Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

Indoor Games and Rainy Day Activities

A downpour might put a damper on outdoor play, but there's plenty to do inside. Consider this your manual for keeping the kiddos busy.
 

Learning Benefits

Eat it
Popcorn
Kids will have as much fun making old-fashioned stovetop popcorn as they will eating it! Dress up your kernels with a dash of cinnamon or chili and garlic powder. Colorful enamel mugs double as handy scoopers (West Elm, $6).


 

Play it
Hopscotch


Bring puddle-jumping indoors with this twist on the classic game. Snip puddle shapes from felt or foam, then affix numbers 1 to 10. Stick them to the floor with double-sided tape in rows of one or two as shown. Toss a fabric-covered beanbag on one of the numbers, and leap right in!

PLUS: RAINY DAY CRAFTS FOR KIDS

Play it
Obstacle course


Plastic cups turn any floor into a playground. Arrange them throughout the room, then challenge kids to do a lap while scuttling like a crab or slithering like a snake.

PLUS: 7 EASY AND MESS-FREE SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

Play it
Matching game

Beat drizzly-day brain drain! Put your kids’ noggins to the test with a DIY memory craft. Coat an even number of 2- and 3-inch wood rounds with acrylic paint; let dry. Then, stamp critters or fun shapes onto white paper; cut out. Glue to the painted side of the round. Have your child turn all of the rounds face down, mix ’em up, and try to fnd the sets. (Stamps, $7, Papersource.com)

PLUS: WHY ALL KIDS SHOULD BUILD BLANKET FORTS

Build it
Blanket fort

The trick to a cozy (but not cavernous) hideout? Lightweight sheets. Drape ‘em across tables, chairs, and couches, or hang up a sturdy clothesline. Tip: Clothespins are key for holding different sheets together to create an A-frame shape. Outfit the fortress with plenty of pillows and accessories. (Campfire light, $59, Landofnod.com; Lantern, $6, Ikea.com; Log head rest, $22, Kikkerland.com)

PLUS: 5 WAYS TO KEEP KIDS ENTERTAINED DURING A POWER OUTAGE

Boredom Busters from Mom Bloggers

STACK ATTACK

“We build ‘cup castles’ out of leftover plastic cups we keep in a poster tube.” —Stephanie Morgan, Modern Parents, Messy Kids

PUZZLE PLAY

“A felt board with abstract shapes she can mix and match keeps my 2-year-old occupied for at least 30 minutes!” —Justina Blakeney, The Jungalo

SUPER SALE
“Kids love to ‘sell’ stuff, so I ask for a red book or blue truck, and send them on a hunt for stuff I can ‘buy.’” —Amanda Kingloff, Project Kid

INSTA-ART

“Cover a wall with chalkboard paint. Kids love scribbling away on a rainy day!” —Naomi Davis, Love Taza

PLUS: RAINY DAY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Stormy-Weather S’more

Step 1

Gather cookies of your choice. Grahams are a classic, but try gingersnaps or molasses for a spicy twist.

Step 2

Slice fresh fruit, like strawberries or bananas.

Step 3
Upgrade chocolate toppings. (Try Nutella, or honey-flled Toblerone!)

Step 4

Nuke jumbo marshmallows in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds.

Step 5

Sandwich the ’mallows, fruit, and chocolate between cookies. While gooey, roll in almonds or colorful sprinkles.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski; Illustrations by Brown Bird Design

Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit