Top 10 Ideas for a Rainy Day
Do you dread days where you’re stuck inside ALL DAY? Maybe it’s just me, but getting fresh air and feeling the sun on my face makes the most unbearable days better. Outside time is vital for me and my children. It’s especially important now when lock downs and quarantine keep us at home for the majority of our time. When the weather is good, or even tolerable, we can take a short drive to any number of walking trails to be outside, exploring the woods and experiencing nature. But, on hot summer days, or rainy days when the storms seem unending, the weather can force us inside to stare at the same walls we’ve been staring at for months now.
I’ve compiled a list of ideas below of ways to spend your time on these indoor days that we’re all experiencing. It would sure be a fun filled day if you did them all! Choosing several would have an equally fun effect in your household. I hope you find some inspiration! Let me know in the comments what your go to activities are on an inside day! It can be a challenge finding indoor activities to entertain children so I hope this list helps you.
Indoor Kids Activities to Build Memories on a Rainy Day
1. Make a Fort – Go all out and make the BIGGEST fort your children have ever seen! I like to move our kitchen table to the middle of the living room to begin the structure of our giant fort. It makes a great base to build from without much effort. I bring out the dining chairs, the drying racks (a bit less stable option but still fun). I borrow bed sheets, big blankets, and we just go big and stay home! My kids love to bring pillows in the fort and every single stuffed animal they can find. We read, play games, and play with flashlights in our giant fort. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also tape paper to the under side of the dining table and let your children use markers while under the table!
2. Make Play Dough – Play dough is one of those magical things that can entertain my children for hours. We made some “Frozen” themed playdough recently, adding a TON of glitter and coloring it several shades of blue and turquois. You can use a variety of tools with playdough too including little rolling pins and cookie cutters. Simply using popsicle/craft sticks with the playdough is another variation of this play that works! You don’t NEED tools specifically created for play dough to have a blast.
The reason I make playdough instead of buying it is simple: you get a much larger amount for the money and it lasts WAYYY longer! I can also trust that all the ingredients in it are safe if my littles try a small taste. My mom always made it when I was a kid and now I’m making it for my own children. Those tiny little jars of traditional play dough you buy at the store just aren’t nearly enough!
I’m including my favorite play dough recipe to make with kids because it does not require cooking over the stove. You can measure everything with the kids then pour in boiling water to finish it off.
HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH
2 Cups of Flour
2 Tablespoons of oil
½ Cup of Salt
2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
1 ½ Cups of Boiling Water
1. Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar together.
2. Add in oil and mix.
3. Add in boiling water and use a wooden spoon to mix. Be CAREFUL, boiling water will make it VERY HOT.
4. Once you’ve mixed it a bit and it’s cooled a bit, dump the ball of play dough onto a baking mat or another surface that’s heat resistant and knead the ingredients the rest of the way together adding food coloring at this point if you want your playdough colored. (Use gel food coloring if you want bright vivid colors)
3. Make an Obstacle Course – There are SO many ways to make an obstacle course in your home and so many materials to try! You can put streamers zig zagging across the hallway, you can put tape on the ground in various patterns to follow or jump over. You can use riding toys, pillows, or dining chairs to create a tunnel to crawl under, and other materials to create an obstacle course with several obstacles to overcome. Let your inner ninja warrior come out as you create a challenging path for any age!
If you have Bilibo seats or a balance board, this is the perfect spot to use them!
4. Bake Cookies Together – My family is a lover of chocolate chip cookies! I think we’ve probably tried 10 different chocolate chip cookie recipes since the start of the year. WE LOVE COOKIES! If you have a favorite cookie recipe, a rainy day is a perfect time to use it. If you’re in need of some new inspiration try these No Bake Cookies we make around the holidays. They’re delicious and take so little time to make. No hour in the fridge to chill and no turning on the oven and adding heat to your home in the summer!
This recipe is an old one, my great grandma used to use it. She called them “Boil Cookies” which I kind of love. I find little bits of family history like this fascinating, and old cook books and recipes intrigue me. They feel like a window to the past. I hope you find these “Boil” no bake cookies as irrisistable as I do!
No Bake Cookies
2 Cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
½ Cup Milk
½ Cup Butter
3 Cups Quick Oats
½ Cup Smooth (or crunchy) Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
OPTIONAL: ½ – 1 cup coconut
1. Boil together sugar, cocoa powder, milk and butter for one minute
2. Add oats, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix well.
3. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let set.
