It is a rainy Saturday afternoon and the kids are restless, begging to go somewhere or play in the dreadful raindrops. When rain thwarts your weekend plans, there is no need to be discouraged. There are many fun, interesting and even new activities to do at home with the kids. Whether you have one or 10 children, boys or girls, preschooler or preteen, fun can be had indoors!
Make the dark and dreary of a rainy day part of your fun
Shadow puppets. Set up a flash light or lamp toward a blank wall and try out different animals. You can use Google to find tutorials or just make up your own. Preschoolers can practice their animal sounds and shapes. Or let their creative juices flow by making a skit with their newfound shadow puppets.
Make a fort or tent. Gather sheets, blankets and pillows to set up your own indoor fort or tent. Bring in flashlights or fake candles and read a book or watch a movie on a charged laptop.
Scavenger hunt. This one will take more planning than other activities but is also very rewarding. Choose a theme to make it a little easier and hide items and/or clues around the house. For younger children you can stick to just one room. Siblings or neighbor friends can work together or compete for a special prize.
Art and crafts are always a great go-to for indoor fun
Painting. Pull out the paints, brushes and canvas and give them free reign or have a fun challenge theme ready like “nature,” “yellow” or “family.” Before the next rainy day strikes, visit your local craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. You can find paint sets and canvas packages for up to 40 percent off or more so you can stock up.
Craft kits. Many craft stores also have craft kits. Decorate your own apron or purse. Build a car and paint it. Paint by number, latch hook, sun catchers, friendship bracelets, dioramas, and more! These are also great items to stock up on beforehand so they will be ready to go. Find coupons on craft stores’ websites.
Papier mâché. Save up newspaper, magazines and toilet paper rolls for this fun craft! Create a shape, animal or bracelet with the toilet paper rolls, papier mâché around the shape and then paint it when it dries. To papier mâché, simply mix equal parts white glue and water, dip small pieces of newspaper into the mixture and then apply to the created shape. You may also need a brush for touch ups. Project should be hard when completely dried.
Kids just want to have fun
Fashion show. If you have dress up costumes, pull them out, or allow your daughter(s) to try on your clothes and shoes for a change! Create a runway for them to walk down and clap and cheer as they show off their own unique fashion sense.
Photo shoot. Take the fashion show to the next level for an exciting photo shoot. Set up a sheet as a backdrop or pick a wall to stand in front of and make silly faces, change outfits and have fun! You can even use this as a teaching opportunity and allow your children to take photos of you. As they learn to navigate the camera themselves, teach them the correct way to hold it and how to focus.
Dance it out. If your electricity works or you have a fully charged laptop, play some upbeat music and have a dance party. Bring out the lava lamps, disco balls and flashlights if you have them, for even more excitement!
Indoor Activities to Help Tame Their Exuberant Energy Levels
Nerf battle. If your kids have any kind of Nerf guns, join them in a battle! Choose a room (possibly their own bedroom) with no breakables or where breakables are easily put away, set up obstacles to hide behind and a time limit. If you have enough people you can divide into teams or play one-on-one. Play until the time limit and keep score for a few rounds. You can also build forts or tents as safety zones!
Outdoor games you can bring indoors. There are several tamer outdoor games you can indeed bring inside. Set up hopscotch with some masking tape, or go bowling in the kitchen with random items found around the house and a soft ball. Clear out the living room and work on tumbling, handstands or new karate moves.
Build something. Legos, blocks, Popsicle sticks or even food can become the most intricate and interesting city! Use special finger foods during snack or lunchtime like cheese cubes and hotdogs with toothpicks and allow them to play, just this once.
There are many activities you can plan for a fun rainy day with your family that surpass the common board game. Cook dinner together or record a skit they create themselves to save memories you can revisit years later. A sensory table is perfect for preschoolers with small tubs of different items like water, sand and dry beans.
Do not let another rainy day be boring! Enjoy spending time with your children, making new memories and learning something new together.
April Newell, a San Antonio based freelance writer, is expecting her first child.