01 of 06
Plan for a Rainy Day
It's going to happen. Every day can't be sunny, even in the summer. Be ready with some ideas for fun, hands-on activities for those rainy days, so the kids aren't tempted to zone out in front of a screen or bicker because their bored. Actually it doesn't even have to rain for kids to enjoy these indoor activities.
This is Week 4 in a slideshow series of kids' activities for summer weekdays. Each slideshow has 5 ideas. To start at Week 1, click here.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Build a Fort
Fort-building is a classic rainy day activity because it is three-times the fun--the building of the fort, the playing in it and finally the guided tours for parents . And when it rains, you need all the multiplication factors for fun you can think of! I have crawled through some very elaborate pillow forts as my kids gave me a tour after a long day's work (for both of us).
But there can be more to rainy day forts than just pillows and blankets-- a large appliance box can make a good start.... Or take the easy route and get a collapsible tent and tunnel for kids. In the end the fun is really the fantasies they create in their forts.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Make Something Good to Eat
The first thing that comes to mind when I think "good to eat" is ice cream. And I have eyed those fancy ice cream makers, but with this recipe for ice cream in a freezer bag, why bother? Making ice cream is both a treat and activity--two things badly needed on a rainy summer day,
My kids love this activity. Because there are three of them they can pass around the shaking, making it less tedious for all.And then there is the fun of adding all those toppings to create a frozen masterpiece.
B...ut you don't have to limit yourselves to just ice cream. Once kids are old enough to boil water in a microwave or use the mixer, they can make Jello or instant pudding all on their own. Or try making milkshakes, popsicle, smoothies, or parfaits.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Clean Out the Toy Box
A rainy day is a perfect time to put the kids to "work" with this task, which is really a sneaky way to encourage some "play" time. When it comes to toys, the old saying "familiarity breeds contempt" is most definitely true. Kids get bored with toys that they play with regularly, so as kids dig through their old playthings, they may find some good toys that they haven't seen in a while. In our house every so often the toy trains that were stowed away get rediscovered.
G...ive the kids a clear task (but no time limit), e.g. "Find three toys you want to donate to charity." or "Pick out two toys your baby cousin would want to play with when he visits." The worse that can happen is that you get some organizing of the toys done! And if you find that your family's toy boy needs some restocking see the 7 toys that promote independent play.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Brainteasers, Puzzles and Riddles
If kids can’t exercise their bodies outside because of the weather, let them exercise their brains with some brainteasers, riddles and puzzles. Either try hands-on puzzle games or get some brainteaser books. The great thing about these books is that kids don't necessarily have to know how to read yet to enjoy ones like hidden pictures, I Spy, mazes, dot-to-dots, etc. And for kids who are readers they can try riddle and joke books, one-minute mysteries or verbal brainteasers.
And while you can... find a lot of this stuff online it’s good to have actual riddle, puzzle and brainteaser books on hand so that the kids don’t slip into a screen-time zombie state, which is somehow easier to do on a rainy day. But to really keep kids active try these hands-on brainteasers.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Give Kids a Deck of Cards
Playing cards is, of course, a traditional rainy day activity, but there's a lot more that you can do with cards than just play a game. Kids can practice shuffling cards (so they can show off how they can do the bridge shuffle). They can learn card tricks and amaze their friends and family. They can play a real game of solitaire rather than a computer version, so that they can practice that shuffling and dealing (and they can even cheat if they want!). Or they could even build a house of... cards. A deck of cards is a very versatile toys so keep several on hand,
Ready for more things to do this summer? See Week 2 Summer Activities: Make Time for Kids' Play Time.