Being stuck inside on a rainy day doesn’t have to be boring. Today I’m sharing my favorite activities for kids when bad weather keeps you indoors. I’m linking up with some fabulous mom bloggers who are sharing their best rainy day activities too. Make sure to check out their posts at the end for more great ideas!
Coincidentally it’s a rainy day here for me, so we’ll be having indoor fun from this list today. The activities I’m sharing are ones I love because they’ve proven to keep my busy toddler entertained, but kids of all ages will enjoy them. Older children can be more involved in the creation of the activities, which keeps them occupied even longer!
1. Balloon Games
You probably have a bag of balloons left over from a birthday party sitting in a drawer somewhere. If not, pick up a small bag of them the next time you’re at the store to keep on hand. It’s well worth the couple bucks to have them around for a rainy day!
My son loves balloons, and luckily there are so many ways to play with them. Balloons are a fun way to work on developing his gross motor skills too. A single balloon can keep his attention like nothing else! If you have a young child like me, I recommend blowing up just one balloon at a time as a safety precaution since popped balloons can be a choking hazard. Here’s a list of some of the things we like to do with balloons, and you can do them all with items you already have at home:
- Throw the balloon up into the air and let your child try to catch it in something. We’ve used plastic food storage containers, a small pail, even a hat. Older kids can try to keep the balloon in the air and not let it touch the ground.
- Hold on to opposite sides of a light blanket with your child and bounce the balloon up and down, similar to parachute play.
- Move the balloon around the room with an object. My son has a little set of hockey sticks we use, but the same thing can be done with empty paper towel rolls or wrapping paper rolls cut down to size.
- Another sports activity to try is balloon tennis. Attach a paper or styrofoam plate to a large craft stick (or anything similar you have around—an empty paper towel roll could do the trick too) to make rackets for hitting the balloon back and forth.
- If you want to use more balloons, you can fill an enclosed play area with them for lots of fun.
- Or hang balloons from an opening to a room for your child to bat around with his or her hand. Little ones enjoy seeing the balloons float back down slowly through the air.
- If you have a variety of colors, you can also practice sorting colors into laundry baskets for a fun learning activity. (More on laundry baskets in a minute!)
2. Paper Bag Puppets
All you need here are paper lunch bags, construction paper and a glue stick (or other adhesive). We’ve made some animal puppets to use while singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” and they turned out so cute! For my toddler, I cut out the pieces and apply the glue, and he likes to stick the pieces on the bag for me. You can make these as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Other fun options are using animal-print washi tape, drawing the puppets directly on the bag or printing out animal faces to color and glue on. Older kids can take it a step further by making a stage and putting on a puppet show!
3. Laundry Basket Pretend Play
My son is at an age where he has started to engage in simple pretend play (talking on the phone, making his toy airplane fly), so I try to encourage his imagination skills any time I can. Pretend play is one of the best activities to do on a rainy day because you can create a scenario where you’re outdoors and forget about the fact that you’re stuck indoors for a while.
My son is always playing around in empty laundry baskets, and our favorite imaginative play scenario is sailing a boat. A couple of blankets tucked under the laundry basket make the ocean, and fish from one of his sorting toys swim in the blue (blanket) waters. I fold simple sailor hats out of white printer paper for my son and his shipmate of choice. For older children, a sheet of newspaper will fit better for the sailor hats.
You or your child can even make oars, fishing poles or a sail. Take it as far as you and your child want to go, then set sail! I push and pull my son back and forth in short motions while singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and sometimes we play a game where he tries to grab the fish out of the water while he’s rowing. I also push him throughout the house for as long as my lower back allows, and he likes to push his stuffed animals around the house by himself too.
A few other laundry basket scenarios to try:
- A race car with a cardboard steering wheel tied on. Decorate the laundry basket with racing stripes and make a checkered flag.
- A train made with a few baskets tied together. Your child can be the conductor in the front, and stuffed animals can ride in the passenger cars behind.
- A hot-air balloon with a bunch of helium balloons tied on. Add streamers or make tassels to wrap around the laundry basket for decoration.
4. Dance Party
We pretty much have a mini dance party every day regardless of the weather. I adore dancing with my son and watching him dance solo—he gets so into it! Older kids can take turns being the DJ and choosing songs for the dance party, and they can even sing along karaoke-style too.
I hope these four fun indoor activities help get you started if you see rain headed your way in the forecast. The mamas pictured below have kids of all ages and are also sharing their go-to ideas with you for surviving a rainy day at home. Not only rain, but cold winter weather and extreme summer heat can put a damper on outdoor plans, so pin these to reference again whenever the weather isn’t favorable for outdoor play. And be sure to share your best rainy day activities in the comments so no child has a boring rainy day again! :)