Fun Indoor Activities for Rainy Days and Snowy Days
When the weather outside is frightful, being cooped up indoors doesn’t have to be. Sure, you can do an occasional movie day and snuggle under the covers together, munching on popcorn or homemade trail mix. But, what if you’re stuck inside for days on end?
Afterall, you can only do so many movie days. Here are fun indoor activities the whole family can enjoy:
Oh, the possibilities with games! There are countless fun indoor activities when you play different types of games.
You can play board games according to their rules or make up your own (making up your own rules is fun, and a great chance to talk about fairness, do some real-life problem solving and so much more). You can also give your kids anything they need to make up their own games, help them write instructions and create rules before testing out their games.
What do you have around the house that can be used to replicate carnival type games?
- Hula hoops, laundry baskets, and buckets can be used for tossing balls into. Assign points, carnival style, or not. The choice is yours!
- Instead of darts, you can put sticky-notes (“Post-it” notes) on a door or wall and toss a ball or balloon at the target. This is a great chance to review letters, shapes, numbers, and so on.
- Solo cups are great for stacking (how tall/wide can you build something?) and for knocking down. There are all kinds of things you can make from stacking solo cups- pyramids, walls, towers, shapes, letters, forts- you’re only limited by your creativity! You can also set up solo cups like bowling pins and roll any ball towards them to create your own bowling game.
- Place a laundry basket at the end of the hallway and line up to throw balls into it. This is a great chance to practice taking turns and counting.
- Can you kick a ball down the hallway or in a large, somewhat empty room?
- Balloons are great for playing volleyball (no net needed). Practice keeping the ball in the air, see how many jumps, push-ups, spins, etc. your child can do before they need to hit the balloon again to keep it up in the air. You can also practice passing the balloon back and forth or trying to hit a target on the wall, or even hit the balloon into a basket.
- Jump rope. Do you have a space your child can practice jumping rope? Get out that jump rope and give it a try! You can also place the jump rope on the floor and practice jumping over it. How far over the rope can your kids jump? How many jumps can they get in back and forth over the jump rope before the timer goes off?
If your kids are anything like mine (and I’m sure they are!), you’ll need to get some energy out on a rainy or snowy day. Some fun, indoor activities for getting energy out are:
- Simon Says: To start this game, be “Simon” and tell your kids what to do, but they have to listen carefully for “Simon says ___.” If your directions don’t start with the key phrase (“Simon says…”), and they do the action, they’re out. Adjust the rules accordingly. For young children, we typically don’t play with “outs,” as we want them to keep playing. Make this as fun and as active as you can. Grab my free printable with ideas for an indoor game of Simon Says here.
- Obstacle course: Obstacle courses are a great way to try new things, follow directions, take turns, check a timer (if desired), and have some fun being active indoors. We usually set ours up from our front door and around the island in the kitchen, but anywhere you have somewhat open space is good. Kids can hop over lines (use masking tape or yarn), balance (use masking tape or yarn/string), crawl under chairs/tables, zig zag in and out of pillows/wastebaskets/etc., the possibilities are endless. This is also something older kids can set up and be creative with. Let them race through it, trying to beat their previous time.
- Follow the Leader: Have everyone line up and do whatever the person in front of the line does. Move around the house doing different moves- hopping, raising your arms up, shouting, kicking your feet out to the side, whatever works. Switch this up by doing it to different songs or different types of music.
- Dance party: Instead of following each other in a line around the house, dance. You can all make up your own moves and dance individually, you can dance together, make up your own dances for others to do with you, anything goes. This is a great bonding activity and is sure to end in lots of laughter. Switch it up by playing different types of music and moving to the beat.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness and moving your body in a controlled way. It’s also a fun indoor activity because you can do it any way you’d like. Kids yoga isn’t like adult yoga, so think of how different animals would move, different ways to move your body, etc. After a long day cooped up inside, doing yoga is a great way to wind down, but also get out some extra energy because it requires you to focus on what you’re doing and how.
Take a (virtual) trip
Where’s someplace you’ve always dreamed of going?
- How would you get there?
- When would you go?
- What would you do when you’re there?
The internet is great for this, and it might inspire everyone to come up with their own places to visit and explore virtually.
Take it a step further…
- Cook a meal (or dessert) inspired by the location.
- Play games or do activities unique to that region.
- If you’re able to get out before your inclement weather strikes, grab some books from the library about that region of the world to read, and maybe a movie or two.
So, while you might not get to actually go on your trip, researching someplace new and talking about future dreams and goals can be a fun indoor activity for a rainy or snowy day.
Arts, Crafts, and Science
Rainy and snowy days are great for doing art projects, science experiments, and all those kind “project” type stuff that take time or require you to come back to them later.
Why not start something in the morning that needs time to dry or “set” and come back to it later in the day and finish it? Some of the best art and craft projects are the ones when you let your child make whatever they want. Give them supplies or let them have access to the materials and let them do their own “maker’s session” and let their imaginations run wild. This list gives you an idea of things to gather for kids to use, but anything goes.
The same can be done with science experiments. Some of our favorite experiments are taking “powders” and mixing them with different “liquids” from the kitchen. Sometimes, the kids choose salt and flour to make dough, while other times they’re mixing baking soda and vinegar and watching the fizzing action.
As you can see, being cooped up indoors doesn’t have to be boring! There are lots of fun indoor activities that the whole family can enjoy without getting on each other’s nerves (read about 10 fun activities with boxes here).
What are your favorite things to do indoors?