25 Rainy Day Activities For The Kids

And then the rains came. . . Stuck for ideas to keep your little ones entertained when the weather is miserable and you are house bound?  Here are twenty five ideas.

  1. Camping inside: Put up a tent, get the kids to construct their own, or just place some sleeping bags around the ‘fire’.  Chuck some marshmallows on sticks if you can be bothered or make some campfire tucker to enjoy.  One day my kids spent hours playing at their ‘campsite’; most of it involving going to bed and two seconds later someone yelling ‘wake up’.  Never ending fun!
  2.  Build a city:  If your kids are anything like mine, they have a whole range of different toys to create a city.  Duplo, Lego, Megablocks and wooden bricks can all be used to create buildings and then they can add in all their cars and trucks to navigate around the metropolis.  This is always a winner.292609_10150779223542245_1797454333_n.jpg
  3. Car races: Round up all the kids’ toy cars, choose a strip of the floor you’re happy for them to use, and get them to race the cars against each other until one car is the winner.  This is also a good way to monitor which cars are ready for the bin, or if you have too many, get the kids to choose some to donate.
  4. War games:  Have teams or individuals choose an object that is their ‘treasure’ for the game and they all take turns hiding them.  The winners are the first to find the other team’s treasure.  Everyone is armed with toy guns/swords and people who are ‘shot/stabbed’ with someone else’s weapon (gently!) must drop to the floor for ten seconds and point in the general direction of their treasure as a clue.
  5. Make a band:  My kids have quite a collection of toy and some real instruments but really an upside down mixing bowl for a drum or a hairbrush for a microphone will do. Get them each to choose an instrument and practise their favourite popular song to perform for the rest of the family.
  6. Baby day care: This is pretty much what my little girl does every day with her baby dolls but she has convinced her brothers to play along at times.  All have been to childcare before so they know exactly what it all entails: play time, nap time, lunch, changing nappies and giving bottles.  Lots of fun, and definitely amusing for parents to watch.12552697_10153179626217245_9200365906911354386_n
  7. Balloon tennis or volleyball: I’m sure we’d all prefer balls not to be thrown around in the house but it seems to happen anyway!  Hopefully this game will alter that.  Blow up a few balloons and put up a makeshift net for balloon tennis or volleyball.  Or the old, don’t-let-the-balloon-touch-the-ground game is a good one too with no extra equipment needed.
  8. Paper plane competition: Depending on their age you may or may not have to assist the kids in making their paper planes, and then get them to test out how far they can go.  They can choose their favourite for the final competition to see which can go the farthest.  Alternatively, place targets around the room and see who can get their’s closest.
  9. Fashion parade:  I know my friends with daughters have done this successfully but I’d be willing to give it a go with my boys.  Go through the dress up costumes for the fashion parade and use this time to suss out which need to be washed, repaired or donated.  You could also use the kids’ own clothes for the fashion parade and likewise figure out which are too small and need to be passed on or thrown out.  Let the kids choose their outfits and get them to take turns taking videos or photos of the fashion parade – they will love it.10405475_10152422281917245_86124842287128126_n
  10. Write a letter: Consider whose birthdays are coming up or if there is a relative or friend who you haven’t seen for a while and get the kids to write a letter or draw a picture to send.  They will love posting it and hopefully receiving some mail in return at some point.
  11. Animal hospital: Have the kids collect all their animal toys to see the vet.  Set them up with any toy doctor gear, or improvise with other things from around the house.  Get them to examine each patient and decide on treatment.  If you’ve ever been to Healesville Sanctuary’s vet play area, you will know that this idea is definitely a winner.
  12. Hot and Cold game:  Have one person choose an object to hide and then the others must walk around the house looking for it.  The person who hid the object must say ‘warm’, ‘hot’, ‘boiling’ as the people looking get closer to it, and ‘cool’, ‘colder’, ‘freezing’ as they get further away.  You could time how long it takes to find each object to make it more interesting.
  13. Remote control car missions: Have the kids at opposite ends of the house and have one of them tape a message or toy to the remote control car.  Arm your kids with walkie talkies (unless you want to put up with a lot of shouting) and without them moving themselves, they have to deliver the message or toy to the other person via the car.
  14. Baking and decorating: Have the kids help you out in the kitchen making tasty treats to enjoy while you are housebound or to freeze for school lunchboxes.  (Click here for my top ten freezer fillers if you need some ideas).  And if you can’t be bothered baking, decorating Marie or Teddy bear biscuits with different coloured icing and Smarties is just as good, and keeps kids of all ages entertained.img_9729
  15. Teddy bear’s/indoor picnic:  Have the kids collect all their favourite toys and sit them in a circle for a picnic.  Or, if they are too old for that, just an indoor picnic is fun in itself.  Hand out some of those tasty treats you baked with your kids or the decorated biscuits.
  16. Sorting Lego:  This could be hit or miss depending on their age, but this might be a good time to sort your Lego and Duplo into colours or other toys into specific groups as well.  If possible, have containers of every colour for easy sorting, or place a piece of different coloured cards at the bottom of the containers.  Organised Lego is the ultimate dream!10494672_10152152987177245_917768671755780118_n
  17. Colouring/drawing/sticker books:  I have a collection of all the discarded colouring in and sticker books my kids have received over the years.  On rainy days we drag out all the coloured pencils and crayons and the kids get to work reclaiming their books again.
  18. Make a collage:  This is a good time to go through any unwanted birthday, Christmas cards and magazines, and cut out pictures to use for a collage.  My kids never tire of sticking random objects on a page.  After they’ve finished decorating, see if they would like you to display it on the fridge or give it to someone special.
  19. Midday movie: I know, this is a no-brainer, but it’s all about making it special.  Give the kids lunch and then get them set up in their special couches, with blankets and maybe some freshly popped popcorn and hot chocolate.  Use this time to get some jobs done or just snuggle up with them and enjoy the movie too-you deserve it.
  20. Create a library/shop:  It all depends on what toys you have and what your kids are interested in, but most kids are all about imaginative play.  Whether it’s a library, (this sounds much quieter and nicer to me) or a shop, the kids will enjoy running with this idea.
  21. Scrapbooking:  This is probably as good a time as ever to have your child collect up all their creations they have made at kindergarten, creche or school and put them in a scrapbook.  They can personalise the front cover and if they are writing, they may wish to add words next to the things they stick in.
  22. Hide and seek:  This is an old favourite but especially good if you are trying to get things done around the house and the kids want you to play.  Have them hide and take your time counting.  It’s amazing how much you can get done during that time.  Sardines is also a great variation of this game.  One person hides and then as people find them, they hide with them too until there is only one person left looking.IMG_2762
  23. Dance competition: Have the kids dress up in ‘dance’ costumes, dim the lights and pump up some of their favourite music.  It’s a good way to tire them out when they are inside all day.  You could play music chairs or musical freeze or just let them dance if they are happy to do that.
  24. Build a farm/zoo/dinosaur park:  Again, depending on the toys you have, the children could create a farm , zoo or dinosaur park using toy animals, Duplo or Lego for fences and pieces of cloth and cushions for mountains, rivers and desert.  It’s interesting to see how they group animals together.
  25. Jumping in muddy puddles: This is loads of fun for the kids but just make sure you time it carefully – ideally before a bath!  Raincoats and gumboots are a must, and any other clothes will no doubt be destined for the wash.  It’s good to get the kids out into the fresh air for a bit but they will love making a mess with your permission for once!17634573_1867354076845992_98633677225138419_n

Do you have any other suggestions for rainy day activities?  Leave a comment if you’d like to share.

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