We all know that rainy days can be stressful when your kids are stuck inside, desperate for activities to occupy their time. They need a creative outlet to unleash all that pent up energy. Happy kids mean happy parents, so we've made a list of 25 great activities to keep your kids entertained on those gloomy days, without breaking the bank.
1. Build a Fort: This can be easily done with a few creative maneuvers on your part. Push the couches closer or bring the chairs from the kitchen table into the living room to use as support. Drape sheets and blankets over them, and let your kids decide how to use their newly built kingdoms. It even creates a fun place to read or get homework done while still feeling like play time.
2. Bake Treats: Turn rainy days cheery by involving your kids in kitchen activities. Teach them read the instructions and measure out ingredients. The simple task of baking cookies can be a great educational activity-with a very delicious reward!
3. Play Board Games: In the age of electronics, your old board games may get ignored and start collecting dust on the shelves. This is a great excuse to bring those classics back out for a great family activity. Find games that are age-appropriate and multiplayer for an activity the entire family can enjoy.
4. Paint: This involves a little more mess and clean up on your part, but it can be a fun way for kids to be creative and artistic and maybe get a little messy in the process (It's always more fun that way!). You can spread out a giant sheet of butcher paper on the garage floor and let them let their imaginations take over. If this must be done indoors, find an old sheet or tarp and lay it across your kitchen floor and let them paint on that to keep any messes from getting on your floors. You'll be amazed at what your kids can come up with.
5. Crafts: There are many age-appropriate and simple crafts that you can easily put together for your kids. Gather household items such as paper, cotton balls, glitter, straws, Popsicle sticks, scissors, glue and whatever else you have that you think could work well. You can come up with a project, such as making animals or Popsicle stick people, or you can just let your kids be creative and see what they come up with.
6. Set Up a Fake Sandbox: Ok, we don't really mean fake. What we mean is you probably don't want sand being tracked all over your house, so we advise using something aside from sand. A couple of ideas that work well are uncooked rice or dry oatmeal. You can set it up in a tub in your kitchen. Any spills are easily swept or vacuumed.
7. Play Dough: A classic! Who doesn't love play dough? This is a very easy activity if you use the store bought kind. If you want this activity to last longer and be more involved, you and your kids can make your own homemade play dough. Check out this site for some great homemade recipes. This can be a fun learning experience for your kids.
8. Have a Scavenger Hunt: If you want to break away from the norm, set up a cute scavenger hunt for your kids. Write out and hide a series of clues for them to find, and let them put their problem solving skills to work to lead them to the prize.
9. Play I Spy: This game requires no props, no set up and most importantly no clean up. All you need is everyone in the same room. Take turns giving clues about what you "spy" in the room until someone guesses what you're describing.
10. Read: Plain and simple. Rainy weather can be a perfect time to curl up on the couch with a good book. Make it even more exciting with a trip to the library first, and let them pick out a few books. Read together or read independently.
11. Put On a Show: If your kids love to perform, this is the perfect opportunity for them to impress you with their acting skills. Let them dig through your closets for costumes and put on a play. You can also set up chairs in the living room, so they feel like you're really in the audience.
12. Have a Picnic Inside: Even lunch time can be fun. Lay out a blanket in the living room and have an indoor picnic. If you have older kids and a fireplace, you can make it more exciting by grilling hotdogs or S'mores over the fire. They'll think they're camping inside!
13. Make it a Movie Day: Go to your local video store and rent a few movies. Pop some popcorn, get some blankets and cuddle up on the couch. Turn your living room into a cozy theater.
14. Puzzles: Spend some time working together on puzzles. If you want to add a little competition, see who can finish their puzzle the quickest.
15. Computer/Video Games: This may not be the most active thing for your kids to do, but a little video game time never hurt anyone. If you want it to be a little more educational, there are great online games available that can be both fun and educational for your kids.
16. Earn Money Through Chores: What kid doesn't like to have some cash laying around? When you're stuck inside, it's a great time to get some household chores done. No kid wants to clean over playing, so make this a money-making opportunity for them. Offer a set amount per chore and let them earn it. It gives them some money to spend on things they want and also teaches them responsibility and money management-and your house will be cleaned in the process!
17. Turn Boxes Into Toys: If you have old packing or moving boxes laying around, this can be a great prop for your kids to play with. They can make forts, cars or spaceships and let their imaginations run wild.
18. Play Charades: Have everyone write down ideas and throw them all in a jar or hat. Take turns choosing one and laughing as your family quietly acts out their idea while you try to guess what they are. A no cost, simple family activity.
19. Visit a Museum: It may be raining, but if you're brave enough to venture out, museums can be a great educational, indoor activity.
20. Dancing: This can be as silly or as serious as you make it. Let them pick out their favorite song and choreograph a dance to go along with it. Then they can perform it for you and put on a little show. If you're daring and willing, let them teach you the steps, so you can dance along.
21. Science Experiments: We certainly don't want you messing with dangerous chemicals, but there are some great experiments you can do with household items that are completely safe and fun for kids. Check out this sitefor all the how-to you need to turn your kitchen into a science lab.
22. Puppet Show: This can be a great, hands on activity for kids. Start with letting them make their own puppets. Use socks, Popsicle sticks or brown paper bags, and let your kids create all the characters they need for their show. Then create a little stage they can hide behind and act out their show.
23. Organize Toys: This also might not be the most exciting activity, but take advantage of your time indoors by having your kids go through their toys. Have them pick out what they don't play with, and donate them to a children's hospital or children's charity.
24. Play School: Set up a mock classroom, only in this case let your child be the teacher and you the student. Let them set up a lesson plan and teach you whatever is it they're learning in school. Good refresher for them while they're playing.
25. Finger Painting: But not just regular finger painting. Clear off your kitchen table, and let your kids finger paint with either shaving cream or vanilla pudding. This can be spread over the table, and your kids can practice letters, numbers or writing their names in the gooey mess. For some added fun, spruce up the shaving cream or pudding with a little food coloring.
There are endless, fun activities for you and your kids to enjoy when the weather is not cooperating. No need to rack your brain or stress over expensive outings. Hopefully this list will give you some great and inexpensive educational ideas to keep your kids entertained throughout the day.
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