50 Fun Ways to Spend a Rainy Day

VeryWellFamily.com | Jan 10, 2023

We’ve all been there: Looking forward to Saturday all week long, only for it to arrive accompanied by torrents of rain. While a rainstorm can foil certain plans, it certainly doesn’t need to ruin your hopes of having a fun-filled weekend. There are plenty of ways for kids and families to enjoy each other’s company on a rainy day—both safe from the raindrops and amidst them.

Here, you’ll find 50 rainy day activities that will keep your kids entertained and happy.

Kids at the library
Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images


Indoor Activities for Families

When the rain is coming down in sheets, settle in and try one of these activities.

Have storytime. You can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned storytime. If your kids are old enough, they can take turns reading.

Sort through old toys. Your playroom will be much more organized at the end, plus you may discover some old toys that you can put in storage or donate.

Go to the library. When you want to get everyone out of the house for free, the local library can’t be beaten. “We have books, audiobooks, DVDs, and fun kits and backpacks to check out,” says Marty Mason, a youth services librarian at Chelmsford Public Library in Chelmsford, MA. “Plus a full programming schedule for kids.”

Bake cookies. Tie on your aprons and let little ones help with mixing, rolling out dough, and decorating.

Make pizza. While cookies are nice and easy for younger children, more advanced baking or cooking projects can be fun for elementary or middle school-aged kids, suggests Mason. Pizza is a fun one, as it’s easy to roll out the dough, spread on the sauce, and layer on the toppings.

Play a board game. The classics are great, but there are also tons of newer board games great for kids. Some of our favorites include Blank Slate, UNO Attack!, and Clue Junior.

Try mindfulness exercises. “Have kids reflect on how their week is going,” suggests Christopher Lacroix, MEd, a history teacher at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill, MA. “This can be very beneficial for kids to help promote time management skills and set a daily schedule.”

Create a treasure hunt. If your kids are too small to figure out scavenger hunt-style clues, simply give them a list of household items that they have to track down and collect.

Visit a museum. Children’s museums with interactive and engaging activities are a great way to pass the time on a rainy day. Before you buy tickets, check to see if you can get a discount through your local library.

See a movie—at home. Pop some popcorn, pull out the blankets and settle in to watch a new movie or an old favorite.

Play Globle“This is an online geography-based guessing game that allows kids to practice and
grow their geographic knowledge on a global scale,” says Lacroix. “The object is to figure out which country is the mystery country by guessing the names of other countries that are close to it. You can play it once a day or use the practice mode function to play as many times as you want. My grade nine students absolutely love it.”

Have a living room dance party. “This is a great way to get the wiggles out,” says Mason. Everyone in your family can take turns putting on their favorite songs.

Have an indoor picnic. You don’t have to be outside to eat on the ground. Pack a picnic basket with your children, spread out a blanket in the living room, and enjoy the meal you prepared.

Solve some riddles. “Riddles are a great way to pass the time and get kids to think outside of the box,” says Lacroix. His favorite ones force kids to call on their math skills.

Play school. As a fun twist, let your kid be the teacher and you be the student.

Girl playing with playdough
Jose Luiz Pelaez Inc / Getty Images


Indoor Activities for Siblings

If all of your kids are stuck inside, these activities will make for great bonding and even more fun.

Choreograph a dance. They can also learn the choreography of a popular dance online, then record it with a phone or perform it for the family.

Build a fort. “Building a blanket fort is great imaginative play,” says Mason. Couch cushions, pillows, and chairs are also encouraged.

Put on a play. Acting out a favorite picture book will make for engaging theater. Or, depending on how old your oldest is, they can come up with a story of their own, suggests Mason. Costumes are a must for the final performance.

Transform cardboard boxes. We all have that giant stack of recycling in our garages—challenge your kids to use the cardboard (and/or other materials like plastic bottles and egg cartons) to build new things to play with.

Play with playdough. Playdough can provide endless fun for kids from preschool age all the way to middle school, Mason says. Plus, it’s a cinch to clean up.

Make puppets and put on a show. Stuffed animals, socks, and cut-out shapes on popsicle sticks can all become puppets, while the back of a couch or a table covered with a cloth makes for a fine stage.

Build a masking tape city. Use masking tape to create roads and buildings on the floor (this works particularly well in carpeted rooms, as the tape will come off very easily), then grab some toy cars and go to town.

Write a poem or a song. Older siblings can help smaller ones think of words that rhyme with one another.

