Rainy/Cold Day Activities

Too rainy (or cold) to venture outdoors?  Check out these ideas!

Here are some things that my kids and I do when it's just too cold or rainy to brave Mother Nature:

1) Bean game and variations: (button game, rhinestone game, jingle bell game, etc.) Provide a big plastic bin, a variety of scoops and containers (metal is great for plinking sounds!), and pour in an assortment of dried beans.
This can occupy my kids for an hour or more when they're in the right mood -- they love the textures, the colors, the sounds, the fill-and-dump joy of it all. Little dump trucks, cardboard tubes, funnels can all add to the fun.

2) Big cardboard box:  The perennial favorite -- find a box big enough for your kid to crawl in, cut a few holes for windows and doors, you've got a playhouse, a pretend boat, a fire truck, or whatever your kid decides. Kids can also decorate the box with stickers, markers, or crayons.

3) Pillow maze/cushion gym:  Arrange all the cushions and pillows you have on the floor for a tumbling extravaganza.

4) Bug in a rug: A sensory integration technique I swear by when my kids are cranky: roll 'em up in a soft rug, perhaps singing a silly song. Amazingly effective at cheering them up.

5) Bed tent: Climb under the sheet, giggle. Stuffed animals make excellent cave- mates.

6) Bathtub paints: Mix roughly equal amounts of Dr. Bronner's or similar soap and corn starch. Pour into muffin tins, dye with food coloring. Can be used for fingerpainting or painting with a brush ... the bonus is that when you rinse the artwork off, you've cleaned your bathtub.  Shaving Cream and a paint brush works well too!

7) Playing instruments while listening to music: a mixing bowl, pot and chopsticks or wooden spoon

8) Face Paints-- Order some face paints and let kids go to town painting each other's faces (in the bathtub for supreme easy clean up).

9) Everyone has socks that don't match-- find a few and make some puppets with those buttons you have!

10) Have you and your child exercise together-- jumping jacks, yoga stretches, airplane, etc. Lots of YouTube videos you can harness

11)  Organize your child's books by colors, working on their colors.

12) Create an indoor treasure hunt or scavenger hunt with neighbors if you live in an apartment building. 

13) Watch an old movie that you loved as a kid-- we have a list of Ideas for Movie Night HERE.

14) Cook together-- a big pot of soup on a cold day warms the cockles! (You might also go through all your recipes and create a family recipe book)

15) Draw together-- take turns, each person adding a new part of the picture

16) Do a puzzle together-- There are different levels of difficulty for all ages. (Turn the puzzle over and do it without the picture for the max difficulty). Or just print a picture and cut out your own puzzle.

17) Hold a fancy Tea Party-- don't forget to cut off the crusts of the sandwiches!

18) Tell your children stories about when you grew up.  Whether it's walking uphill both ways in the snow to school, T-Ping the neighbors house (which you really feel badly about now) or summer vacations, help them understand more about when you grew up.

19) Karaoke with your family. YouTube has karaoke videos-- as do some of your On Demand services. Download an app (e.g., Video Star, musicly) and make it into a video.

20) Play dress up-- mix and match genders and let your kids explore others ways of being. You can also do a fashion show.

21) Make your own playdough (recipe here). You're never too old for playdough!

22) Mani Pedi-- all are welcome. Fingernail polish isn't JUST for girls!

23)  Look through old photos of your kids when they were little or you when you were little. 

24) Buildng a tent with couch pillows and sheets and having a picnic/tea party inside w porridge like the 3 bears and plenty of coffee for mom. 

25) Bake cookies (it helps to always have frozen cookie dough on hand so you dont have to go out and buy)

26) Papier mache- 2 parts water to one part flour and newsprint- you can pretty much cover anything - egg carton, toilet paper tube, etc- and paint it later...

27) Laundry is fun! Play the laundry game...help mommy or daddy sort and measure the soap....