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I live in South Louisiana, and we have a lot of rainy days, and if your kids are like mine, you probably hear: “‘I’m bored, there’s nothing to do,” often. Sure, you might be tempted to plop your young ones in front of the TV or allow them to play brain-warping video games or watch others on their phones.
But there are better things to do than that. Several indoor activities can help you keep your kids entertained for hours. Indoor activities are fun ways to bond with your kids and teach them something. You might even learn something from them in the process.
This guide lists 30 top indoor activities to keep your little ones (and not-so-little ones) from getting bored when stuck indoors.
30 Best Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Busy
Drawing and coloring
You simply can’t go wrong with this one. There are several websites like Crayola that provide free coloring page printables for young and older kids.
For older kids, you can encourage free drawing or provide them with a theme.
Coloring by numbers is an excellent activity for the younger ones. For very young kids/toddlers, you get these great activity books containing mazes, small puzzles, and dot-to-dot, in addition to coloring.
Crafts encourage kids to get creative and even enhance dexterity and motor skills. DIY crafts are also fun for teens and adults. Here is a list of fun crafts for kiddos of all ages:
- Rock painting
- Themed crafts – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Spring or Fall craft ideas, etc.
- Papier Mache Crafts
- Friendship bracelets
- Flower arrangements
- Rope/yarn-based crafts
- Stitched artwork/embroidery/stitched paper cards
- Paper puppets
- Crafts using paper plates, candy sticks, and buttons.
- No-sew no-glue projects
- Balloon art
- Paper cup animals
- Coffee filter crafts
- Pasta art
- Dream catchers
- Soap art
Our kids became obsessed with making Slime. They had a blast, and there is a lot you can do with it, such as:
- Make your name or make numbers with slime
- Experiment with mixing colors
- Edible slime
- Slime volcano
- Hidden treasure hunt in slime
- Glossy or clear slime
Young kids will surely be entertained with Play-Doh. Playdough is a great way to develop fine motor skills in young kids. You can have kids make a Playdough forest, bakery, animals, farm, small objects, food, or even a volcano that erupts using vinegar and baking soda. Great way to teach some science to young children in the process.
Bring out those board games.
Board games are an excellent way to have hours of fun with kids and an exercise in bonding for kids and parents. They are the oldest trick in the book to prevent teens from being glued to their screens. So break out those Chess, Monopoly, Candyland, or Guess Who sets and get in the competitive spirit!
Check out my list of the 25 best board games of all time.
Card games like Uno, War, Exploding Kittens, and Crazy Eights last long and are fun for teens and tweens alike. You can spend hours playing these, one after the other.
Cook or bake with kids
Get kids to learn cooking skills. Cooking and baking are great ways to encourage kids to get creative in the kitchen. You can bake muffins and cakes and have kids decorate them with colorful M&Ms and sprinkles. You can also make kids prepare healthy snacks for everyone – more points for those who add more colors. Which kid doesn’t like pizza? Have them make their own pizza base and let them bake a tasty pizza with their favorite toppings.
Dance or sing
Dancing is a great way to burn those calories and get kids to exercise indoors on a rainy day. Put on some foot-tapping music and have a blast. For toddlers, you can encourage drumming on utensils with wooden spoons.
If you have a karaoke set, have them sing their favorite songs.
Read a book together.
A great way to instill a love for reading in kids – and what better way than a rainy day for a cozy mystery or whodunnit? You could also start on a long series like Harry Potter or the Lord of The Rings if your kids haven’t seen/read them already. They will be curious to find out what happens next. These days, you also have audible books which you can both listen to.
Try indoor camping
Bring the outdoors inside! Put up some tents or build a fort using pillows and sheets and create a cozy nook. Make sure to have plenty of snacks while you curl up inside the cozy tent with a good book!
Puzzles teach kids to plan and also help them develop patience and problem-solving skills. Studies show that solving puzzles helps kids learn essential cooperation and communication skills.
So bring out those puzzles and spend hours finding and setting the pieces. Try this puzzle of the map of the USA – a great way to teach younger kids about the American states.
Organize a treasure hunt
Set up a simple treasure hunt for the kids. If possible, invite your children’s friends over, because the more, the merrier! Plan the hunt, draw the clues, and hide the treasure and the clues. Sure to keep your kids busy for hours. These days, ready-made treasure hunt sets are also available.
Watch a movie together.
A rainy day is perfect for snuggling up on the couch and watching movies. Bring out the popcorn. You can check out this list of the best horse movies for kids and adults, which we enjoyed.
