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What are Some Rainy Day Activities for Kids?

Crafts and art projects are a good way to exercise kids' imaginations.
Many parents like to bake cookies with their kids on rainy days.
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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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Many adults see rainy days as perfect for relaxing and curling up with a good book or a favorite movie. On the other hand, many kids see rainy days as boring. They want to run, play, and release their pent-up energy. The situation isn't hopeless, though. There are many rainy day activities that are perfect for children of all ages.

As soon as kids begin to feel uptight and frustrated from being trapped in the house, they become destructive, and the kitchen table and chairs become jungle gyms. When the children begin to get the wiggles that comes with being cooped up, help them to release their energy in a productive manner. Turn the music loud and dance, or grab the broom and play "Limbo." After their energy is released, the kids can do quiet rainy day activities.

Rainy days often lead to a craving for sweet treats, making baking one of adults' favorite rainy day activities. Grab the kids and make some cookies, cakes or pies. Allow the children to do most of the work, except for handling sharp objects or touching the stove or oven. The kids will be very proud of themselves for accomplishing such as task. They will also be content with a tummy full of warm cookies and milk.

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Rainy day activities often include art projects. This gives the kids a chance to stretch their imagination and improve their fine motor skills. Set the kids up in an area of the house that is easily cleaned up, such as the kitchen floor, sun room or covered patio. Allow them to explore the realm of their creativity.

Playing dress-up is one of a kid's favorite rainy day activities. Pull out some clothes that aren't worn often and have the kids dress up. Make it even more exciting by putting on plays. Make flashcards with different skit ideas and have the kids pick one out. If a video camera is handy, record it and let the kids watch it with a bucket of popcorn.

If rainy day activities just aren't satisfying the kids, put on some rain gear and go puddle stomping. Rain won't hurt the kids, and can be a nice change of pace. Worms, frogs and other amphibians usually make their debut in the rain, exciting nature lovers. Older children may enjoy having a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood. For those who don't mind a little dirt, try putting together a game of mud football, and really soak up the rain.

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JessicaLynn
Post 12

When I was younger, my favorite rainy day activity was building a fort. My mom would let us use the chairs from the kitchen table (they had very tall backs.) Then we would use sheets to make the "roof" and "doors" of the fort.

After the fort was constructed, we put a bunch of pillows inside, and invented some kind of imaginary scenario. Usually we decided the fort was a castle we were defending from a dragon!

I think it's easy to find rainy day activities for kids, provided you use a little creativity!

strawCake
Post 11

@indemnifyme - Yeah, you can't exactly sit a toddler down with a novel and have them entertain themselves! And they have such short attention spans!

I've found that the key to rainy day activities for toddler is to have a lot of activities available. Toddlers have such short attention spans they quickly get bored. If you have several activities they can cycle through, it will keep them happier.

Of course, what would really keep them happy is playing outside, but I'm not going to brave a rainy day with a toddler in rain gear!

indemnifyme
Post 10

I guess my parents lucked out when I was a kid, because I've always loved to read. My mom never had to think of any rainy day activities for me after I could read on my own, because I was happy to spend the whole day with my nose buried in a book. The only problem we might have was if I finished the book I was reading and didn't have another to start!

I imagine it's probably different with toddlers, since toddlers can't read on their own. There are plenty of toddler rainy day activities to do though, and the article mentioned a ton.

One thing my mom would do when my sister and I were little was lead us in making homemade play dough! Then we got to play with the play dough afterward. Very fun.

cloudel
Post 9

I teach a kindergarten class, and on days when the weather is nice, we spend a considerable amount of time outdoors. I always have a backup plan, in case rain forces us to stay inside, because I know how restless small children can become in this situation.

The kids like to play games, so I have a few that we can all play together without having to use pieces or cards. It's easy to play “Hangman” on the blackboard, and each child gets a turn to guess a letter. “Charades” is another option.

I have made up enough bingo cards for each child in my class to play along. I offer prizes to the winners to make it interesting.

shell4life
Post 8

@Perdido – Using games as rainy day activities for children works even better if they get to design elements of the games themselves. I had an idea after I saw how much my daughter loved playing the card game where you try to remember where the matching cards are placed in relation to each other and flip them both over.