4. Enjoy and attempt not to eat them all at once!
5. Tackle an Organization Project – You might be surprised, but my daughter LOVES a good organization project! I think its the part where we discover things we haven’t seen in a while and the making a giant mess by pulling every single item out of a space. But whatever the reason is, she’ll come running if I say “I need some help cleaning the closet!” Weird I know. But I love organizing too! If you need help on beginning the task of organizing you can check out my post here at “How To Organize Anything in 5 Simple Steps”.
The BEST organization project to tackle in our house though would have to be hands down organizing our children’s books. My daughter actually asks to do this project. You see, she’s a book worm and wants to see ALL of our books from every nook and cranny of the house. I can only handle this task from time to time. So, I save it for a rainy day.
6. Paint! – We make art on most days in our house. I know not everyone loves the mess of painting with children, and my husband is in that boat with you. But I don’t mind the mess and my kids benefit! You can paint with so many different tools: brushes, cotton swabs, cars, balls, combs, cotton balls, sponges, just to name a few. And you can paint cardboard boxes or textured paper of an endless number of shapes and color. Whatever you do just don’t get in the way of the creativity! The beautiful thing about art is you can make it your own!
I am a strong proponent of open ended art projects over crafted ones where you expect a certain look or outcome from your child. Open ended art projects, also referred to as process art, focuses on, like the name suggests, the process of creating over the product at the end. Let your kids be kids and learn and enjoy the process of making art. They’ll get so much more out of the experience and you won’t have to stress over if they’re doing it right. There is no right or wrong with art! Only expression and fun!
7. Rearrange Furniture and Vacuum the Couch (no really!) – Rearranging your kids furniture, like small bookshelves and play kitchens and little tables and toy bins, can help your child see their toys and the possibilities in whole new ways.
My children LOVE when I vacuum the couch because I let them jump all over the pillows on the floor and play on the couch when the pillows are off. You can incorporate your deconstructed couch in your obstacle course!
8. Look up Cosmic Kids Yoga – Cosmic Kids is a great online resource. The instructor in the videos is really energetic and engaging. There are many different themes to the short videos. You’re sure to find one that interests your child! I try to not do a ton of screen time with my children, but this is something I’m willing to make an exception for, especially on a rainy day stuck inside.
9. Dress Up Dance Party – Dress up in your wackiest outfit and dance it out with your kids to get some energy out and have some fun. We have loads of dress up clothes, and my children love to make up their own mismatched outfits like a monkey-princess or a butterfly-octopus- unicorn. They also love to choose silly outfits for their parents. Mix goofy outfits with dancing and you’ve got a recipe for success. Try out songs by the Laurie Berkner Band if you have younger ones! They’re sure to enjoy.
10. Create a Nest, Pop Popcorn (on the stovetop) and Snuggle in for Family Movie Night – Once your tent is cleaned up a family movie night is the perfect way to end a fun filled day inside. We pile all our pillows and couch cushions on the floor to make a nest (as my daughter calls it). We also throw on ALL THE BLANKETS. Perfect way to watch a movie!
What goes better with a movie than popcorn? We do movie night once a month and always pop our popcorn on the stove. It’s so much fun to watch it popping! The first time we made it I took off the lid too soon and popcorn started flying all over the kitchen. The entire family was laughing as I squealed and eventually put the lid back on. Now, the kids like to watch it pop. It’s the simple things in life that can make us smile.
Snuggle in your cozy nest a take a load off as you enjoy your favorite movie, you won’t regret it.
I know we are all experiencing this pandemic in different ways. It isn’t easy for anyone, but is certainly isn’t easy on our children. They see us stressed and worrying and unable to focus on them in the ways that we used to. Their tiny worlds are changed forever with schools closed and childcare up in the air and mom and dad dealing with changes at work.
Hopefully this list will inspire you to take some time to focus on letting go and enjoying some extra time together with your family on a rainy day. Let the stress dissipate and let the good times filled with a heaping ton of grace for each other flow. We all need some relief from the strain. I hope you find it in the innocence of a child’s smile or a fit of laughter. Find a spark of joy in these trying times and remember life is hard on everyone, yes, even and especially for your children. So, love on them today. Relax that tension you’re holding in your shoulders and let the childhood memories be made on a rainy day.
Sending love and grace from Big Love Small Moments, hoping you find the strength to dance in the rain.
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