Paper beads are easy to make and provide the opportunity to create distinct, personalized items. You can use any paper and paint the beads, create your own paper designs, or use patterned craft papers.

The beads can then be used to make a basic necklace or utilized for more sophisticated items.

47. Start A Business

Age: 10 years and older.

Many kids enjoy making items and giving them away, but others will get a kick out of making items and selling them. Support your budding entrepreneur by making flyers, finding safe places to sell, organizing a garage sale, or even setting up a website for their new enterprise.

48. Snap Some Photos

Age: 10 years and older.

Help your child learn about the settings on a digital camera or phone and then explore the basics of photography. Try action shots, portraits, and still life images with a range of light and shutter speeds. Your child can learn to choose which photo is best and then apply proper editing techniques.

49. Break It And Fix It

Age: 10 years and older.

Kids are inherently curious, but it can be challenging to channel that. Encourage your child to take things apart with your supervision, and learn how to put them back together. This is an excellent learning opportunity as it not only shows how things work, but teaches kids how to repair things — a valuable skill in adulthood.

50. Make Toiletries

Age: 10 years and older.

Making toiletries is a fun activity during poor weather. Plus, the maker gets the joy of giving away the results of their labors or to enjoy themselves. And by making soaps, shampoos, bath bombs, and other similar items with your child, you know what ingredients have gone into them.


Activities For Life

When you choose a rainy day activity for kids, you might be starting a lifelong hobby.

Some of the activities on our list are things your child might try once and never be interested in again.

However, others might spark an interest that grows into a lifelong hobby or even be the beginning of a successful career.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.
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