Rainy Day Activities for the Whole Family

Muffin baking

Every parent has been there: a Saturday that’s supposed to be warm and sunny—perfect playing-outside weather—suddenly turns gray and rainy. Now instead of running off their seemingly bottomless supply of energy outside, kids are cooped up indoors. It’s only a matter of time before you hear those two dreaded words: “I’m bored.” Don’t even let things get to this point. Keep kids (young and old) entertained with these fun rainy day activities for the entire brood:

  1. Camp out indoors. Just because you can’t go outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Bring the outside in by setting up the family tent in the living room and having a “campout.” Kids will get a kick out of telling stories around the “campfire” (improvise with paper towel rolls as logs and orange tissue paper as flames) and reacting to imaginary bears. You can even set up a treasure hunt that takes kids around the indoor forest.
  2. Make play dough or “Oobleck.” Anything squishy and messy is generally a hit with children. Play dough is no exception. It’s so easy to make that you almost certainly have the ingredients on hand: water, salt, flour, oil, and cream of tartar (the latter is optional). Even messier (and therefore probably more popular) is Oobleck , a goop inspired by a Dr. Seuss story. You need only cornstarch, water, and a food dye of your choice to whip up this gooier version of play dough.
  3. DIY—and let the kids help. If you’re looking for an activity that’s as fun for you as it is for the kids, try decoupage. It’s basically a glorified style of collage that’s easy to make and can add some artistic flair to your space. If you have an old table, tray, or practically any other flat surface and some glue, you can decoupage. Have kids pick out pages from an old book or magazine, paint some glue on the back, and then spread them out on the table in whatever arrangement you like. When they’ve all been glued to the table, add one final layer of craft glue (or diluted white glue) on top to seal them in place.
  4. Write, produce, and shoot a TV show. Break out your tablet or smartphone and film an entire TV episode in the comfort of your own living room. Help your little ones write a simple script, stage the scene, and then act it out. You can make props and costumes, too, to add a new level of authenticity. Let one child direct and the others act if they have different preferences.
  5. Bake. You can never go wrong with baking on a rainy day. Most kids loving helping out in the kitchen—and parents don’t mind reaping the edible rewards. Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are two go-to recipes, but you can actually teach your child about eating healthy even when making something sweet. Take this opportunity to show them how you can make desserts out of unexpectedly healthy ingredients, like black beans (try these black bean brownies by the Minimalist Baker) or oatmeal (illustrated by Chocolate Covered Katie’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).
  6. 11 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day [Real Simple]
    Cold Day? 111 Ways to Entertain the Kids Indoors [PopSugar]
    5 Rainy Day Activities [Parents]

    Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cranberry-Mohn_Muffins_in_baking_tray.jpg

    Attribution: CC BY-SA 2.0/ Flickr/Katrin Morenz