It’s raining, it’s pouring, you’ve been stuck inside all morning. (Or, all month, in these shelter-in-place times.) While we’re all spending most of our time indoors these days, a rainy day can add another challenge: what to do when you can’t even step outside for a neighbourhood walk or backyard play? Well, never fear! Here are twenty fun indoor activities to try while you wait for the clouds to clear. See where your imagination can take you!
Have a dance party - Dance away all that pent-up cabin fever energy with a living room dance party! Clear a space, put on your favourite playlist, and shake a tail! Pick a theme while you’re at it. Make it a pyjama dance party. Or a halloween dance party!
Build a fort - Everyone loves a fort! Gather as many pillows and blankets as possible and get to building! Once your masterpiece is complete, grab a flashlight, a favourite stuffy and a book or two for maximum coziness.
Science experiment! - Why not measure the rainfall? Put a measuring cup outside for a designated amount of time. While you’re waiting to collect it, make some educated guesses about what you’ll find. Once the time is up, bring it back inside and test out your hypotheses!
Movie theatre - A rainy day is the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights, turn up the volume, and enjoy!
Treasure/scavenger hunt - Take turns hiding objects around the house and going on a treasure hunt! Pretend you’re pirates searching for treasure. Yarrrrr!
Empty bottle bowling - Put that recycling to good use! Find a bunch of empty containers and set up a little bowling game! Then grab a ball (preferably not a real bowling ball) and bowl away!
Build your own city - Use old boxes, recyclables, and modelling clay to build your own little village or farm. Incorporate other things you have around the house, like toy animals or actions figures, to make it even more detailed.
Magic Laundry Hamper - Put your kid in an open-topped laundry hamper and… Voila! That’s it! It’s amazing how long a child can occupy themselves with a simple box or laundry hamper. Tell them it’s a space ship! Tell them it’s a giant hamster wheel! Toss some toys on the ground, give them a pair of salad tongs, and tell them to go fishing!
Board Games/card games - Board games were practically MADE for rainy days! Simple card games like “go fish” or “snap” are also a great go-to activity.
Tea Party - Gather your best stuffies and toys, and have a tea party! If your child is slightly older, try incorporating a simple cooking activity into it and play restaurant! No need to get fancy with it — it could be as simple as letting your child serve you a bagel and a piece of fruit. Just make sure you tip well.
Sensory bin - For younger children, you can’t go wrong with a sensory bin. Fill up a large container with rice, dried beans, or pasta. Then throw in some toy cars, shovels, and cups for pouring! Or put in some toy dinosaurs and pretend you’re on a dinosaur dig!
Make a stuffy zoo - Have your little one create a stuffy zoo, then let them be your tour guide and show off all their animal knowledge. You might just learn something!
PLAY time - Put on a play! Whether your child wants to perform a story of their own creation, or re-enact their favourite fairy, this activity can be as simple or as complex as you feel like making it. Let your little one play dress up, gather props from around the house, and premiere their masterpiece for you. There’s only one rule: no heckling.
Tablet time - If your cabin fever has reached a fever pitch, don’t be afraid to let your kid chill with their favourite app for a few minutes. Make yourself a coffee while you’re at it!
Beach day - Turn your space into the ultimate beach party. Spread out some towels and put on some fun summertime tunes. Make sure to pack some snacks and drinks for a picnic! Then get on your beachiest attire and have fun! Maybe you’ve got some kinetic sand kicking around for some extra beach-themed sensory play.
DIY carnival - If you’ve got an old cardboard box lying around, cut holes in it for a toy-toss game! Or tape paper towel rolls onto paper for a quick and easy ring toss game. No rings? No problem! Make some out of tin foil!
Silly Salon - Take turns creating silly hairstyles on each other. No peeking until the master stylist is finished!
Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles - Can’t go wrong with a puzzle!
A work of art - Do a collaborative painting. One person starts a picture, and then passes it on to the next person, who adds something to it, and then passes it back, and so forth. This can be done with two people, or ten people! Try all different styles — portrait, abstract, still life — wherever your inspiration takes you!
Lava game - Is that fort from the beginning of the list now in pieces on the floor? No worries! Play a game of Lava! Turn on some music (or if you’re feeling lazy, just shout “GO!”) as your kid(s) navigate around the pillows and blankets. Then shout “FLOOR IS LAVA” at which point the kids should try to hop onto the closest “island.” Then do it all over again!
Being stuck inside on a rainy day doesn’t have to be a bore! Imaginations can’t be confined by four walls and a roof. Once your child sets their mind free, they can transport themselves anywhere, and can transform everyday objects into something spectacular. Rain, rain, you can stay. We’ve got LOTS of things to play!