I decided to let her make her own cards. I cut up some blank greeting card paper and offered her some washable markers to draw different images on them. I told her that each image had to have a twin, so she would draw on two cards identically.

This made the game much more interesting to her. Though you and I might not have been able to recognize the images on the cards, she knew what they were, and she could match them up with no problem.

Perdido
Post 7

I have some children who are real outdoor lovers, and they are absolutely miserable when it rains. They become grumpy and throw tantrums unless I provide them with something fun to do before they have a chance to whine.

This is the only time that they are interested in playing board games. Once I pull out the game and get it set up, they suddenly get into it. After they have started playing, they don't want to stop.

Luckily, I have three kids, so when I get tired of playing and need to do other things, I simply leave them to play with each other. I imagine that rainy days are much more demanding for parents of a single child.

lighth0se33
Post 6

My kids are always sad at first when they wake up to rain, but after a short while, they realize that this means a day filled with artistic fun. Then, they get happy pretty quickly.

I have never seen kids who love to paint as much as my children. I have two girls, one six years old and one nine, and they enjoy it equally.

I buy some cheap tempura paint and let their imaginations reign. This paint is sold in big squirt bottles, and it will wash off of furniture easily.

I let them paint on card stock paper. It is thick enough to handle the moisture without wrinkling much, and it is easier to frame when they are done.

truman12
Post 5

I hate to admit this but it's probably better to be honest. I try to keep my seven year old busy on rainy days, but I am busy and he has a lot more energy than I do. I just can't keep his focus all day. I need to be doing other things as well.

So I am guilty of plopping my kid down in front of the TV and letting him while away and afternoon watching cartoons or movies. It might not be the best activity but it works. And when you are a busy mom sometimes you just have to do what it takes.

Ivan83
Post 4

This one is a classic. When my kids were little and they were stuck inside on a rainy day we would always bake chocolate chip cookies together.

The kids loved the finished product of course but they also really got into the baking process. It doesn't take long to make cookies so I would often use this time to play other kinds of kitchen games with them. In the process I would teach them about cooking utensils and techniques nothing fancy but the basic stuff that everyone should know.

My kids are all grown up now and all of them can cook, and cook well. I credit some of that to the rainy afternoon spent in the kitchen.

SteamLouis
Post 3

@burcinc-- The classes are a great idea. My friend has been taking her toddler to dancing and yoga classes. The great part is that they do the classes together, so not only is it indoors, and a lot of fun for the kids but it promotes parent-child bonding too.

I've heard great things about "Yoga with Baby" classes and "Tot Dance." The yoga sounds cool, the dance does too, although we could probably do the dance at home for free!

As a rainy day kids activity, I usually call up my friends who have kids the same age and have them come over with their kids so that they can play together at home. But the classes sound much more interactive and exciting.

burcinc
Post 2

I think visiting museums is a fun rainy day activity for most kids. One of my sons really likes museums and I drive him to the Airforce museum all the time. He can stare at the planes for hours! My other son doesn't enjoy it so much though.

Aside from this, we generally do what I plan for my students in the classroom before holiday breaks. A lot of crafts, coloring pages, kids movies and enjoying cookies or cupcakes. I agree that baking is an excellent idea. Sometimes I make dough for them and let make play with it. I even put food coloring in it and it's like all-natural Play-Doh!

My sister is not being on craft projects and prefers signing up her kids for hobby classes on the weekends. My niece is doing a gymboree class right now and my nephew is doing a karate class. So they're never bored when they're out of school come rain or shine!

serenesurface
Post 1

If my kids are feeling really energetic on a rainy day, I take them to the mall nearby because they usually have some kids activities there. Every month, a kindargarten comes to the mall and sets up a little workshop area.

My kids love doing the children games and crafts there and also have face painting done sometimes. Having them walk in the mall and play with other kids there really tires them out and is a great way for them to vent their energy when it's raining out.

Afterward, we usually rent a children's movie and watch it at home with some popcorn and snacks. To be honest, it's a lot of fun for me too!

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