When it rains for days, thinking of activities to keep the kids entertained (and not on a device or screen) can be really challenging.
Let’s face it, outings to indoor entertainment venues like ten pin bowling, the movies or perhaps indoor rock climbing are great, but for me, with three children, outsourcing the entertainment isn’t very $ustainable.
To keep the kids busy when it is raining and to stop them from bickering at each other, I find that I generally need to go old school and get creative!
Here are my 10 favourite rainy-day activities, that you can do from the comfort of your home. All 10 are low cost and are perfect for keeping the rainy-day boredom and bickering at bay.
1. Board Games, Cards & Puzzles - This is an obvious one, but you can’t beat the old favourites. UNO, Monopoly (which has versions now to suit every age), Pictionary, Jenga, Exploding Kittens (a more recently a favourite) will all keep the kids occupied for an hour or so. You might also be surprised at how engaged the kids are when the whole family works together to solve a 5000+ piece jigsaw puzzle. The trick is to start it somewhere that it doesn’t need to be moved and that everyone can keep coming back to. It is so rewarding to finally complete the puzzle as a team.
2. Stomping in puddles - Assuming it isn’t an electrical storm, why not make the most of the rain! Slip and slide, water bomb fights and blowing bubbles are also in this category of “why not!”, your kids will be so shocked you are suggesting it, but messy moments are what great family memories are made of.
3. Fort Building or Glamping – This is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Whether you use sheets, cushions and blankets or set up your 2-man tent in the lounge room this activity is limited only by your (their) imaginations. Once it is built and road tested, I like to use the new construction as a lunch or dinner venue, and watching a movie from the new fort is great fun too!
4. Baking – Baking something fun like biscuits, or cupcakes and decorating them is always a winning idea. You can take this activity to a new level by:
- Creating a cake shop – limited only by your (their) imagination, this can be hours of fun setting up a store, taking photos of each item and developing a price lists etc. Why not bring out the Monopoly money and buy a cake or two!
- Filming and editing – You can film the creation being made using time lapse photography (on your i-phone). Or for older kids perhaps film and edit the whole production, just like a cooking show.
Tweens and early teens love this activity upgrade as it gives them the opportunity to use their devices.
5. LEGO – This can be an expensive hobby if every activity requires a new kit, I like to get the kids being creative using their existing bricks. Think like the LEGO Masters television show (see the show HERE) and give the kids 20 minute challenges to complete, with ideas like:
- Who can build the tallest tower
- Create a bridge that can hold a can of food
- Build your dream car
- Design a layout of a house
This is really fun to watch and judge (or join in), you will see the kids rushing to grab bricks, and being creative and competitive, just like the show!
7. Scavenger Hunt – This can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
- For older kids, clues with puzzles and riddles to solve are great fun and extend the time it takes to complete the activity.
- For younger children just hiding something as common as your clothes pegs for them to find around the house is a fun and simple activity that gets them moving (since it is raining you won’t be needing the pegs!).
8. Science Experiments – Do you have a budding scientist in your house, I know I have three! Curious minds love experimenting and like the cooking activity it can also be “upgraded” to involve video editing. You can find experiments that can be easily done at home at sciencefun.org/kidszone/experiments/home or by clicking here.
9. Create an Exercise Circuit – Want to burn off some energy? No need for the gym, get your children moving by creating a basic circuit in your lounge room or garage.
- For older children create 6 stations with signs that show the activity, like push ups, sit ups, star jumps, squats, skipping etc. Rotate through the activities with 2 minute intervals around the room.
- For younger children an obstacle course can be constructed out of cushions and pillows and stepping stools etc. Be mindful of their limitations but it can be a lot of fun using their gross motor skills.
10. Use your garage/carport or undercover area – Make the most of any large dry area you have, this space is great for handball (masking tape in a court line), table tennis (pull that gem out of storage!) and hopscotch (chalk in a line and show the kids how it’s done!).
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