Top 14 Rainy Day Activities For Kids

Bad weather doesn't have to ruin your day. We've got 14 ideas to keep you and your kids busy on rainy days. No matter if you want to stay at home or go on a family outing we've got some great ideas for a day of fun. We understand that kids need mental and physical development so all of our ideas are great for helping your little guys grow. We also understand that you might not want to spend a lot of money just because you need to keep your kids entertained. We'll be sure to include some ideas that you can use right at home or cheap options for a day out on the town. Keep reading for our list of top rainy day activities for kids.

kid in pillow fort

Build an Indoor Pillow Fort

Did your plans to go camping get ruined by the rain? Grab all of the pillows, blankets and chairs in your house and make a giant pillow fort! Building a pillow fort is all of the excitement of a tree house combined with the creativity of playing with building blocks. Don't be afraid to get creative yourself. Something as simple as using a rope and a sheet to create a working door will take your pillow fort to the next level. Your kids will get hours of enjoyment using their imagination to play inside the fort. You can pretend that your fort is a castle and you and your kids are knights defending from barbarians.

kids on an indoor climbing wall

Try Indoor Climbing

Are your kids little climbing monkeys? Climbing gyms provide the perfect venue for your children to safely climb their hearts out. Don't worry if you don't have any climbing experience yourself. Most gyms have auto belay devices that are simple to use and work for kids and adults alike. Climbing is a great activity for kids because it stimulates their minds and their bodies. Research has shown that activities like climbing can help improve working memory. Climbing works almost every muscle in your body. You have to use your feet, arms, back and core. Your kids are sure to be tuckered out after a long climbing session. You can even take a few extra laps around the block in your car after climbing to make sure that the little tykes take their afternoon nap. The pitter patter of rain on the windshield, the sensation of driving and the exhaustion of climbing will guarantee that your kids will be sawing logs in no time. This might even help you make time to sit down next to the fire with a glass of wine and a good book.

kids at library

Take a Trip to the Library

Speaking of good books, when was the last time that you took a family trip to the library? Libraries are perfect rainy day activities for kids. There's something special about curling up with a book and immersing yourself in a fantastical adventure. Reading provides a plethora of benefits for your children's development. Reading helps kids develop their language skills, ability to concentrate and gives them a chance to exercise their imagination. If you want your kid to grow up to become an intellectual, getting them in the habit of reading is a good start. Sitting down with your kids and reading together can be something that they remember for the rest of their lives.

kid at indoor ropes course

Go to an Indoor Ropes Course

If you've never been to a ropes course you need to stop reading this article and go right now. Ropes courses are incredibly fun. They increase confidence, help build leadership and improve problem solving skills. Your kids will love the sense of adventure and the challenge of tackling obstacles high above the ground. Ropes courses can have many different types of creative obstacles. A lot of ropes course elements help build balance and core strength by requiring you to navigate wobbly steps or swings. Some locations even give you the option to finish the course by jumping off a free fall device. Make sure when you're looking for a ropes course in your area that you look at the applicable height restrictions. Many ropes courses will be able to facilitate kids but it's always good to double check. If you can't find an indoor ropes course in your area you'll definitely want to wait for a break in the weather and try one of the outdoor courses. Both you and your kids will love this activity.

instrument with static electricity

Go to a Science Museum

Science museums are usually the best types of museums for kids. Most science museums have interactive exhibits that will fuel your child's curiosity and help them understand the world around them. Your kids won't even realize that they are learning because they will be having too much fun. The science center in my hometown had plenty of activities that kept me entertained for hours on end as a kid. My favorite interactive exhibit was one where they explained aerodynamics by letting you build paper airplanes and then launch them off a huge tower. Science museums are the perfect way to get your kids interested in science by showing them that there's a lot more to it then what they experience in the classroom.

