It seems there’s nothing kids despise more than being trapped inside on a rainy day. Of course, if the day was bright and sunny, they’d say it was too hot to go out! Ah, the ironies of parenting.
So what can you do to make those rainy days fun and not characterized by unlimited screen and electronics time? Here are some of our favorite ways to shake off the rainy days blues.

  1. Build a blanket tent/fort. Let the kids rearrange the furniture or give them free reign in their bedroom or playroom to be as creative as possible, erecting a tent worthy of all-day play. You can even consider adding twinkle lights, lots of pillows, and encouraging reading, drawing, or storytelling. Turn out all the lights and break out the flashlights, pretending you’re on a great camping adventure — without the bugs, of course.
  1. Roll the dice. Make an activity dice out of cardboard and write silly activities on the sides such as “hop like a frog” or “pat your head/rub your belly”. Then take turns rolling it and see who can complete all the activities first.
  1. Go on a scavenger hunt. Tailor your hunt to suit your family or print a ready-made list such as this one from Mom Dot. If you’re missing lots of items, now’s the time to find that lost shoe, earring, or pocket change! Plus, they’ll have tons of fun searching.
  1. Make playdough. Remember that great recipe we shared last fall? Rainy days are the best time to try out a new craft!
  1. Create giant board games on the floor. Using masking tape and paper plates, you can create a tic-tac-toe or checkers board that’s life-sized and ensures you won’t have to add missing game pieces to your scavenger hunt.
  1. Go solo cup bowling. Stack up all the plastic cups you can find and let them take turns bowling down the hall. Keep track of points if you want or just have fun! When they get tired of the ball, encourage your kids to stack the cups into perfect pyramids. Can they do it in under a minute? You might be ready for Minute to Win It!
  1. Let them be bored. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to not offer entertainment. Texas mom blogger Kristen Welch writes: Our children need to be bored. They need to kick their feet and wait outside of bathroom doors, unanswered. They need to be sent outside or to their rooms to play. They need to turn over the bag of tricks and find it empty. See more here.

When you run out of steam and they’re still claiming boredom, send them off to find an activity of their own making. You’ll likely be surprised by how quickly they find something to do. This teaches problem solving, imagination, and independence, all skills you’ve employed parenting through this rainy day.