Hello! If you are reading this then you’re probably on the hunt for rainy-day activities for the little tornadoes you share your home with. I get that! I’ve got three stinky, messy, LOUD, little boy tornadoes myself. This time of year, in Southern Missouri, the weather is incredibly unpredictable and on stormy days like today my boys are biting at the bit to expel that built up energy somewhere…anywhere. Personally, it is really important to me to minimize screen time and encourage various other means of creativity and exploration. Over the years I have found multiple indoor toys, games, and activities that challenge their growing minds, busy their little hands, and quite possibly allow myself a few minutes of peace amongst the chaos. If you don’t see something you like below you can always tap into the activities that your child enjoys outside of the home and simply modify it to fit indoors and occupy as much time as necessary.
The Tubelox STEM kits come in several different combinations. We purchased the Deluxe set off of Amazon a few years ago for Christmas and it has been such a joy to watch them build and explore. Each set comes equipped with a set of instructions and detailed directions for assembling the kit into whatever their hearts desire at the time. This is my #1 recommended activity so I have attached a couple of images below. You will not regret this purchase!
2. Build a Castle
I don’t know about you but some of my favorite childhood memories consist of constructing the ultimate fort from pillows, blankets, or cardboard boxes. I know we try to look and feel fancy with all of the expensive cushion toys these days. But, if we’re being honest, kids couldn’t possibly care any less where it comes from as long as it holds up and allows them the freedom to imagine and create. Get building, mama!
3. Board Games
There is a lot to be said about the patience, team work, focus, and fun that board games provide. Playing board games is great for reducing stress and increasing laughter in your home on a rainy day. Some of our favorites are Disney Monopoly, Clue, and Battleship. Flip a coin, take a vote, or let each child choose one and take turns. However you go about it, board games are the perfect family fun activity rain or shine.
My middle son is a science and art enthusiast. If he is outside he’s building a survival camp or adding to one of his many collections. When inside he is constantly making homemade cards or crafting in one way or another. Last summer we started experimenting with homemade playdoh and slime and as messy as it was, we had so much fun! You can also try coloring t-shirts, painting stepping stones, or making beaded necklaces. There are countless ideas on Pinterest. If you’re up for the mess I would suggest giving the homemade crafting a try!
5. Indoor Scavenger Hunt/Treasure Hunt
You can make this as easy or as difficult as you want and/or need. We like to take turns hiding the items or the “treasure” and each design a map for the allotted participant. Throw in a timer and the fun really begins!
6. Cooking or Baking
Yummy snacks are a MUST on rainy days. Cooking with your kids is sure to create lasting memories but kids who spend time in the kitchen also receive a plethora of other benefits such as: independence, a sense of curiosity, creativity, and a willingness to try new things. Plus, there is nothing quite like the pride in a tiny cook’s voice when you hear “I made it all by myself!”. I have added a list of our three favorite cook books below. All can be found on Amazon.
- Food Network Magazine The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook
- My Very First Cookbook: Joyful Recipes to Make Together! -Danielle Kartes
- Mom, Let Me Cook! The Kids Cookbook: 100+ Easy Healthy Cooking Kids Recipes with Simple Meals Ideas for Kids -Emily Brown
It is never a bad time to read a good book. Get cozy on the couch and enjoy a little mommy and me reading on a dreary day.
I know. The thought of your child being asked to clean either makes you laugh or, if you’re like me, causes anxiety at the mere thought of the housework being done any other way than the way you would do it. However, if your kids are super bored, put them to work dusting, sweeping, or folding laundry. Studies show that children who do chores exhibit a higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better equipped to deal with frustration and delayed gratification.
It sounds boring and the kids are probably not going to be overly enthusiastic about the down-time at first. However, I have noticed over the years that my kids almost never realize how exhausted they are until they are forced to sit still for a few minutes or more. As a society we have lost our zeal for rest despite the many benefits it is proven to provide. Teach them young that it is okay to sit still. It is okay to be bored. It is okay to heal and rejuvenate. You may be surprised how quickly they come to embrace the quiet when given the time.
10. Get Wet!
Let them be little! How many adults do you see jumping through muddy puddles or running in the rain? Roughly zero, right? As I mentioned in #9, somewhere along the way we lose the child-like joy in the simple things. Pull out the boots and go for a walk, measure the rain, or make rain art with your chalk. Embrace the weather and soak up those muddy smiles and belly giggles while you still can.
The days are long and I realize that the rainy, indoor days can seem even longer. But, I promise you, the years are oh so short. I hope I have given you a few ideas to pull from your tool belt the next time you should need them and I hope that they make the next rainy day the best day you’ve ever had as a mom. I’m rooting for you always!
WRITTEN BY KAITLYN JOHNSON
Kaitlyn is a Citi Collective guest blogger and stay at home mom to three amazing boys.