Stephen Welstead / Getty Images


Solo Indoor Activities for Kids

For times when the adults have other things to do and there’s only one child at home, these activities will keep your child engaged.

Write postcards or letters. For children who can write, give them the tools to write letters or postcards to their friends, siblings, or relatives.

Make greeting cards. Part arts-and-crafts and part writing exercise, kids can cut out words and pictures from magazines to paste on the front of their cards before writing inside. Or they can break out the crayons to make a hand-drawn card.

Line up dominos. The more dominos you have, the longer your child can spend creating designs with them and then watching them fall.

Read a bookThe perfect indoor activity. Audiobooks are also great for downtime, notes Mason, if kids prefer to listen.

Put together a puzzle. Breaking out a brand-new puzzle on a rainy day can keep kids of all ages occupied for hours, says Mason.

Draw. Kids can have fun with crayons and colored pencils no matter their age. Depending on their skill level, you can print out coloring pages or pictures that they can trace or replicate—or you can just spread out the paper and see what they create.

Play video games. With adult permission and limits, educational video games and apps are an engaging way to pass the time, says Mason.

Expand a picture. A fun twist on drawing, you can have your child cut out a picture from a magazine, print out an image, or use a photo you have lying around. They will paste that photo in the center of a large sheet of paper or piece of poster board and then expand the picture around it, getting creative with the setting and anyone else in the image.

Build with Legos. Following a kit is fun, but challenging your child to build something new using all the pieces they have will help spark their creativity.

Practice an instrument. From the xylophone to the drums to the recorder to the trumpet, no child is too small to make some music, Mason says.

Little girl splashing in puddle
Cavan Images / Getty Images


Outdoor Activities for Families

A little rain never hurt anybody. As long as there isn’t any thunder or lightning in your area and you’re avoiding swimming pools and running water like creeks, which can rise quickly in the rain, throw on a raincoat and boots and try some of these fun outdoor activities.

Go for a walk. There’s just something about splashing through puddles that hits differently from a walk on a sunny day, says Mason.

Build a shelter. Head into the yard with a tarp and some rope and see if you can build a dry shelter.

Try to make a fire. This will take a while and requires the proper skills and tools, but finally seeing those flames lick upward will be incredibly satisfying.

Play with a water table. Water itself can be endlessly entertaining, especially for young children. Set up a table outside with cups, bowls, bottles, and funnels—then let them enjoy themselves.

Race “boats.” If your driveway or street slopes down, have your kids grab leaves, sticks, flowers, or pinecones and race them down the running water. This option is best for families who don’t live on busy roads, but no matter what, be sure to keep an eye out for cars.

Measure the rainfall. Set out containers of different sizes and see how long it takes for the rain to fill up each.

Have a water fight. Water balloons are fun, squirt guns are too. Everyone is wet already, after all.

Build dams in puddles. Use rocks, sticks, or your hands to flood holes and impressions in the yard or driveway, then try floating things in them.

Set up a slip and slide. If you don’t have an official slip and slide, a tarp works great—and you won’t even need the hose! Try adding some dish soap, baby soap or body wash to make things extra slippery.

Draw with chalk. Chalk will still draw great in the rain, but the colors will appear slightly different.

Play with sand or mud. They become natural molding materials when wet.

Shower in the rain. Little ones will get a kick out of this one! Bring shampoo and soap outside and lather up in the rain.

Create a water band. This one works especially well if it’s raining hard. Bring out buckets, cups, covers, and other containers made of plastic or tin and see what sounds they make as the water hits them—or grab some shovels and spoons and make music of your own.

Hunt for rain-loving critters. Frogs, toads, worms, snails, and slugs all come out in the rain. See how many you can find—without hurting them, of course.

Dance with umbrellas. There’s something about twirling with an umbrella that makes the activity that much more fun.

Cloud peep. Check out the clouds around your house and your neighborhood and see if you can tell the difference between those that are dumping rain and those that will bring dry skies.

Go rainbow hunting. As the storm is letting up, pull on your boots and head out around the neighborhood to see if you can spot a rainbow.

By Alyssa Sybertz
Alyssa has been writing about health and wellness since 2013. Her work has appeared in print in publications like FIRST for Women, Woman’s World, and Closer Weekly and online at places like TheHealthy.com, Allrecipes.com, and OnePeloton.com. She is the author of The OMAD Diet and has served as editor-in-chief for two magazines about intermittent fasting.


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