Do you know what to do with your kids when it is rainy or cold outside?
Are they constantly bickering or whining out of boredom?
Oh, I’ve totally been there. As a mom of three, if my kids don’t have something to do, then that means that they are either fighting, whining, or tearing something up. I love my kids, but if you have children that are rough and tumble, then you know all too well that what I’m saying is true.
So that is why I’ve come up with a few things for them to do whenever they can’t go outside and run free.
But my recommendation is this, scroll through my list, jot down the ones you think will work, and whenever cold or rainy days come around, hand your child a post-it-note with the suggestions on it.
Then tell them, “I don’t want to hear fighting or whining until you’ve completed every item on this list.” I give my kids’ lists like this all of the time, and you’d be surprised how helpful it is.
Not to mention, it saves me a lot of talking throughout the day because they don’t have to come and ask me what is next.
Here is my list of indoor activities that are perfect for rainy or cold days:
Indoor Boredom Busters:
1. Board Games
If you have more than one child, or you like board games yourself, then this is a great idea for a cold or rainy day. The reason is that you get to spend quality time and have fun with your kids.
I am not a huge puzzle person, but my kids love them! I think it is because they used to build them so much with their Nana.
My youngest child wants to be an artist. He is actually quite good for his age. That is why I have a lot of artistic ideas on this list because if I want to keep my kids busy for hours, then I just give them art supplies. Painting is definitely a favorite pastime in my household.
So even if your kids aren’t really that ‘artsy’, still give some of these ideas a try because you could awaken a new hobby for them. Also, it is great for them to create a masterpiece and have something to give to grandma the next time they see her.
4. Finger Paint
My kids love to finger paint. I love it too! It is so much fun, and you can create some really unique pieces of art using your own two hands.
So here are a few ideas for finger painting projects. Then you can hang them up proudly for the world to see your children’s works of art.
We discovered clay during our first year of homeschooling. Much to my surprise, my kids loved it. They got to shape and mold different items to suit them. It was really cool.
Plus, making clay projects don't require a lot of stuff. You just need clay, some paint (if you wish), and a window for the clay to sit next to while it dries. That is all.
6. Paper Mache
I was not an artsy kid, but I really loved paper mache when we did this in art class. It came as no surprise how much my artistic children love it now.
So if you are new to paper mache, here is a great site to help you along. You can create such gorgeous masterpieces on those days when you are stuck indoors.
If you have younger kids, this won’t be a task that you can just toss at them and expect them to entertain themselves for hours. You will have to show them, and this could be a fun hobby to learn together.
But once your kids learn how to knit, then they can make lots of fun items. Here is a great starter kit for kids to learn to knit.
Would you believe that my boys really appreciate the art of crochet? Their Nana was a very talented woman, and she specialized in crochet.
For that reason, my kids really enjoy watching and trying to learn how to crochet. If you think your kids might be interested, here is a great resource to help them get started.
I am a huge fan of cross-stitch. A friend of mine first introduced me to it when I was about 5 or 6 years old.
So if you have a younger child, they make smaller cross-stitch projects that might work for them. It is a great hobby for people of all ages, in my opinion.
Chess is a classic board game that people have played for generations. It is a great game to teach your children how to play, because it could help them as they get older.
In our area, we have chess clubs that compete and have lots of great social events for older kids. They often give out scholarship money and other cool prizes as well. So teaching your children the game could profit them if they ever became a part of a club when they were older.
My kids love checkers. We have a bunch of different sets, and they play with them all. We have a rug set which is bigger.
But we also have the traditional sets as well. Either way, checkers is a game of strategy that gets children’s minds thinking and that is important in any activity they partake in.
12. Bean Bag Toss with Baskets
Back when I only had one child shuffling under my feet, I would come up with creative games that would work well for an only child.
So that game was often a bean bag toss. I would set up the clothes baskets in the living room and let him toss bean bags into the baskets. When he could get the bean bags in all of the baskets, then we moved them further apart. You’d be surprised how many hours of fun a few bean bags and clothes baskets have created in my house.
13. Yarn Cards
My mom used these cards when my sister and I were little. We could only play with them on Sunday during church so we wouldn’t grow bored with them.
But now you can make these cards yourself. Just follow the tutorial. It is fun for kids and also helps develop their fine motor skills as well.
A lot of people don’t read anymore. Truthfully, I didn’t read much until my kids went to public school for a few years, and I had the time. Then I really started reading when we became a homeschool family because we do read aloud every day.
So now I encourage everyone to read because a love for reading really is developed when we are children. It helps grow kids’ imaginations, and I think it is important that our children still hang on to a few ‘old fashioned’ pass times. If you need reading suggestions, here is a great list. And don’t forget to check out your public library.
You may be thinking I’m nuts here when I suggest allowing your children to play with bubbles indoors on a cold or rainy day.
But I promise you, I’m not. Just put down a sheet on the floor and set-up a bubble station. Then your children can blow bubbles until their little hearts are content. You then just clean everything up and toss the sheet in the wash.
16. Sensory Bins
Again, I’m speaking like a true homeschool mom here, but I love sensory bins. I had never heard of them until my youngest went to preschool.
