A peek outside reveals a grey sky, a few raindrops. You think, "it's a perfect day to stay right here, with that book I've been neglecting. I'll make some hot…" A crash in the kitchen below jolts you back to reality. Oh yeah, you've got kids, and a rainy day means keeping boredom at bay and their hands out of each other's eyes. Look no further because we've collected 12 activities to keep kids and parents happy - right from the comfort of home.
Whether you love to commune with nature or can't stand the outdoors, everyone can agree that indoor camping is tons o' fun. Anyone can create an indoor oasis to rival a campground setup. If you have a tent or sleeping bags, save them from the vacuum bag, and it's instant camp! If you don't have gear - great, you get to use your imaginations instead. Grab blankets and sheets to make into tents by draping over furniture or using household items to prop them up. Be generous with the ground cover with all the pillows, blankets and stuffed animals you can fit. Once you're set up, read stories by flashlight or watch a show or movie while snuggled under the covers. You can even go all the way by making some authentic campfire food - S' mores bake just as well in the oven! You're welcome.
Baking is a straight path to Zen. Plus, children love to get involved; we’re sure it has nothing to do with bowls full of sugary goodness, perfect for little fingers to sneak a taste. A rainy day is ideal for losing yourself in an activity that results in something delightful. Choose a recipe based on the age of your kids. Muffins and cookies are great for little ones, while you can get more creative with older kids. Add a little friendly competition to make it fun, with the best position being the judge (duh).
Need we say more? Dancing is the ultimate kids activity! Throw on a playlist of your favourite tunes and take turns proving you could have been a Tina Turner backup dancer if you wanted to. It’s giggle-fit-inducing; it’s listening to glorious music, a.k.a, the automatic mood booster, and it’s excellent exercise. Win-win-win.
If you’re super-stuck, check out these 101 Fun Activities for Kids for guaranteed winners.
Community Jigsaw Puzzle
Here’s an experiment to try. Pull out a gigantic puzzle, the more challenging, the better. Leave it out in a common traffic area like the dining table. Let everyone know it’s there and challenge them to add at least two pieces every time they pass it. As the puzzle comes together, something magical happens - you’re working together toward a common goal and it’s hilarious. Plus, you may have a secret puzzle-solving phenom on your hands.
This idea takes a little planning, but it’s still easy! Scavenger hunts are never-ever NOT fun, especially when the treasures rock! Adjusted for age, hide a few items around your home. Trinkets or small toys, books, treats like candies or packaged snacks - throw in a few things you know your kids love. Quick tip: make sure you record where the items are because, um, you might forget. Once you’ve gathered everything, write out the ‘clues’ for the kids to follow to treasure. This is an excellent chance to sneak in a few teaching moments. Try adding math or language problems to the mix. For older children, make it so they have to Google and do a little research about a subject they’re not familiar with or are already covering in school. Add a few family history questions as a cool way to learn more about the family tree is. Now sit back and watch the theatrics while you sip on your favourite beverage from a “Best Parent Ever” mug.
Why not bring the spa to you? Create a relaxing atmosphere by trading a little pampering with your progeny. Facials and masks, massage, a mani/pedi, hairstyling (sans scissors!) - whatever makes you feel even a few moments of bliss - do it. You can either use the products you have or try making it! Many masks can be made with ingredients you have in the kitchen right now - honey, avocado and yogurt, just to name a few power players. You might have smudged nails at the end of this process, but since it’s a guaranteed good time, so we’re pretty sure you won’t mind.
Board Game Bonanza
When’s the last time you flexed your game brain muscle? Break out the board games for an instant party. Commit to playing a couple rounds of each person’s pick. For an extra challenge, pull out a couple more obscure choices, you know, the one collecting dust, and see if you can figure it out once and for all - who knows, some games are sleeper hits!
Lip Sync or Karaoke Battle
This is another choice that requires nothing but time! If you live in a house of real or wannabe songbirds, try a karaoke battle. Did you know that many cable and streaming services have a karaoke channel? Take a look through the catalogue and off to the stage! If you don't have access to voice-free music, its Lip Sync all the way! Adding costumes takes these from fun to fabulous and honestly, make dance moves mandatory - trust us.
Make a Meal together
Instead of wandering into the kitchen alone to battle with the fridge and pantry, why not make a thing of it and bring the kids in to help? Find a recipe using ingredients you already have in the house, divvy up the tasks, pack a little patience and higher tolerance for mess, and have at it. Not does this activity result in a meal, the kids are more likely to actually eat it. As the final bonus, over time they'll have learned valuable skills they'll use forever.
Sure, you could just watch a movie, but what if you really went all out? Our advice is to go all in to create an experience as close to the real thing as possible. We're talking popcorn and candy in individual bowls (helps stave off fighting), throw pillows, and fuzzy blankets. Darken the windows, activate your surround sound speakers or choose the most dramatic setting on your TV sound options. It's just more fun when you make a thing of it. The best part? Cash in your pocket and extra snuggle time.
DIY Obstacle Course
You've already got everything you need to create the most epic obstacle course your household has ever seen. Do you have toilet paper and rolls, pool toys, gym equipment, blankets and scarves lying around? String, boxes, furniture - listen, the possibilities with the stuff lying around your house right now are endless. They're just waiting to be used to their full potential in an obstacle course. Let the kids build it (automatic busy time), and when they're ready, you act as the course time official. Kids always surprise us with what they come up with for this activity, and the execution is a riot!
We finally found a way to use those leftover balloons from grandma's party last year. Little kids love balloons; all you have to do is present one to a toddler to watch joy unleashed. So, if you're stuck inside, pull out some balloons for an instant party (and a way to keep them occupied for a while!). Besides throwing it up in the air and having them try to catch it, things like balancing it on their foot or in the palm of their hands helps with hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. Ask them to hold it on their heads as they walk the length of a hallway or kick it around the living room. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture those ear-to-ear smiles and giggles.
Yup. When's the last time you sang or danced in the rain? Splashed in a puddle? If it's not too cold or miserable, a walk in the rain is a great time—nothing like some fresh air to make you ease the tension. Remember, when you have kids, you get to be one, so go ahead and make your inner Toddler proud.