It's pouring outside and has been all day, there are two bored little faces looking at you and it's only a matter of time before the dreaded "there's nothing to do" is heard throughout the house. We've all been there and wished we had a few tricks up our sleeve to put into action. Well, keep reading as we have put together a fun list of rainy day activities to entertain house bound families.
#1 Rainy day indoor treasure hunt
Each player visits each room in the house, choosing 2 items from each room and then create a clue about it. Depending on the child's age, you can make it relatively easy, for example ‘I am small and red’ or more challenging and cryptic ‘You can use me to rest a while’ or ‘I’m besties with the table’ Answer: The little red chair
#2 Create a family recipe book
This activity has the added benefits of making a family heirloom to treasure and everyone can add their favourites, maybe include a savoury and a sweet dish and simple kid-friendly meals too.
#3 Indoor camping
If you have a tee pee, why not bring it into the family room and deck it out with blankets and pillows, lights and torches This can make an ideal place to curl up and read, or watch a movie. Usually the family pet likes to get involved and find a nice warm spot out of the rain so they can snuggle up too. No tee pee? You can also use your dining room chairs, the lounge suite, cushions brooms and sheets to custom make a comfy cubby. Let the kids work out the best way to hold up the sheets and map out how big they can make it so everyone can fit inside.
#4 Invent a game
Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and write two completely random sentences. This is the first line of your ‘made-up-group-effort’ story. Fold over the first sentence so only one is now showing, pass it along to the next player and get them to read the sentence and add 2 more sentences and then fold over. Keep going back and forth until the page is full and then unfold the sheet and read the story out loud. This method is guaranteed to get a few laughs and spark some creative writing juices.
Jump online or pull out your cookbooks and find a recipe that you have the ingredients to make. If the child needs supervision, you can use the activity to teach how to measure out wet and dry ingredients, and how to be safe in the kitchen. Older children love the independence of being able to use kitchen equipment and using the oven and being creative with decorating their goodies.
#6 Rainy day movie marathon
Whatever way your family watches movies, via Netflix or DVDs, choose a few that everyone can enjoy. Make some popcorn and snacks and get a comfortable spot on the floor, couch, bean bag or maybe in the cubby (see #3) and enjoy some time out, while the weather is wet.
#7 Minute to win it game
These games are so much fun, and can really fill in a rainy afternoon. Using basic equipment around the house choose a few to challenge each other and have a hilarious time laughing and testing your skill against each other. These are also great icebreakers or party games, so now is the time to get some practice in! For ideas have a look at this.
#8 Host a high tea party
A rainy day doesn't have to be dreary when you have yummy food to eat and get all dressed up (see #15). Pull out some nice plates, servers and cups and bake some dainty biscuits, make a slice or fancy filling sandwiches and present them on the table with a few candles/flowers or homemade decorations. Teddies and dolls can be invited along too and come all dressed up to attend this special occasion.
#9 Construct your city/home town on paper
Roll a long piece of craft paper or butchers paper down a hallway, using some Blu tac (or heavy books/toys) to secure the corners and edges, and let your kids map out your hometown. Locate some familiar landmarks such as home, their school, grandparents house, the library or favourite ice-cream/toy shop. It doesn't have to be to scale, so let their imagination fill in the roads, bridges and neighbourhoods, including lakes, playgrounds, hospitals, shops, and restaurants etc. You could use Lego blocks to make the landmarks along the way. Kids would love to drive toy cars along the roads and get creative with making various families/characters that live in the area.
#10 Make your own movie
For this activity all you really need is a phone and an idea to act out. You could also make your own music video. Once you have finished recording there are some online movie makers (or our favourite is Wondershare Filmora) to edit your movie and add some music, special effects, titles and transitions. Once you have edited your masterpiece the whole family can enjoy and watch together. Other ideas are mashing together all of your last family holiday photos or special occasion. You could even make a gift to give someone as a farewell memento.
#11 Make cards to send to family
If you have family members living out of town or as a thank you to a friend, card making can be a wonderful way to teach children about gratitude and thinking of others. Break out the craft stash, pencils and glitter glue and see what beautiful cards your kids can come up with.
#12 Lego building contest
Choose a subject or just go freestyle, pool all the Lego and blocks together and see what everyone can come up with. Not only is playing with Lego great for developing fine motor skills, it also aids:
- Teamwork and communication
- Patience and organisational skills
- Constructive problem solving and lateral thinking
- Adventure and experimentation
- Increases spatial awareness
- Better focus and concentration
#13 Dancing party
Crank up the tunes and put your best foot forward, dancing is always a hit to increase the feel-good vibes and a way to be active even indoors.
