11 Boredom Busters for Big Kids Stuck Inside on a Rainy Day

11 Boredom Busters for Big Kids Stuck Inside on a Rainy Day

Fun indoor activities for your school-age crew when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

By Heather Chaet

Though summer days are usually filled with outdoor fun, those occasional warm weather showers can derail any plans you may have had. Sure, you can always flip on a movie marathon to keep everyone happy, but when it’s Day 3 of Mother Nature giving you some wet weather, you may need to turn to other boredom-busting activities. We gathered some fun, inventive indoor ideas that you and your crew can tackle when those summer showers pop up.

1. Channel your inner Picassos and Warhols!
Get out those art supplies, and start creating some wonderful art. Think outside the box with this one: Have the kiddos create sculptures with clay and blocks, or use sponges and other types of utensils instead of the usual brush to apply paint to the paper. Surf online and look at famous paintings if you need an inspirational boost. What to do with the end results? Hang them around the house and have an art gallery party.

2. Travel the world.
Make a cute homemade passport, and get ready to travel the globe. Flip open that atlas, close your eyes, and point to some place on the world map. Challenge your kids to find out some fun facts about that country using the Internet or books at the local library (hint: it’s a fabulous rainy day destination). Do it a few times until that passport is full!

3. Learn how to do something.
Nothing feels as groovy as learning how to do something new. From folding origami to crocheting a potholder, or practicing calligraphy to drawing cartoon superheroes, trying out some new skills may just open the door to a fabulous hobby that might stick after the storm passes.

4. Declare it “A Day of Many Rulers.”
Sometimes, moms just don’t feel like being the one in charge of everything -- especially when they are cooped up inside for the whole day. Every hour, rotate who is in charge. The “Ruler of the Hour” gets to choose the activity, dole out the snacks, and decide what everyone can or can’t do. You’ll be surprised how much fun you and your kids have with this role-play switcheroo.

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5. Chef it up!
Head into the kitchen for a culinary battle. Split into teams, and see who can come up with the yummiest cookie or whip up the most interesting pasta dish. Who knows -- maybe your kiddo will pick up some basic cooking tips in the process?

6. Write it out!
Letter writing is a lost art, getting rather dusty as texts and emails have become more popular. Why not bring it back in style? Have everyone pen a sweet note or two for a family member far away. Use this indoor time to spread some goodwill, and write a thank you note to the troops overseas or someone they feel has made a difference in the world. Have little ones who can’t write yet? Let them design a fabulous picture!

7. Build it and they will come (and have fun).
OK, maybe you build forts all of the time, but when those storms keep you inside for days, why not go BIG? Get every blanket and pillow in the house, and turn the whole living room into a massive fort or a cave. Eat all of your meals picnic-style there, and when it gets dark, use flashlights and watch a movie underneath the canopy of comforters and sheets. Yes, pajamas may be the uniform of the day.


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8. Sync it up!
Again, a little friendly family competition can make those hours inside fly by, and nothing is more fun than a lip sync battle. Split into groups (parents versus kids?) or have everyone perform solo. Take some time to rehearse your moves, snag a few props from that dress-up bin, and then kick off the fun challenge.

9. Hold an indoor treasure hunt.
Treasure is in the eye of the beholder. In your kids’ eyes, small toys, a bag of quarters, some “You get to choose the music in the car” and “One hour of extra screen time” coupons, or pieces of candy are all valuable trinkets. Hide a few of these around the house and let them loose on a hunt. Be sure there’s enough for everyone.

10. Hold a “No Batteries Game Day.”
When stuck inside for the day, it’s so easy to just hand them their tablets or the video game controller. What about creating a “no batteries” zone? Break out the board games, do some fun word puzzles, or spend hours assembling a jigsaw puzzle.

11. Get wet.
The only person who should never go in the rain is the Wicked Witch of the West (“I’m melting!”). Pull on those galoshes, maybe grab an umbrella, and shoo the family outside. Stomp in the puddles, search for worms, and try to spy a rainbow. When you are all done, head back inside … and kick off one of the above activities!

What is your favorite rainy day activity to do with your big kid?

Heather Chaet documents her mini parenting successes, epic mommy fails, and everything in between for a plethora (love that word!) of publications and websites such as CafeMom, New York Family, and AdWeek. While her online persona is found at heatherchaet.com, Heather lives in New York City with her film director husband and one insanely curious, cat-obsessed daughter.

Image ©iStock.com/gradyreese

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