Rain, Rain, Stay Awhile: What to Do on a Rainy Day

By Rachel Castro /

When rain chases the sun away, don’t let it chase away your sense of fun. Gloomy weather can be the backdrop for some of your kids’ best days. Plan a day filled with alternating adventures: play indoors until cabin fever sets in, then head out into the fat raindrops for some splashing before drying off with a warm and cozy game.

Image: Simply Real Moms

Embrace Long Games

A rainy day is the perfect time to dig into some elaborate games. Set up a board game like “Monopoly” with older kids and play for 20-minute bursts throughout the day. Younger kids can open their own “work” places; for instance, one child can open a restaurant in the kitchen, while another can gather books to open a pretend library or arrange office supplies at a desk to create a pretend office. Take turns visiting each other’s setups.

Creating a scavenger or treasure hunt is a simple way to keep kids entertained and active for a long time indoors. Hide a series of clues for kids to track from one room to another, or create a list of certain random objects around the house for them to find. When they finish the hunt, celebrate with a snack.

Make Errands Adventures

When the sun comes out again, you won’t want to be stuck indoors. So use a rainy day to get some things accomplished, and make running errands an entertaining activity for little ones. Start by giving kids clues about where you’re going to go. For instance, say something like, “First we’re going to go somewhere that has lots of cold, glass rooms, and then we’re going to go to a place where all the workers move paper around all day.” See if your kids can guess that you’re talking about freezers at the grocery store and money at the bank.

At each destination, give your kids a challenge. Ask a toddler to look for examples of certain letters or shapes on signs at the post office. At the store, ask older kids to pick out an ingredient they’ve never seen before, then head to the library and find cookbooks that tell you how to prepare that food.

Splish and Splash

Keep kids inside during thunderstorms or when flood warnings are in effect. But if the rain is warm and conditions are safe, help kids climb into their boots and slickers and head outdoors. Once you’ve all had a chance to jump in some puddles, put on your rain scientist hats. Fill a basket with small plastic toys and inexpensive household items (think measuring cups, balls of foil and refrigerator magnets) and ask kids to guess whether each one will float in a puddle before trying it out. Bring magnifying glasses and rulers outdoors so you can measure and examine the earthworms, fallen leaves and puddles.

Kids can also make pictures indoors using crayons, paints and chalk, then bring them outside and see how the rain changes the images. See what happens when you try to draw with sidewalk chalk while the rain is falling.

Image: Mer Mag

Throw a Party

When rain equals party time, kids will look forward to being stuck indoors. Invite a few of their pals over, or throw a theme party just for yourselves. Tie in a costume component to be festive. Order everyone to put on pajamas and curl up for a midday movie-and-popcorn fest. Put on beach gear, spread towels out on the living room floor and turn on tons of lights to simulate sunshine, then listen to hula music and have a “beach” picnic on your towels. Alternatively, dress up in your fanciest clothes and have a fancy tea party, or challenge everyone to dress like a favorite book character and throw a reading party.

Rachel Castro

About the Author

A self-proclaimed New Yorker from the Midwest, Rachel Castro lets design and color inspire her everyday life. Designer by day and DIYer by night, you can follow all of her latest projects on Digs & DIY, where she documents her favorites from recipes to redesign.

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