They say, “April showers bring May flowers”. ‘Tis the season of rain, clouds, and gloomy skies, and we all feel stuck inside. When the warmer springtime weather has us wanting more outside time, cabin fever can kick into high gear on those rainy days. But being stuck inside with kids during all the rainy gloom does not have to mean endless hours of screen time. Having a go-to list of rainy day activities for kids will save everyone from rainy day restlessness.
Looking for some fun and easy activities, games, and ideas to stay busy inside when it’s too wet to play outside? Here are 17 rainy-day activities for kids that are sure to keep your kids active, engaged, and having lots of fun during those days of rainy gloom.
Rainy days don’t have to be boring!
When you check the forecast and see a 100% chance of rain all day, families everywhere start googling where to go, what to do, and how to get to the closest indoor museum. But sometimes, it’s easier to stay home, between the logistics of wrangling multiple kids to get in the car, rushing in between naps, and avoiding germs. We are not always up for taking a day trip with kids.
But staying home during the yucky weather doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can actually be a fun break if your kids have been spending a lot of recent time outside as the spring season warms up.
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What can you do inside on a rainy day?
There are so many fun ways to play, get creative, and stay active on rainy days. If you’re stuck on ideas, remember that any type of sick day activity or quiet time toy is a wonderful last-minute way to keep your kids occupied and entertained as rainy day activities for kids.
Some ways that you can entertain your kids with rainy-day activities are:
- Arts and crafts
- Board games
- Building competitions
- Card games
- Fort building
- Reading together
- Sensory bins
- STEM activities
Playing with your child inside on a rainy day can be fun and cozy! But let’s be honest; caregivers need a break too. Research has shown that independent play is important in building confidence and independence. Encourage your child in some independent playtime so you can have a break and sip on that much-needed mid-day coffee. (or tea!)
RELATED: Need some tips and guidance on HOW to get your child more confident in independent play when you’re stuck inside? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Quiet Time!
17 rainy day activities for kids
Rainy day activities for kids are easy and fun ways to keep your kids at home entertained, having fun, and staying dry inside to ward off everyone’s cabin fever! Check out these easy ideas below.
Gross Motor Activities
If your child is super active like mine, you will also want to check out my list of 25 gross motor activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
DIY Hallway Lazer Maze (It’s Always Autumn)
Make a fun maze using any hallway in just minutes to get your kids moving and thinking as they problem-solve and climb through this wild maze.
What you need: Painters tape
Gunny Sack Races (Meaningful Mama)
Talk about simple fun! Grab a couple of unused pillowcases and set up a friendly competition of pillow sack races.
What you need: Pillowcases
Hop the Lines; A Toddler Jumping Activity
This fun and active jumping activity is easy to set up and helps to strengthen your toddler’s gross motor skills.
What you need: Painters tape
Preschool Color Hunt
Create a simple scavenger hunt by making a list that your preschooler can follow as they run around the house collecting items that they can match and sort based on color.
What you need: Paper roll & markers
Prewriting with Colors and Movement
Help your toddler or preschooler practice their prewriting skills with this play-based activity that involves movement, color sorting, and early writing skills.
What you need: Painter’s tape, DUPLOS, felt squares, & dump truck
Cardboard Box Ideas
While inside all day, I head straight to the garage and look for what boxes I put on top of the recycling bin. (You know I didn’t break them down) They are a rainy-day goldmine!
Cardboard Box Guitar (Happy Toddler Playtime)
Repurpose a small cardboard or tissue box to make a fun musical instrument your toddler will love strumming around the house.
What you need: Cardboard box, paper towel tube, washable paint, construction paper, scissors, washi tape, glue, foam stickers, wooden beads, & elastic bands
Giant Tic Tac Toe
Grab some scrap cardboard from a box in the garage and create giant tic-tac-toe playing pieces to play a large-scale tic-tac-toe game right on your countertop or the floor.
What you need: Cardboard, painter’s tape, & permanent market
How to Build a Fun Cardboard Box (Hands On As We Grow)
Kids LOVE a good fort! They are fun to build, play in, read in and beyond. This cardboard box fort is the ultimate rainy day activity and playspace for kids!
What you need: 2 cardboard boxes, duct tape, an x-acto knife, push-button lights, & any extra fun decorating supplies (wrapping paper, stickers, fake flowers, glue)
Simple Rainbow Weaving for Kids
Create beautiful and colorful paper weaving art using cardboard as the loom base in this cute fine motor skill activity.
What you need: Cardboard, colored construction paper or ribbons, painter’s tape, & string.
Indoor Craft Ideas
Have a little artist? Painting, crafting, and simple art activities always calmed the mood in our house when we needed a little reset. Here are some easy indoor craft ideas for kids.
An Invitation to Create with Recycles
Grab a bunch of random recyclable items around the house, even straight from the recycling bin, to create one-of-a-kind art.
What you need: Recyclable items (shredded paper, dried noodles), scissors, & glue
Let’s Make DIY Crayons!
Give your broken crayons new life in this fun DIY project. Find all the broken crayons you can muster (in our house, it’s a lot!) and repurpose them with this simple, engaging activity that will leave your kids with wonderful new rainbow crayons!
What you need: Muffin tin, silicone alphabet mold, silicone heart mold, LEGO molds, & crayons
Rain Cloud Toddler Craft (My Bored Toddler)
Create what you see! This easy and crafty project is the perfect rainy day arts and crafts idea that allows your toddler to make a cute rain cloud out of simple crafting supplies.
What you need: Blue construction paper, cotton balls, streamers or crepe paper, & glue
Rainbow Rainy Day Art (Rhythms of Play)
Use real rain from outside to help create beautiful rain artwork that will impress!
Rainy days and indoor play call for simple sensory bins using beans, rice, or kinetic sand. Here are a few fun ideas to set up on the next day inside and keep out to revisit over the week.
Alphabet Bean Sensory Play
This sensory activity is not only easy to set up. Still, it will keep your preschooler busy as they strengthen their alphabet awareness, increase their fine motor skills, and develop their sorting skills.
What you need: Beans, sensory bin, & alphabet lacing letters
Cloud Dough Sensory Construction Bin
Keep your child busy exploring and playing independently with this dirt-look-alike-inspired cloud dough sensory bin.
What you need: Sensory bin, old towel or sheet, cloud dough, construction toys, & scooping tools
Scissor Skills Spaghetti Sensory Play
Strengthen fine motor and scissor skills by tossing some spaghetti noodles into a large bin and letting your preschooler practice cutting the noodles.
What you need: Sensory bin, spaghetti noodles, & scissors
Rainy days at home can be fun!
When it’s raining, keep the gloominess outside. Being stuck inside on rainy days with kids does not have to be boring or filled with hours of movies and television. You can make a rainy day fun with so many different types of easy rainy-day activities for kids! There is something for everyone between crafting, friendly game competitions, and sensory play!
There are so many types of activities, crafts, and creative ways to keep your kids entertained when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day. Repurpose cardboard boxes, make rain-inspired art, or simply play board games.
Whether it’s board games, card games, or DIY games, there are many different ways to introduce your toddler or preschooler to new games and different types of play on a rainy day.
Turn off the television and engage with your kids by setting up sensory activities, arts and crafts projects, or a hallway maze to get your kids off the couch and busy with active and stimulating activities.