Then I realized how much he loved them so I incorporated them a lot into our school day. Your kids might love them too. Here is a tutorial on creating sensory bins.
17. Bobbing for Apples
Again, you probably think I’m nuts, but if it is around apple season why not? If you want to do traditional bobbing for apples, then I say do it around snack time. You just put a bucket of water on a towel.
Then allow your kids to bob for apples. When they get the apple, you can have different toppings set out for them that they can slice the apple and dip or cover it with different toppings. One example would be to slice the apple for your child, and then allow them to put peanut butter on it, drizzle it with some dark chocolate, and then put sprinkles on it too.
It would probably be the greatest snack time they’ve ever had! It sounds good to me, at least.
I’m back to the artistic side of things, but don’t forget about something as simple as a coloring book and crayons when you are looking for a rainy day boredom buster.
19. Sponge Painting
I’ve already mentioned how much my kids love to paint. That doesn’t just mean with a brush or with their fingers.
Actually, they love to sponge paint because it is less messy, and they can create simple masterpieces. Here is a great kit to get you started.
20. Make a Book
I actually found this great idea when I was birthday shopping for my youngest. He and my mom often make books together when he visits her. That way he can take it home, read it, and remember what a fun time they had together since we live so far apart. (Isn’t my mom super creative?)
So when I saw the idea where you could make your own book, I thought other families might enjoy it. What better time to make such a book than on a rainy or cold day?
21. Build a Fort
This is something all of my boys partake in (even my older ones.) There is something about building a fort out of towels, blankets, and bed sheets.
Then hiding underneath it to color or read. My boys especially love to do this when they can’t get outside on a dreary day.
22. Sew and Create
You don’t have to be an adult to sew, and you don’t have to put your child on some expensive and high-tech sewing machine either.
Actually, they make sewing machines for children beginning to learn to sew. It is a great skill for kids to learn, and it should keep them busy for hours on a dreary day. Not to mention, they can make some really unique projects.
23. Friendship Bracelets
When I was a little girl it was all the rage to make friendship bracelets. It was also a favorite pastime of mine and my friends when we got together on a rainy or cold day.
Not surprising, like most things, history has repeated itself and kids are back into making them again. Here is a resource to help you create friendship bracelets.
24. Rubber Band Jewelry
I had actually never heard of this until my kids’ came home with kits to make this jewelry. Their aunt had gone on a missionary trip to South America and learned how to do it there. She taught them, and the rest is history.
Now, my kids use rainy days to make rubber band jewelry for their friends and family members. I actually have a hard time getting them to put their kits down. Here is a kit to make your own and a great tutorial to help you learn how.
25. Educational Games
I’ll admit, I’m one of those parents that don’t let my children have a lot of time on electronics. I really want my kids to have a childhood where they get outside and explore reality instead of everything through virtual reality.
But whether you agree with me or not, there is still a time for electronics in their day. On rainy days, don’t be afraid to let your kids play around on some educational websites. At least they are learning while they play. We are big fans of Reading Eggs, Math Seeds, ABCya, and ABC Mouse.
26. Color by Number
We do color by number stuff a lot around my house because the worksheets are fun, and it also reinforces counting.
So if you are looking for some free color by number worksheets, then check some out here.
27. Paint by Number
I love paint by numbers too. I think they are great because not only do they reinforce counting, but they are also great for children (who like myself) don’t find that art is their favorite thing to do.
So if you are looking for some great paint by number ideas, here is one you might like to try.
28. Sun Catchers
This was something else I loved to do when I was a kid. When I would go visit my grandmother every summer we would always go to the craft store. When we were there I’d buy a bunch of sun catcher kits.
Then I’d go back to her house and work on them diligently. That way when I left, she always had something hanging in her window to remember me by. To the best of my knowledge, they were still hanging in her window until she passed.
29. Pots and Pan Band
I only recommend this activity if you are at your wit's end, have a garage that your child can play in, or you join in on the fun.
Seriously, if you have a musical child, why not let them enjoy that talent by creating a band with your pots and pans?
I am a wanna-be yogi. I love to do yoga, and I try to do it every day. It makes me feel great and super relaxed.
But one day, my kids were super high-strung. It hit me, “Why don’t I see if there are any tutorials on teaching your kids yoga.”
So I checked it out. There were many tutorials, and we now practice yoga together pretty regularly because of how it calms them down. Which might make this a great activity for a rainy day.
We play cards almost every night that my oldest is off of work. It is such a fun thing to do as a family, but we also play card when we find ourselves stuck inside due to cold or rainy weather.
32. Quiet Books
This is something I wish I had known about earlier in parenting. Quiet books are amazing! You can make them age-appropriate, and they can also be educational.
So whether you choose to buy a quiet book or make your own (here is one for younger children and one for older children), they could still be an amazing pastime on a rainy or cold day where you are stuck indoors.
So you now have over 30 ideas for fun activities that your children can do when they are forced to stay inside and find themselves bored.
But I’d like to hear your ideas. What do you do to provide entertainment for your children when they are indoors and need a boredom buster?
We would love to hear your thoughts! Drop us a line in the comment section below.