31 Simple Rainy Day Activities: {Mostly} Household Items Edition

We have all been there before. It’s a rainy day, and you have officially exhausted all of your known efforts to entertain your restless people. You are restless too. And surely your clock is broken, because that hand on the dial hasn’t moved in an hour. You know Pinterest is a click away, but if you’re anything like me, you also know you will spend more time looking for the perfect activity, only to discover you don’t have half the supplies it requires. Back to square one. 

Search no more! Here is a list of 31 activities to keep kids of all ages engaged, active, and having fun using {mostly} common household items. 

Tube talk. Take a paper towel tube and talk back and forth with your child through it. Make funny noises and allow him or her to see how different voices can sound through a tube. 

Paper towel tube + Pom-Poms. When you have exhausted your efforts with Tube Time, take the tube and use masking tape to vertically tape it on the wall, refrigerator, or cabinet and make it a chute for them to drop cotton balls, pom-poms, or whatever else keeps them busy! 

Take another bath. Load up the bathtub with measuring cups, bubbles, and bath toys, and let your kids pretend it’s sunny outside by basking in an extra long bath. To make it even sweeter, let your kids enjoy some popsicles while bathing! 

Do A Dots. Do A Dots are an easy way for young children to mess-free paint while keeping their attention and being creative. 

Create a masking tape road. Take painters tape, or masking tape, and create an entire thoroughfare on your carpet for your children to use with their cars and figurines.   

Color a cardboard box. Disassemble all cardboard boxes you have on hand and create items using duct tape. After you’ve made your creations, color them. No boxes on hand? Have one of these cardboard boxes made on the ready. They can be inexpensively purchased at Oriental Trading, or for quick service, but a higher price, available on Amazon

Build villages with toys. Whether it’s with LEGOs, Calico Critters, or Playmobil, my children can pass an entire morning just by building a make-believe city!

lego city

Have an Easter egg hunt. Save some Easter eggs from Easter, and fill them with whatever you have laying around your house. Hide the eggs and let your children hunt them. Whoever finds the most, gets to hide them for the next round. 

Kwik Stix. Get out the paper and the Kwik Stix and encourage your children to use their imagination. Have them use a marker to draw and use the Kwik Sticks to paint without a mess! 

Set up a grocery store. Using household items for older children, or items from the play kitchen for younger children. Kids love shopping! We line shelves with items, make fake money, create a cash register, then take turns being the shopper and the cashier. 

Make your own Mad Matter. Mad Matter is a fun “dough” that has the consistency of a cloud but can be crafted like playdough! A good way to pass some time on a rainy day is to have your children make their own

Dance parties! Dance parties are an absolute crowd pleaser with this girl mama! Make it simple and just jam out to your faves, or get creative by turning on your favorite movie soundtrack and try to re-enact the movie!  

Indoor hopscotch. Using masking tape, create a hopscotch board and let those kids jump some of their energy out! 

Break out the balloons. Have a few left-over balloons from a birthday party? Blow them up and create your own games like not letting the balloon touch the floor, grab any kitchen funnels you may have and make the rule that you have to catch the balloons with the funnel, or if you have any wrapping paper tubes laying around, use those as hockey sticks and play a little game of balloon hockey! 

Sack races with pillowcases. Grab some of your old pillowcases, throw those kiddos inside, and let them hop through the finish line!  

Sumo wrestle. Find any old adult t-shirts you may have laying around and stuff pillows all the way around your body underneath the t-shirt. Let the giggles ignite as the kids bounce around the playroom as if they are untouchable. 

Flashlight party. If all else fails, with the clouds already keeping the house dark, turn off the rest of the lights and throw the kids a flashlight party where they can make shadows on the walls, search for items in the dark, tell camp stories by the flashlight or play secret spy games! 

Build a fort. Kids of all ages love to build forts. Whether you use your furniture and old sheets, or order a Fort Kit. Kids love the act of building and creating their own space inside.

A makeshift spa day. What little girl doesn’t love a good ol’ pampering sesh? Make bath bombs, take a fizzy bath, give her hair a fresh blow out, and top it off with a relaxing foot rub and polish!  

Solo cup towers. If you have a package of solo cups on hand, bust those out and see who can make the tallest tower or widest castle. You will be surprised at just high those solo cup towers can get! 

Talent show. Do a casting call for the next biggest talent in your home! Create plays, sing songs, choreograph dances, and complete science projects!!! Have your kids record their talents and create a video when they are finished! 

Scavenger hunt. Have each child create their own scavenger hunt for their friends and/or siblings. Take turns completing the scavenger hunts.  

Art for kids hub. This dad is SO. MUCH. FUN. His step-by-step videos are perfect for a rainy day. All you need is the Internet, paper, and a pencil. Your child can even mail artwork to him and be featured on his YouTube channel!  

Make a family magazine. Get out some paper, writing utensils, markers, and any old pictures you may have, and create a fun family magazine! Kids can create a cover highlighting what their magazine will cover with topics like family favorite recipes, a family tree, write a narrative about their favorite memory, a how-to section, and even create advertisements for their favorite products! 

Create a vision board. Encourage responsibility and goal setting through creating a vision board! Have them think of all the things they want to do individually and as a family and make a colorful poster of it! Have them write out how they can accomplish these goals and hang it in their room.  

Have a food challenge. My girls LOVE this sweet, sticky, and sometimes really gross game!!! They take turns with a blindfold, testing different foods and guessing what they are. 

Nerf war. Not only can your kids in engage in a full out Nerf war, but they can also create obstacles. Take those same red solo cups and create a tower with figures on top and let them shoot them down one by one. Create targets with paper plates and give them each a point value, hang them from the ceiling with fishing wire, and see who can get the most points!  

Binge watch an educational series. After the kids have exhausted all their energy on hours of Nerf wars, hand over the remote, pop some popcorn, and binge watch How It’s Made, Planet Earth, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Food Network, or The History Channel.  

Games. From board games (Monopoly Empire and playing in rainBattleship), to card games (Loser or Uno), to dominoes (Mexican Train), keep those minds busy by strategizing ways to beat their opponent.  

Make a movie. Whether it’s a how-to, adventure, drama, or thriller, challenge your older kids to create a movie on their smart devices. This is engaging and creative while feeding their appetite for technology use. Have a movie night later on where everyone shows off the movie they produced. 

Play in the rain. Lastly, but most important, throw on some rainboots, splish-splash in all the puddles, and dance in the rain

Raised on seven acres of land nestled in the heart of Southlake, and a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton, Meagan is the definition of locally grown. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Adam, since 2005, and they have two silly daughters: one tenderhearted free-spirit and the other a strong-willed spit fire. When not playing princesses or painting by number, she is curled up in her pajamas immersed in a historical fiction novel, eating sugar, practicing yoga, or finding the end of the Internet to feed the infomaniac within her. Once a 7th grade English teacher, now a stay-at-home mom, she enjoys staying connected with youth through mentoring in Christ as an accountability leader at her church, and serving as a Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish Foundation. In her “spare” time, which is comical these days, she tries to keep up her blog The Love Filled Way.


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