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It’s raining, it’s pouring and your children are getting antsy. The neighborhood park and local zoo are off-limits and you need to come up with some ideas for indoor activities to keep your kids occupied so you all don’t go cray cray. Below, a list of 32 things to do on a rainy day—from arts and crafts you can do with toddlers to cooking classes and baking sessions you can do with your teens.
1. Have some fun with slime
You can never go wrong with this kid-favorite. Add some extra fun with this color-changing slime that shifts hues when it changes temperature. Mix and knead two batches, then draw on them with an ice-water-dipped stylus and see the colors transform right before your eyes.
2. Conduct a science experiment
If the color-changing slime isn’t cool enough, up the ante with a mini chemical explosion. This chemistry set from KiwiCo allows tots to learn about the scientific method, while also whipping up some jaw-dropping, colorful potions.
3. Tickle the senses with play dough
From classic play dough to marshmallow play dough that’s safe enough to eat to this sensory dough that tickles your nose and smells like vanilla, the choices are endless. And pretty much every one is a guaranteed hit.
4. Build a cannon ball launcher
You know your kids are going to be causing a ruckus, so why not join in on the fun? Building a cannonball launcher with your minis allows you to partake in a fun activity and also supervise the sure-to-follow chaos.
5. Create some wall art
You’ve been meaning to make some art for that blank wall in your kids’ room and a day locked-in is the perfect opportunity to finally do so. This galactic glow art set allows you to create space-themed decorations. The best part is that you can leave them as standard portraits, or use the provided UV lights to make the drawings glow.
6. Camp in the great indoors
Set up a tent or make your own by draping sheets over the couch and pretend you’re in the woods somewhere. Grab some small bites—don’t forget the s’mores—a couple of cozy blankets and you can even stream a nice family-friendly movie while snuggling. We hear Encanto is all the rage right now.
7. Create an indoor obstacle course
Here are a few ideas to get you started: Crawl underneath the dining room table, do ten jumping jacks, throw a sock into the laundry basket and then walk from the kitchen to the living room with a book on your head. (You get the picture). If you’re not into messing with your furniture—or dreaming up a course from scratch—you can totally purchase one.
8. Bake the world’s best chocolate chip cookies
Ward off those rainy-day blues with this larger-than-average skillet offering. All you need is 15 minutes, and you have a decadent dessert in front of you.
9. Make some papier-mâché bowls
Fun and functional, this activity lets your kids hone those crafting skills. This kit from KiwiCo comes with everything you’ll need—from materials to illustrated step-by-step instructions, as well as additional art, design ideas and project inspiration.
10. Have a movie marathon.
11. Take a cooking class together
Perhaps this is better suited for parents with teens, but hey, if you’re up to the challenge, get those toddlers in the kitchen too. Take a class with some of the world’s most decorated chefs and make a yummy dinner together. How about some lamb kebabs, courtesy of chef Erez Komarovsky and YesChef?
12. Go to a museum
Been to the science center a gazillion times? Try one of the more obscure ones, like the transportation museum or one dedicated to cartoon art.
13. Have an indoor treasure hunt
This one might take a little bit of planning, but once you’ve written down the clues, hidden them around the house and picked out a prize, then you’re practically guaranteed 30 minutes of “you” time.
14. Make some foam art
Get a stack of foam sheets, a shadow box frame, your standard crafting supplies—scissors, glue etc.—and make some colorful wall art for their room. The end result is so chic you may get friends and relatives suddenly asking for custom pieces. (Get the full tutorial here.)
15. Make pizza muffins
You love muffins, they love pizza. Meet in the middle by making this delectable cheesy snack that requires only five ingredients.
16. Check out an indoor skating rink
Go ahead and brave the elements, but only for a short while as you drive to your nearest indoor ice-or roller-skating rink. Let your kids expend all that energy at no cost to your living room.
17. Ask your kids to put on a play
You can ask them to reenact their favorite movie or perform their interpretation of a classic like Annie. Don’t forget to film it for the grandparents.
18. Play cards
Hey, Go Fish is a classic for a reason.
19. Go out for lunch and try something new
If one of these amazing, child-friendly restaurants, (where your kids eat free BTW), isn’t nearby, try a new café or local eatery—anything to get you out of the house for an hour or two.
20. Make three-ingredient moon sand
Aka the toy that will let your kids build sandcastles all year long. All you need is two cups of flour, one tablespoon of powdered paint and half a cup of baby oil. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
21. Have a tea party
Your standard fancy English tea party is tons of fun. Even more fun is an “Anything Goes” tea party where you can whip out things like these eclectic little mugs and allow your kids to let their imaginations run wild.
22. Have a dance party
Turn up the music and show off your moves. If you have the necessary items, feel free to dress up as your favorite pop stars.
23. Bring out the board games
You can’t go wrong with Monopoly, Connect Four or Sorry, though if those are feeling a little overdone, might we suggest something new? How about one of our Happy Kid Award winners, like Game Night in a Can or 2020 winner, Telestrations? You can find even more inspo in this comprehensive list of great board games.
24. Go bowling
Nothing like some friendly, family competition to get the blood flowing. Just don’t forget the bumpers.
25. Start a new book
Now is the time to sift through those books your kid got at Christmas. If they’re a bookworm and they’ve already read through everything, then head to your local bookstore or library for a new page-turner.
26. Make Oreo-stuffed brownies
Hey, you’re stuck inside the house, so why not indulge a little? We do suggest you eat in moderation, however, since this recipe contains tons of sugar.
27. Make jewelry
Fancy beads or pasta shells—up to you. The important thing is, the kiddos are occupied for a bit.
28. Play dress-up in your closet
You know they try on your clothes when you’re not home anyway, so go ahead and join in on the fun. Just keep the cashmere out of reach.
29. Make paper airplanes
And then fly them around the living room (pro tip: stand on the sofa for extra height). Here’s how to make planes that fly far.
30. Play hide-and-seek
No cheating. And think of unconventional places to hide.
31. Make a magical unicorn recipe
Rainbow maki rolls first (you know, for health) and then colorful fudge for dessert. Get nine unicorn recipes here.
32. Balloon badminton
Move some furniture around and create a makeshift net out of two chairs and some masking tape. Then blow up some balloons and make rackets as well as the ball. Get the full tutorial here.