kid with golden retriever puppy

Go to a Pet Store

You don't have to come home with a new pet to enjoy a trip to the pet store. You can spend hours playing with puppies and kittens and not realize where the time went. In addition to playing with cute animals you can turn this outing into a learning experience. You can show your kids the frogs and lizards and explain to them how an amphibians are different than a reptiles. You can even go as far as explaining how the parrot is a different species than the canary. The pet store is a great opportunity for your kids to interact with animals when the rain keeps you from going to the local zoo.

kids sitting in front of bowling lane

Take a Trip to the Bowling Alley

Kids as young as four years old can enjoy bowling. Many bowling alleys will even let kids bowl games for free. Turn on the bumpers and watch the joy on your kid's faces when all of the pins come toppling down. Most bowling alleys have a ramp to assist bowlers if they can't throw the ball in the traditional manner. These ramps are perfect if the younger kids wants to try to bowl after seeing their older sibling having fun.

kids at the aquarium

Spend a Day at the Aquarium

Kids as young as four years old can enjoy bowling. Many bowling alleys will even let kids bowl games for free. Turn on the bumpers and watch the joy on your kid's faces when all of the pins come toppling down. Most bowling alleys have a ramp to assist bowlers if they can't throw the ball in the traditional manner. These ramps are perfect if the younger kids wants to try to bowl after seeing their older sibling having fun.

mom with kid at swimming pool

Teach your Kid a Sport at the Local Rec Center

Teaching your kids a new sport is a great bonding opportunity. It also helps get them moving and encourages an active lifestyle. Rec centers will have all of the equipment you need to try out a new sport. There are a variety of indoor sports perfect for a rainy day. You could introduce your kids to something mainstream like basketball or show them something more unique like racquetball. Many rec centers will have indoor pools where you can teach them how to swim. Getting kids started early with sports will give them a leg up if they want to get on the high school team later in life. Who knows, you might even have the next Michael Jordan or Serena Williams in your family.

kids making cookies in mixer

Bake Cookies Together

Teach your kids how to bake by whipping up a batch of cookies together. Baking is a great activity to do with your kids for a variety of reasons. Baking teaches kids math and reading skills. Baking together can be a great bonding experience. Baking teaches kids to have patience because they have to wait until the food is done. You can even substitute healthier dessert options like carrot cake sandwich cookies.

girl with rain boots jumping in puddle

Play in the Rain

Get your rain gear on and go out and play in the puddles! Kids love to play in the rain and there are numerous activities you can do. You can build dams and carve miniature-rivers in the mud. You can search for frogs or other animals that come out in the rain. You can draw pictures in the mud with a stick. You can get out some buckets and collect water and use it to fuel playtime. You and your kids will be having so much fun that they won't even care if they get soaking wet.

sorry board game close up

Play a Board Game or Card Game

Use the inclement weather as an opportunity to have a family game night. Board games and card games are great for teaching strategy and planning skills. Dig into the game closet and revive trouble, monopoly or any of your other favorite games you haven’t played in a while. There are many different card games that are fun for kids of all ages. When was the last time that you played Go Fish, Crazy Eights or Old Maid? If you’re tired of those games you can try and play a new card game or make up your own.

kids at mall playground

Take a Trip to an Indoor Mall

If your trip to the playground was ruined by the rain you can try going to the mall instead. Most indoor malls have a free play area for your kids to climb and play. There might even be coin operated mechanical rides for your kids. If the kids get bored of the indoor playground you can get lunch at the food court and do some window shopping. A lot of the previously mentioned ideas might even be available at the mall. You don't have to spend any money at the mall to have a fun time, but if you're so inclined you can encourage good behavior by promising a stop by the toy store if everyone is good.

Want more ideas?

If you still want more ideas for rainy day activities for kids or you want to learn more about age appropriate learning activities you should check out this Early Child Development Kit that was posted on unicef's website. This document breaks out activities by age group and gives suggestions about how to help children develop skills, what to look for when they are playing and possible extensions to the activities.

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