10 fun rainy day activities for kids you should have in your back pocket

It’s the weekend or school’s out for the day. Your kids want entertainment. It’s raining cats and dogs. What’s a desperate parent to do? If you’re like most, you’ve found yourself here, on the internet, trying to find rainy day activities for kids. While there are plenty of suggestions to go around, summer rainy day activities could often feel few and far between in terms of anything your child might be on board with.

Whether it’s summer rainy day activities you need when the pool’s not open and the backyard’s a puddle, or rainy day activities for kids that are bouncing off the walls between homeschool via Zoom and no way to escape, we have you covered. Here are 10 fun, rainy day activities for kids that you can keep in your back pocket for at least the next 10 rainy days. 

Two girls helping mom with an apple recipe

Host a bake-off

Everyone loves a bit of baking. Host a bake-off with your kids during their next rainy day at home. If you have older kids, let them take over the kitchen for themselves (just be sure they know they’ll have to clean up their mess!). If you have younger kids, help them out. Don’t want to drag out the sugar and flour? Purchase some pre-made, unfrosted cookies or cupcakes, with some piping icing and sprinkles, and make the challenge all about who boasts the best decorating skills.

Make a pillow fort

A pillow fort is a childhood classic and one that never really gets old. Give your children free rein over one room in the house, so that they can make the biggest, best pillow fort ever. Once it’s complete, outfit them with some snacks and a tablet for watching a rainy day flick, or, if you want to cut down on screen time, some favorite books or a board game.

Go on a virtual field trip

Get out of the house without really getting out of the house. So many museums and other tourist attractions around the entire world now offer virtual tours. Wherever your children’s interests lie, pick an attraction that’s right up their alley and then settle in for an afternoon of exploring a new corner of the globe.

Create a laser obstacle course

Have some yarn handy? Make some laser obstacle courses throughout your home’s hallways. Use wall-safe tape (washi tape is a good pick) to tape strings of yarn diagonally across the hall to create a challenging “laser” trap for your children to work their way through. The person who successfully makes it through the trap without getting caught gets to make the next laser challenge.

Challenge your children to up-cycle whatever they can find around the house

For children who are at least elementary age, challenge them to find some creative upcycling projects around the house. Tell them to look for items that might otherwise be thrown out and come up with some ways that they can be reused in a new and improved way. Maybe it’s turning a soda bottle into a vase for flowers. Maybe it’s using old book pages to create wall art. Whatever it is, allow their creativity to run free and then actually implement some of their ideas.

Put on a show

If you have several children (or even a neighbor friend or two), encourage them to put together a theatrical performance of their own devices. One child can be the playwright, while one crafts a stage and the rest join in as actors. If your children don’t care for the stage, gauge their interest in shooting their own movie; it uses the same skills and creativity, and all they need is a tablet or other device that shoots video.

Get crafty

Even the simplest craft supplies can make for a fun afternoon of crafting. Outfit your children with paper (scrapbooking, construction, or otherwise), scissors, stickers, colored pencils, crayons, and whatever else you might have on hand, and let them make whatever they feel like. Paper snowflakes, greeting cards, bookmarks, paper airplanes — there are near-endless options.

Go on a rainy day nature walk

Okay, just because it’s raining, that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Outfit the fam with rain boots, rain jackets, and umbrellas, and head outdoors for a rainy day nature walk, just around the neighborhood or to your favorite nearby park. Encourage the kids to keep an eye out for interesting rainy day nature — from sidewalk worms to rain-dotted spiderwebs — and talk about how plants and animals react to the rain. 

moms and daughters camping

Go indoor camping 

Break out the tent and set it up in the basement, garage, or living room. Wherever you have enough space, pitch that tent and fill it with sleeping bags, a lantern, and no-tech, camping fun. Think card games and coloring, chapter books, and shadow puppets.

Take a trip to the library 

And if you’re still finding that your family is all stir-crazy the next rainy day, or series of rainy days, you have, take a trip to the library and see what’s on the schedule for the day. Most have daily children’s activities and all are free.

Don’t let the rain ruin your fun

No matter what you end up doing during your next rainy day, don’t let the weather ruin your fun. You can have plenty of exciting times indoors (or outside, if you’re willing to risk the weather) if you just know where to look. Plus, a lot of these rainy day activities for kids don’t even require parental supervision. All you have to do is give your kids the idea and let them run with it.  For more bad-weather activity ideas, check out our article on fun things to do during your child’s next snow day. 

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