Rainy Day Activities for the Whole Family

We have had much more rain than normal over the summer, so Abby has not been able to play with her favorite outside toys as much as she would like. Ususally we enjoy playing in the playhouse, splashing in the water table, digging in the sandbox, riding her tricycle, and driving her Minnie Mouse Powerwheels car. Instead, we have had to find ways to have fun inside. The following list of activities have proven to be fun family favorites on rainy days.

Tea party

Abby loves to round up her favorite dolls and have a tea party. She has lots of fun dressing them up “fancy” and wearing her princess dresses and hats.

Drive-in movie with popcorn

Find a couple of large cardboard boxes (large enough for a child to sit comfortably in) and fold in the flaps. Staple or glue four paper plates to the sides to make wheels. Let the little ones decorate the outside of their “cars” with paint, crayons, or markers, and then cook up a bowl of popcorn and have a drive-in movie.

Spa day

We have a great time having a “spa day” where we put on our fuzzy robes, use a cold eye mask, rub on lavendar lotion, and paint our fingernails and toenails.

Pillow fort

We can spend hours having fun making a pillow fort with the couch and loveseat cushions and a blanket or draping an extra large blanket over the dining room table.

Pretend fun

Use imaginative play to act out favorite stories, “cook” with a kitchen set, play restaurant, or play house. We also like to play “hair salon,” where we will use a blanket as a cape, pretend to cut hair, and then style each others’ hair. The possibilities are endless.

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Kids love to look at baby books, photo albums, or to watch home movies. Abby loves to ask questions and hear stories about “when she was little.”

Hide and seek

Whole house hide and seek is always a favorite game. The kids can always find easy places to hide because they are small, but my husband and I have fun coming up with creative hiding spots to keep the kids guessing. The best was when my husband hid under the couch cushions and my niece hid in the basement bathroom vanity- they were never found!

Bake cookies

Baking cookies is double the fun because it is fun for little ones to be involved with measuring, mixing, and spooning out the cookie dough, but later there is more fun eating the cookies!

Make homemade playdough

Homemade playdough is easy to whip up and can provide hours of fun. My sister’s recipe is quick to make and lasts about six months if kept in an airtight container.

Playdough recipe:

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 c salt

2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp oil

1 c water, boiling

Mix well and knead until smooth. Optional: divide after mixing and knead in food coloring and/or glitter. I like to add a couple drops of almond extract to make it smell good. I wrap each color in plastic wrap and then seal in a gallon sized Ziplock bag.

Shadow puppets

Abby has lots of fun making shadow puppets. Sometimes we will do it using the light from the nightlight in her bedroom. Other times we will use a flashlight in her tent or fort.

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Skype or FaceTme grandparents

Sometimes we will use Skype or FaceTime to talk with my parents who live in a different town. Grandma and grandpa love to see the kids clown around and the kids love showing off for them.

Inside camping

Abby has a large pink play teepee that we set up in her bedroom or the living room. We will “camp out” and sleep in there for nap or pretend we are on a camping trip in the woods.

Snuggle nap

It is great when the whole family can take a nap. The kids love to all take what we call a “snuggle nap,” where we all snuggle and nap together, rather than everyone sleeping in their own beds. Sometimes it backfires and one kid won’t stop pestering the other, but usually everyone gets a longer nap because the baby sleeps longer if you snuggle him.

Get artistic

Get out the color books, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, yarn, macaroni, pipe cleaners, you name it. A child’s creativity knows no bounds.


My kids love to read. Everyone (mom and dad included) picks out their favorite books and we all sit down for reading time together. I like to ask the kids questions about each book, like, “What was your favorite part of the story and why?” Or “Was there a lesson to learn from the book?” Or “What would you have done if that happened to you?” It helps develop their listening and critical thinking skills and also makes for fun conversation.

What activities does your family enjoy doing together on rainy days? Do you have any suggestions for additions to my list?

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