No doubt your family has a favourite song from a movie or musical that gets your feet tapping or sparks good memories. No fancy equipment is necessary, just a song and a hairbrush and you’re away!
#15 Dress ups
Whether you have a dress-up box, some party costumes or just raid mum and dads wardrobe, dressing up is a favourite for most children. Try accessorising with hats, scarves, belts, jewellery and clip-clopping in a pair of too big shoes. Helps with imaginative play and teaches practical skills such as learning to get dressed. Once you’re done why not host a fashion parade or attend a High Tea? (see #8).
** Another hot tip is to get your kids to try on their own clothes with some dress ups and see what still fits or what may be ready to pass on to someone else, sell or donate. If they feel it’s something special they will be more willing to participate, win win!
#16 Indoor obstacle course
This is a great way to get the jiggles out, so if it’s been raining for a few days and you have been cooped up inside read on. First set up a rough track say the lounge, hall, dining room and bedrooms. Grab some kitchen chairs and place down the hallway, these can act as large stepping stones, or to crawl under. Use your laundry tub on the table and a balloon and try to ‘Shoot hoops’. Star jumps and running on the spot until the clock ticks to a particular time is an easy way to use up some energy. If it’s allowed in your family have the kids do some bouncing on a bed or lie on their back with arms and legs in the air and pretend to be a bug on their back, kicking and punching the air, guaranteed to get everyone laughing. Somersaults and leapfrog can also be incorporated and if you’re trying the beat the clock, provide plenty of encouragement to keep the excitement high.
#17 Indoor race track
Using some masking tape, mark out a race track on the floor, including some tight bends, or even up the wall or piece of furniture, make it wide enough for racing and include a start/finish line.
#18 Indoor laser maze
For this you’ll need string, wool or a crepe paper roll and sticky tape or Blu tac. Start by choosing a hallway or passage and stick the ‘laser beam’ string from one side of the wall to the other and repeat back and forward at different angles. Get the kids to carefully climb over, under the beams and avoid being zapped.
Classic rainy day activity, get the whole gang involved and see who can piece the puzzle back together.
#20 Science experiments
Jump on Google and find an experiment that you feel comfortable doing inside and that you have the equipment and ingredients for. If you have safety goggles and an art smock handy, they can help set the right atmosphere for your budding scientists.
#21 Play shop
If you have a medium sized cardboard box (for the cash register), some toys, food or household items (stock) and some paper and pens (to make price tags and for pretend money/cards) you are all ready for some seriously fun pretend shopping. While the shopkeeper gets to explain the features of a particular item, you can also incorporate maths skills, conversational skills and teach about how business works and how companies market and advertise to their audience.
#22 Balloon bop
For this activity you’ll need a supply of balloons and a ‘court’ maybe the lounge room and use the couch as the ‘net’. The aim of the game is to keep the balloon off the floor on your side and try and make touch down on your opponents' side. If the balloon pops, just blow up another one.
#23 Indoor skittles
Set up some soft drink/water bottles in a ‘V’ shape and use a soft indoor ball to knock them down, variations include putting food colouring/glow sticks in the water bottles. Strike!
#24 Head to a family friendly cafe
If you really need to get out of the house, head to a shopping centre or a local cafe and order a nice hot drink, it’s a bonus if they have an indoor play area, or at least bring a small toy for your kids to play with.
#25 Write and act out a play
If you cant find your inner Shakespeare, why not take your inspiration from one of your children's books, and act out a scene from one of the chapters, or better yet make a sequel using familiar characters.
#26 Facetime a family member or a friend
If family are far away let them know you are thinking of them and give them a call.
#27 Learn how to sew
A practical skill and a quiet calming activity, learning to sew is fun. Teach your kids how to darn socks, sew on a button, or if they are a bit older let them use a sewing machine.
#28 Wash the toys
Put the kids in the bath and throw in some toys and get them to give them a good scrub.
#29 Make coloured rice for sensory play
Really easy to add some different coloured food die to rice divided up in different bowls. Use this for some fun sensory time, hide small toys to 'excavate', measure out and practice writing skills.
#30 Make bath bombs
Hit Youtube for a step by step tutorial on how to make some homemade bathbombs to enjoy in a hot bath.
BONUS **Make band instruments from kitchen items
Put on some music and make your own 'instruments' from the kitchen, pots, pans, shakers, etc.
These activities would equally work on days of extreme heat as well when it's just too hot the venture outdoors.