Perform science experiments
Get kids to learn essential concepts through safe science experiments. You can choose subjects like chemistry, physics, the human body, planets, etc. Check out this kit of science experiments with almost 100 options.
Play dress up
Young girls and boys will love this one! You can encourage them to give each other makeovers. Grab some fabrics and have kids create innovative costumes. You can also set up a ‘fashion show.’
Set up a play
Enacting a play can instill confidence in your children and teach them essential communication skills. Take a simple story – one that all kids know. Get the older children to write the screenplay and dialogs. Play dress-up and use simple makeup to help kids get into their characters.
You can also provide different scenarios to kids and have them enact how they would behave or what they’d do in those situations. Later, ask them to talk about why they made those choices.
Get your kids to move by playing games like ‘I am going to catch you or the all-around favorite hide-and-seek. If you have a pet dog/cat, get it to join the fun.
If you have to keep several kids entertained indoors and want them to get active, then chair games like Musical Chairs are a great choice.
You can also simply pass a ball around and, when the music stops, get the child to do something (skip 50 times, sing a song, tell a joke, do ten pushups, etc.).
Create an obstacle course
This is one of the best activities to keep kids moving on a rainy day indoors. Use furniture items, pillows, boxes, books, etc., to build the obstacle course. You can make the course more challenging by timing the children and giving small prizes to the winners.
Get ‘em cleaning
You can have your kids wash their toys or bicycles. These activities are best done on the patio or in the garage. Kids can later dry their washed toys with a soft cloth. Have them tidy up their closets and room as well.
Water-based activities encourage fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and even learning about mathematical concepts like volume, etc. Ensure kids are safe and provide them with water activities like making and sailing paper boats, making bubbles, painting with water, etc. And if you have a bathtub, go swimming indoors!
Play with dolls/toys
Mini action figures and dolls are a great way to have fun indoors for younger kids. These can be combined with role-playing and dress-up to encourage children to learn social skills, foster imagination, and express their feelings.
Most kids and adults love blocks. So, bring out those Lego sets and build towers, houses, and pretty much everything for hours!
Have them write letters to their grandparents/friends
This is an excellent activity to get younger kids to improve their writing skills. Have them write a letter and some artwork for grandma/grandpa or loved ones who live away. Later, you can teach them about the postal system, so they learn about stamps and other related concepts. They may even experience the thrill of receiving a letter in their name in the mail!
Bring out the cardboard boxes.
A simple cardboard box can be so much fun. Watch as your kids use their imagination and turn the box into a car, a plane, or a house.
Set up an indoor bowling alley
Use empty plastic bottles and a ball and have fun knocking them down.
Make a movie
You can give your phone to your children for this activity. Have them shoot, record, and edit the shots to make a short movie.
Have them write a story
Older kids who know how to write can create their own stories. You can even ask them to add some illustrations and drawings.
Have kids look at your old photos. You can also get them to arrange their photos in an album or a photobook.
Have a spa day
Spa days can be so much fun with the kids. Cut cucumber slices to place over the eyes and give each other a mani/pedicure, massage, and facial cleanup, followed by light make-up for the girls! Give them robes or comfy pajamas to wear, sip on some hot or cool beverage (depending on the weather), and light some aromatic candles or diffuse aromatic oils in the room.
Play Ping Pong: We have a ping pong table in our garage that’s perfect for rainy day play. Our kids are competitive, so this can keep them busy for hours. We also have a magnetic dartboard in there so those not playing ping pong can stay entertained.
Conclusion – Best Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Busy on Rainy Days
As can be seen, rainy days need not be dull. You can do many activities with kids of all ages to keep them away from their video games. We hope this list of 30 activities helps you spend time with your children in a positive and uplifting manner on those rainy days.
Below is a YouTube video of a mother sharing her ideas on how to keep kids busy on a cold rainy day.
FAQs – Best Indoor Activities to Keep Kids Busy on Rainy Days
What to do for indoor fun?
Cooking, dancing, singing songs, coloring, crafts, and playing board games are the best activities for indoor fun.
How can I engage my 9-year-old child at home?
You can read together, play board games or cards, perform science experiments, watch movies, or cook together.
What to do with toddlers when it is raining?
In addition to the above activities, you could visit a children’s museum, an indoor play area, recreation center, YMCA, a kiddie gym, or an indoor/covered pool. The library or the mall can also be good places to visit when it is pouring outdoors.